How to Cook Tender Beef Short Ribs

How to Cook Tender Beef Short Ribs Recipe

Since I got married, I have to admit I eat a lot less meat than I used to because Lulu's a vegetarian. But that doesn't mean I don't still enjoy a large portion of meat once in a while.

If you’ve come to the site before, you've probably seen that in previous recipes I often use acid-based marinades to tenderize and flavor meat. Today, I cooked Korean-cut beef short ribs (called galbi), and I again made an acidic marinade. The marinade consists of buttermilk, a little dark soy sauce, horseradish mustard, honey, cooking wine and olive oil. The preparation is very fast and easy. Just marinate the ribs overnight in a glass baking dish. Once you're ready to eat, simply pan-sear the meat for about 10 minutes total on both sides. You'll have a feast with very little time spent in the kitchen!



Yields: 6 servings

4 pounds Korean-cut short ribs, about 15 slices
1 quart buttermilk
½ yellow onion, chopped
¼ cup dark soy sauce
3 tablespoons dark honey
1 tablespoon horseradish mustard
2 tablespoons sweet cooking rice wine
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-½ teaspoons salt
1-½ tablespoons ginger garlic paste (click on the link for the recipe)
2 teaspoons red chili powder
1 tablespoon black pepper, freshly ground


The day before...

Place the beef ribs in a large glass baking dish.

In a blender, combine the chopped onions, the buttermilk, soy sauce, mustard, ginger garlic paste, red chili powder, honey, rice wine and 1 tablespoon oil.

Spread the marinade over the beef. Mix well; the marinade should coat the pieces of beef. Plastic-wrap the dish and refrigerate overnight, turning the meat occasionally.

The next day...

Remove the meat from the refrigerator at least 20 minutes prior cooking so the ribs are at room temperature. Transfer the ribs to a large platter, removing as much marinade as possible. Discard the marinade.

Pat the meat dry using paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.

With a brush, grease a large flat griddle pan (a regular frying pan will work) and heat until it's really hot, almost to the smoking point. Using tongs (I use chopsticks), place the beef ribs in the pan (still on high heat) and cook for 3-4 minutes.  It's important that you do not pierce the meat so it stays moist and tender. The meat should caramelize on the edges. Flip the meat on the other side. Grill for another 3-4 minutes. You could extend the cooking time to 10 minutes (for well-done), depending on how you like the meat. But do not extend the cooking too long, or it will be over-cooked and tough.

Transfer the short ribs to a platter, cover with a piece of aluminum foil and let the meat rest for about 5-10 minutes.

Bon appétit!


Count 1 quart of buttermilk to 4 pounds of meat.

Buttermilk, wine and extra virgin olive oil act as a great meat tenderizer, and the puréed onion helps add a nice flavor to the beef. If you want moist, tender meat, use acids such as citrus juices (even pineapple), dairy products (yogurt, buttermilk) and alcohol (wine, vodka). Extra virgin olive oil is also a great way to obtain the desired results.

Because of the nature of these acidic ingredients, it is recommended to use non-reactive tableware to marinate the meat. A large sealable plastic bag or a ceramic, glass or stainless-steel bowl or baking dish are fine. Just avoid aluminum containers; the meat could end up with a metallic taste because of the chemical reaction.

The soy sauce brings saltiness to the dish and a nice amber brown color. My favorite soy sauce is the Da Bo De brand. It has a good flavor and is not too salty. You can find it at Dai Thanh Asian market on 420 S 2nd St, in  downtown San Jose. I think this is one of the best "ethnic" grocery stores in the area.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on September 23, 2010.


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