Kalbijjim: Braised Short Ribs Recipe

This Korean style braised short ribs is a crowd pleaser and easy to prepare.  With my friend Paula being our guest and my aunt and uncle also visiting us, my Mom thought she’d make a large batch of kalbijjim- braised beef short ribs.  As with all stews and braised dishes I think it tastes better the second or even the third day, and my Mom agrees.  We made this yesterday to eat for dinner today.  It’s a very simple dish to prepare and almost fail proof, as long as you don’t make the marinade too salty.  Remember that as it braises, the marinade will evaporate and the flavors will be concentrated.  It’s much better to safe under-season in the beginning and adjust the end product (we did exactly that when we reheated the stew and put more soy sauce in moments before serving it).  We made a large pot of it, using over 8 pounds of beef short ribs.  I’d say it’s a dish best shared with friends and family.

This will make enough to feed a dozen hungry adults.

Main Ingredients

8lbs of beef short ribs

a handful of dried shiitake mushrooms reconstituted in water and cut in quarters or small pieces

1 medium daikon radish cut in large chunks

20 dried jujubes reconstituted in water (optional)

a dozen peeled chestnuts (optional)

Dried jujubes soaking in water


1½ cups of chopped scallions

4 Tbsp of minced garlic

1 large grated onion

20 Tbsp of soy sauce

12 Tbsp of light brown sugar (do not pack down)

3 Tbsp of roasted sesame seed oil

½ cup of cooking wine (Korean sake or Japanese sake)

Water used for soaking shiitake mushrooms (as you see fit/ optional)

black pepper to taste

Kalbi marinade


Important step to take before making this dish: Wash the ribs and soak them in cold water so that excess blood from the bones can be drained prior to cooking

Kalbi in water

1.      Take the ribs out of the water and dry them off a bit

2.      In a large bowl mix all of the marinade ingredients

3.      Prepare the other vegetables (mushrooms, daikon, etc)

4.      In a large pot layer the chunks of daikon and sprinkle in some of the reconstituted jujubes and mushroom pieces

Daikon, mushrooms, and jujubes

5.      Cover and coat the ribs with the marinade and put them on top of the daikon pieces in the pot

6.      Pour the remaining marinade into the pot along with any other jujubes, mushrooms, chestnuts, etc

7.      You can let the whole thing sit for 30 minutes to an hour for the meat to soak up some of the marinade or you can start cooking right away.  Simmer and braise for several hours until the meat is literally falling off the bones

8.      Refrigerate over night and skim off the solidified fat

9.      Reheat and serve hot with rice and kimchi

All done!

Mom’s marinade formula for kalbi:

2 lbs of beef/meat

3 Tbsp of sugar (not packed)

5 Tbsp of soy sauce

sesame seed oil to taste

Scallions, onions, garlic to taste

Korean sake (optional)

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One Response to Kalbijjim: Braised Short Ribs Recipe

  1. Paula says:

    Drool! I think I gained 10 pounds at your parents! It was totally worth it!

    I was watching an episode of “No Reservations” where Anthony heads to Provence and I thought of your parents… apparently it is very French to talk about what you’re having for your next meal while you are enjoying one!

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