A Korean-American Culinary Adventure

Other Cuisines

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Korean-American cuisine, perhaps more than other immigrant cuisines to the United States, seems to be a very intentional fusion cuisine - one where Korean flavors are incorporated into other iconic American dishes, including those from other immigrant communities. These Korean-American dishes seem to be born in food trucks and the kitchens of US born Koreans fully integrated into our multi-cultural society. Thus the flavors of Korean bulgogi meats have now been re-imagined in burgers and tacos.

For my quick sojourn into Korean-American cuisine, I made:

LA Galbi

Los Angeles Style Korean Grilled Short Ribs

LA Galbi

This is recipe requites long marination.

Galbi or Kalbi, meaning rib in Korean, refers to meats marinated in a soy sauce based marinade and then grilled. Short ribs are the most popular meat, but pork ribs or chicken can be used as well. Korean immigrants in Los Angeles were introduced to flanken style short ribs at Mexican markets and realized that they worked very well for their galbi dishes - thus creating LA Galbi. I've had this dish at Korean restaurants before and have always enjoyed it.

Unfortunately, though I ordered flanken style short ribs, what I got were boneless flanken style ribs. They were thicker than traditional flanken style ribs and I'm not too sure the meat actually came from the ribs. Still, I did enjoy the flavor and the meat was quite tender.

While galbi is traditionally grilled on charcoal, you can use a gas grill, or you can broil them or pan fried them. How long you do it for will depend on how thick they are. I broiled mine for about 5 minutes in each side. I had meant to garnish them, but was in a hurry to serve dinner and forgot.


LA Galbi


  • 2.5 lbs flanken style short ribs
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp mirin
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 shallot or 1/2 small onion, finely grated
  • 1/2 Asian pear, peeled & finely grated
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger root
  • 2 green onion, sliced (optional)
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds


Coat ribs with the brown sugar and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the marinade. In a large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, water, mirin, honey, sesame oil and black pepper. Mix in the shallot, pear, garlic and ginger. Add the short ribs and make sure they are covered by the marinade. Cover the bowl and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

To grill heat grill to medium-high. Drain excess marinade from the beef. Grill for 2 to 4 minutes per side. To broil preheat broiler. Add ribs and cook for 3-5 minutes per side. To pan fry heat a thin layer of oil on a large frying pan over medium-high. Add ribs and fry for 2-4 minutes on each side.

Garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.

Adapted from Judiaanne Woo's recipe at The Food Network and Hyosun's recipe at Korean Bapsang

Related cuisines I've explored so far: Korean

Ethnic American cuisines: American, African-American, Cuban-American, German-American, Hungarian-American, Irish-American, Italian-American, Jewish American, Korean-American

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