Galbi means “ribs” in Korean, and is a popular Korean dish served in many places. LA galbi is a style of galbi – barbecued beef short ribs – cut thinly (about ¼ inch thick) across the bones.

The first time I tried LA galbi was about 20 years ago when I visited my sister living in LA. She prepared LA galbi for me and my family. I enjoyed the galbi a lot even though I was a little surprised to see the short ribs cut thinly and across the bone.

Regular galbi in Korea is cut differently. It’s cut across and along the bone. Each piece that goes on the grill is one section of the rib, with one piece of bone in it. It’s a lot thicker. LA galbi is only cut across the bone, not along, so each piece on the grill is a longer, thinner strip, and includes 3 pieces of bone.

The marinade is exactly same as authentic Korean galbi.

At the time I never asked why it’s called LA galbi. I assumed it was because it’s popular among Korean immigrants in America.

But writing this recipe I researched the origin of the name, I couldn’t find the real answer anywhere. So I like to become a detective today, investigating LA galbi:

Theory #1:
LA galbi is cut laterally, so the name comes from the first 2 letters of the word “lateral.”

Theory #2:
Korean immigrants living in Los Angeles, California innovated this cut.

In my personal opinion, theory #2 seems more likely. If  #1 theory is true, where is the HO galbi (from the word horizontal)? : )

LA galbi had already existed before I tasted it 20 years ago, but I’ve never seen any other culture use this particular cut of short ribs for BBQ, only Koreans. If your culture also uses this cut, let me know in the comments. But as far as I know, it’s unique (note: as I learned, this cut is popular in Mexico).

Last year I had a chance to go a BBQ picnic with about 20 Americans. I brought my marinated LA galbi to let them taste it. Surprisingly, none of them had seen or tasted LA galbi before. They loved my LA galbi and more than 1 year later they’re still talking about how good it was.

But if Koreans invented LA galbi, there must be someone or some group of chefs responsible, somewhere. If you’re the inventor, or know who he or she is, please contact me at I want to interview you! You can share the history of LA galbi and the origin of the name, I’m very curious about it.

Ingredients (for 4-6 servings)


  1. Trim excess fat from the short ribs and rinse a couple times in cold water.
  2. Soak the ribs in cold water for 10-20 minutes to remove the blood.

Make marinade:

  1. In a large bowl, add ⅓ cup soy sauce, ⅓ cup water or cooking wine, ¼ cup honey (or ⅓ cup brown sugar), and 1 ts ground black pepper.
  2. Blend 1 Korean pear (about 2 cups’ worth), 8 cloves of garlic, 1 medium onion, and 1 ts of chopped ginger until it turns into a white creamy liquid.
  3. Add it to your soy sauce base and add 2 tbs toasted sesame oil.
    *tip: If you can’t find a Korean pear, use 2 ripe bosc pears. I sometimes use bosc pears and they work well. 
  4. Rinse the short ribs in fresh cold water a couple more times to remove any remaining bone fragments. Drain the water.
  5. Add the ribs to the marinade and mix it well, by hand.
  6. Keep it in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Overnight is better, but an hour is ok if you are short of time.

Make ssamjang dipping sauce:

(see video)

  1. Mix these 2 tbs soy bean paste, 1 tbs of hot pepper paste, 1 stalk of chopped green onion, 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 ts honey, 1 ts of toasted sesame oil, and 1 ts sesame seeds in a small bowl with a spoon.

Prepare vegetables:

  1. Rinse and drain lettuce and perilla leaves. Put them on a plate or basket.
  2. Cut a cucumber into strips 3½ inch to 4 inches in length and ½ inch thick (8-10 cm long x1½ cm thick),
  3. Chop green chili peppers and slice a few cloves of raw garlic and put them next to green lettuce and perilla leaves.

Let’s cook and eat!

  1. Grill, pan fry, or BBQ the ribs. The LA style cut is thin, so they’re cooked much faster than usual ribs. It takes only about 5 minutes!
  2. When the both sides are cooked, put them on a serving plate.  Cut the meat part off the bone with scissors into bite sized pieces.
  3. Put a piece of meat on top of a lettuce leaf and a periilla leaf. Add dipping sauce, garlic, and a piece of green chili pepper. Fold it over into a small package, and pop it into your mouth in one bite!

You can serve this with rice and kimchi, too.

Enjoy the recipe!

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  1. Daisy Kim Syracuse, NY joined 6/23 & has 1 comment

    This is a very old article but I am from New York State and my mom makes her galbi flanken style but she’s never lived anywhere on the west coast. She came straight from Seoul in 1985 and has been living here since. The Korean stores here sell these cuts, and so do some grocery stores. I’ve had the ribs both ways, but 99% of the time it’s flanken style.

  2. Minkie California joined 5/22 & has 1 comment

    It is called “LA Galbi,” because this is the way our very large Mexican and Japanese communities cut and serves short ribs here in Los Angeles. I have had short ribs cut this way since I was a child and I am now in my 60s.

