Not “la” as in la la land (great musical movie if you haven’t seen it yet) but LA as in Los Angeles. I’m not sure why it’s called LA Galbi, but that’s just what it is. I’m sure there’s a reason, but this blog isn’t about that.
If you’ve never had LA Galbi before, it’s beef short ribs cut thinly across the bones into long strips. And then marinated in a flavor packed sauce and grilled until cooked through. The marinade is both savory and sweet and traditionally uses Asian Pear. The pear not only lends much needed sweetness to the dish, but also tenderizes the meat so that the generally tough cut grills up quickly and melts in your mouth.
Don’t think asian pears are comparable to the pears that you’re used to, because they’re not. Asian pears are totally different. When you hear the word “pear” you generally think of the small curvy looking fruit with a slim top and wide bottom with a dense and slightly mushy texture, right? Well that’s not asian pear. Asian pear couldn’t be further from that description.
They’re round. Like apples. They can be fairly large. They’re not mushy/dense at all and are actually crisp and watery all at the same time. They’re also pretty pricey and rarely on sale, so I subbed in kiwi for my recipe. My mom sometimes uses apples (any variety except granny smith), so if you don’t want to use kiwi, go ahead and use apple. Use asian pears, for all I know. Just use what you like best. Any of the three will work.
If you decide to use kiwi, just make sure that you don’t marinate the meat for over 6-8 hours because I hear that the enzymes in the kiwi will break down the meat too much and it’ll be mushy. No one wants that. I marinated my meat around 4 hours and it came out perfectly tender.
I remember growing up, we would have these family gatherings at my uncle and aunt’s house. My aunt would make LA galbi a lot. She’d grill it outside (best way to cook this) and we’d smell it as we drove up to the house. We sat around for hours just eating and eating plate after plate of LA galbi. It was never ending. Never did I know how expensive and special LA galbi is. I don’t eat it very often anymore, but when I do, I save it for some special occasion.
The other day, my husband and I were shopping at Sam’s Club and we saw this galbi sale and grabbed it. What’s our special occasion, you ask? Well we might be celebrating a little early, but by the end of this month, my husband and I will be 100% debt free. That includes car and school loans. Together, we had a combined debt of $120,000 (15K car and 105K school) and it may not be much to some people, but it was for us. Lots of hard work and sacrifices and we will be finished ahead of schedule.
So we’re celebrating this feat with some delicious, well deserved, homemade galbi!
Let’s make it!
Prep Time: 5M | Marinade time: 4H | Cook Time: 4-5M per side
Recipe Author: SavorySeoul
- LA Galbi (I used around 5 pounds)
- 1 kiwi, peeled and quartered
- 1 large onion, peeled & quartered
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 ginger, peeled & halved
- 3/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- black pepper
- red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup brown sugar or honey (optional for sweeter galbi)
- 6 stalks green onion, chopped
- Soak the galbi in cold water for an hour to release the blood and impurities.
- Once soaked, rinse clean and set aside.
- Add all the marinade ingredients except the green onion into a blender and blend until homogeneous and smooth.
- Pour the marinade over the galbi and scatter the green onions on top.
- Mix thoroughly and chill in fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Cook 4-5 minutes per side and serve. ENJOY.