Dweji Galbi 돼지갈비 (Marinated Pork Ribs)

My butcher persuaded me to bypass the traditional tteokguk (rice cake soup) by offering me 1.2 kg of LA dweji galbi (pork ribs) for under 10,000 won ($10), which was cheaper than the 200 grams of hanwoo beef I originally sought. It was a tough decision, but I obliged because what better way to start the new year with Korean bbq. Anyways, in true holiday fashion, sharing is caring, so here’s the dweji galbi recipe in its entirety with extra tips and step-by-step pictures. I’ve used this recipe at the restaurant and for special food events, meaning it’s a full-proof recipe that won’t disappoint.

Note: this is the same sauce used for galbi jjim (braised short ribs) and bulgogi (thin slices of marinated ribeye), save or add water depending on how much meat you are cooking with. When you prepare the sauce, make sure to taste and season according to personal preference. Mine is usually heavy on garlic, honey (or sugar), and sesame oil.

*Use plastic gloves when handling pork ribs, or else a sticky film (ie. fat) will coat your hand.

  1. Draw out the blood by fully submerging meat in water. Add 3 tbsp salt and dissolve to create a light brine, which helps meat to retain moisture and remove off-smells. Set in fridge for a minimum of one hour; two hours ideal.
  2. Create marinade using 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup cooking wine (mirin/cheongju), 4 tbsp sugar, 3 tbsp honey (or corn syrup), 3 tbsp sesame oil, 5 garlic cloves, 1 small fingernail piece ginger, 1/2 onion, 1/2 Asian pear, 1 tsp ground pepper. Blend hard ingredients in a mixer with water and cooking wine. Combine them all in a mixing bowl. Taste and season to preference.
  3. Wash pork ribs thoroughly under cold water. Squeeze out excess water, place in large zip-lock bags, add marinade to coat. Once locked, massage the meat for several minutes. Set in fridge for a minimum of 6 hours; overnight ideal.
  4. On medium-high heat, cook the pork ribs for about 8-10 mins each side. Since the marinade is sugar heavy, add about 1/4 cup of water for each batch you cook. The marinade will evaporate, cook down until meat is caramelized/charred. Clean pan with paper towel and repeat process. If you have a charcoal grill — which is the best way to cook any type of Korean BBQ — cook them until they are evenly charred on both sides.

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