Korean Ribs (Galbijjim)

This is a very good recipe that includes ingredients that are on hand in most American kitchens. It is not at all spicy. If you’ve always wanted to cook asian food at home but have been intimidated by all the fancy chopping, slicing, or have a hard time finding asian cooking ingredients this is a good recipe to start with. Although this is not a Vietnamese recipe, my mother gives her approval.


  • 2 lbs beef or pork ribs (ask your butcher to cut them so that the bone portions are a few inches long)
  • 1 large onion – roughly chopped into large chunks
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic – peeled
  • 2 pears or 1 asian pear – peeled and cut in large chunks, cores and stems removed
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger
  • 3 Tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs sugar (turbinado or other unrefined sugars are preferred)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp sesame oil (optional)
  • 1 Tbs toasted sesame seeds (optional)


  1. Slice the ribs in between each bone section. Remove the majority of visible fat with your knife. On the meaty side of each rib section, use your knife and score a few cuts down to the bone. Rinse several times in cold water (this gets rid of bone shards and other debris).

  1. Add the chopped onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, chopped pears, sugar and black pepper to a food processor. Puree until there are no chunks left.
  2. Place the ribs into a large pot (non stick is preferred) and cover with enough water to submerge the ribs. Bring to a boil and then lightly simmer for about 5 minutes. Drain the water and rinse the ribs again. Remove the ribs and set aside. You’ll notice a lot of meat scum on the sides of the pot, wash this out.

  1. Replace the ribs in the pot and add the pear puree. Add 1 cup of water and stir. Bring everything to a boil and then lower to medium heat, cover and cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes stir everything, lower the heat to low, recover and simmer for another 20 minutes.

  1. Open the lid and turn up the heat. Reduce the puree until it is almost dry. As it begins to lose water, you will need to stir constantly until the liquid is almost gone and the ribs turn shiny.

  1. If desired, add sesame oil and toasted sesame. Serve with rice and a side of steamed veggies.

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