Taste the World: Korean Short Ribs

Cook, Regional Spotlight, Taste the World

This restaurant classic is infused with plenty of sweet, salty, hot and tangy flavors. You need to marinate the ribs overnight, but after that, nothing takes much time: the ribs spend hardly any time on the grill, and then after a short rest, everybody can eat. The marinade and sauce are great on chicken or pork, too.


Korean Short Ribs


For the marinade:

1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

2 Tbs. rice vinegar

2 Tbs. Asian sesame oil

2 Tbs. minced garlic

1 Tbs. peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger

1 Tbs. ketchup

1 tsp. red pepper flakes


5 lb. flanken-cut beef short ribs, prepared by your butcher

1 cup Asian-Style BBQ Sauce (see below)


To make the marinade, in a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, ketchup and red pepper flakes and whisk to dissolve the sugar. Place the ribs in a large lock-top plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Seal the bag closed, squish the marinade around the ribs and refrigerate the bag overnight. Be sure to turn the bag over several times while the ribs are marinating.


Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct grilling over high heat. Brush and oil the grill grate.


Remove the ribs from the marinade and discard the marinade. Pat the ribs dry with paper towels.


Place the ribs on the grill directly over the fire and cook, turning once, until medium, 6 to 8 minutes total. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, brush the ribs with some of the BBQ sauce.


Transfer the ribs to a platter and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve at once with the remaining BBQ sauce on the side. Serves 6.


Asian-Style BBQ Sauce


1/4 cup hoisin sauce

1/4 cup sweet-hot pepper sauce

2 Tbs. mirin

1 Tbs. Asian sesame oil


In a bowl, whisk together the hoisin, pepper sauce, mirin, sesame oil and 1/4 cup water. Taste and adjust with more sesame oil, if desired.


Use right away, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. Bring to room temperature before using. Makes about 1 cup.


For more outdoor cooking recipes and techniques, check out our cookbook Williams-Sonoma On the Grill.

3 comments about “Taste the World: Korean Short Ribs

  1. Mark

    I got to try this one out on the in-laws next month. I’m surprised that a grilled short rib doesn’t require more cooking since most of the time it takes a long braise to break down the meat to fall-off-the-bone consistency. Then again, a flat iron cut is relatively versatile too.

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