  3. Anisa Toronto joined 4/20 & has 1 comment

    Hello from Toronto! Is the cooking wine sweet? Will that plus the honey be overwhelming? I am making this tomorrow afternoon and I hope to get a response in time. Thank you so much. Love your channel and blog!

  4. Venise_xox Montreal, QC joined 4/18 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi!

    I love trying out your recipes! So delicious. I’ve recently introduced my boyfriend to Korean food. We just marinated the meat and are excited to eat it later today! :)

  5. jungahyoon Singapore joined 2/18 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi,

    I love your blog! I am Korean American mom of 2 but I have only recently started cooking Korean food. I brings me back great memories of my mom’s food. My kids love Korean food and I’m sure I’m creating great memories for my kids! Thank you so much for the love you put into all your recipes.

    My question is about this LA style kalbi compared with the other kalbi recipe on this site that uses a dry rub along the the length of the strips of meat. Is it possible to use the marinade in this recipe with the cut used in the other recipe? I’m not sure I will be able to find the LA style cut at my butchers.Thanks so much!

  6. leexande Brazil joined 8/17 & has 3 comments

    Hi Maangchi,

    I am from Brazil and Asian Pears are expansive and seasonal.

    Is it possible to exchange the pears for pineapple?


  7. anggelazhou Canada joined 8/17 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maanchi!
    Thanks for the recipes! I just wanted to know if I could use the same marinade for chicken as well?

  8. I made these ribs (using the thinnest beef ribs I found) last weekend with my bestie (along with some pan-fried beef slices and Jjajangmyeon) and had a fun Korean BBQ girls night-in.

    They came out great. I don’t have a grill so I baked them.

    I baked them in a lightly oiled, foil-lined shallow pan. I covered the ribs with some of the leftover marinade (about half a cup) and baked them covered with foil for 30 mins at 400 degrees. I then broiled them on low for 10-12mins each side to get that grill colour.

    See full size image

  9. dax GA joined 10/16 & has 1 comment

    This style of short ribs is called “flanken cut.” It has nothing to do with L.A. The Chinese use these in many dishes. They cut pork spare ribs the same way.

  10. Savvy Sage USA joined 7/16 & has 3 comments

    I like the way you made the Galbi.

  11. Miss Kim78 socali joined 3/13 & has 40 comments

    When going on long road trips where Korean food may be scarce, I tend to crave it even more. I get tired of the random pit stops, stopping by the nearest McDonald’s, or waiting and waiting to find a decent place to eat. I prefer packing my own food. On my recent 1,800 mile road trip, I took a burner and ice boxes packed with food. My favorite moment was when grilling galbi! Grilled galbi along with kimchi jjigae so hit the spot. I have many memories of childhood road trips. I was never fond of road trips as a child and was often dragged. But my favorite part about it was always the food. Galbi and kimchi jjigae were a couple of the delicious items that we were never without on road trips. And it had a lot of influence on what I decided to bring along for my last road trip.

  12. I see a few people have chimed in and let you know this cut is called “flanken” style ribs sometimes. It’s a reasonably common cut in Jewish cooking, often braised.

  13. logam11 joined 12/15 & has 3 comments

    Hi Maangchi,

    How would you recommend cooking Galbi in the oven?


  14. Hi Maangchi,

    Thank you for your recipes. I love them. Although i tried this LA galbi a few time, every time i grill it on a indoor bbq it gets burn very fast becauee if the sauce. What can i do about that???

  15. davenmarie joined 5/15 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi…our Galbi is marinating will make it tomorrow! My wife and I live in Manila we love watching your videos….so far we are just getting started but last weekend made your delicious rolls! Keep the recipes coming!

  16. Dee87 San Diego joined 9/14 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi,

    I am a fan of Korean food and I just wanted to say that this recipe was so good. I tried it last night and the taste is comparable to some Korean restaurant here in San Diego! I usually go to Korean market and get the marinated meat but no more!! Your recipe is so much better. It is so worth it. Thank you Maangchi! I can eat this everyday but I will try your bulgogi next time since short rib meat is so fatty; not good for people like me who’s trying to lose weight ;). Take care!


  17. soudzz denver joined 8/14 & has 1 comment

    This recipe has similar ingredients to your bulgogi recipe. The only difference is your using honey vs brown sugar and rice syrup. Why is that? And is the taste can I use thr brown sugar and rice syrup?

  18. kyopo_nho chicago joined 3/14 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi!

    I told my mom about this recipe and she was impressed how authentic it sounded. She told me that if pears were too expensive, to buy pear extract instead. Have you ever heard of anyone doing this? Do you know how much extract to put in, instead of a pear?


  19. xsueyy New York, NY joined 12/13 & has 2 comments

    Hi Unni,

    My previous post got deleted from loss of internet connection. I tried to make this for the first time today, however, the medium onion I used mustve been too big for the recipe…my marination sauce became…smokey?? 매콤-칼칼. Kids will be eating this and I plan to grill them Saturday (in two days) so that the beef is nicely marinated…is there a way to save my marinated beef? Its currently sitting in the refrigerator…any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

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