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sliced grilled sous vide short ribs on cutting board
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4.92 from 24 votes

Korean Beef Short Ribs (Sous Vide)

You will knock it out of the park with these mouthwatering sous vide Korean beef short ribs (also called Kalbi). Tender meat infused with complex sweet, salty, garlicky, savory flavors. No sous vide equipment? No worries - you have options.
Prep Time8 mins
Cook Time1 d 2 mins
Marinating1 d
Total Time2 d 10 mins
Course: main
Cuisine: Korean
Servings (change as needed): 6 (or 5 big eaters)
Author: Cheryl, Two Kooks In The Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds (1.36 kg) boneless beef short ribs, Note 1 I get them at Costco
  • Garnish (optional) - chopped green onion, parsley and/or toasted nutty sesame seeds.

Kalbi Marinade (see Note 2 for substitutes)

  • 1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (115 ml) light soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) cold water
  • 2 tablespoon (30 ml) mirin or rice wine
  • 1/4 cup (13g) chopped onion, about 1/2 small onion grate it if not using blender/processor
  • 1/2 Asian pear (or regular pear), peeled, cubed
  • 2 tablespoon minced garlic (6 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon (8.9g) dark sesame oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 green onion, chopped (optional)

Instructions

  • MAKE MARINADE: Use a food processor, immersion blender or nothing. Place all ingredients in a food processor (or bowl). Process (or blend with immersion blender) until smooth. If you don't have a processor or blender, grate the pear and onion, then mix with the remaining ingredients.
  • MARINATE SHORT RIBS: Pour marinade into large zipper lock bag along with boneless beef short ribs. Ribs should be in a single layer. Use 2 bags if needed. Remove air and seal bag. Squish meat around to ensure meat is well covered with marinade. Place in fridge for 24 -48 hours (or 6 hours if taking a shortcut).
  • SOUS VIDE SHORT RIBS (see Note 3 for non-sous vide option). Heat water with sous vide equipment to 135F/57C. Lower bag of short ribs into water. Bag should float under water. If it doesn't, unseal bag, lower it until top of bag is just above water line, then reseal it once all air is pressed out by water. If using a circulator sous vide, cover pot with lid or towel to reduce evaporation.
    Sous vide ribs for 12-30 hours. I find 24 hours perfect or, if ribs are very thin, 12 hours. (For a shortcut, sous vide for 6 hours - but not as tender). Remove shorts rib from bag. Pat dry with paper towel.
  • MAKE GLAZE/SAUCE (optional but recommended): Pour marinade juices into small pot (I like to pour it through a sieve to remove small bits but it's fine if you don't). Bring to boil, then reduce to medium high. Boil for about 10 minutes until reduce by half and slightly thickened. If you like heat on your rib meat, add a pinch of red pepper flakes.
  • GRILL KOREAN SHORT RIBS: Spray grill with oil and heat to medium high (450-500F). Brush glaze on both sides of short ribs. Spray ribs with oil on one side to avoid sticking. Grill for 2 minutes on one side that is sprayed with oil. No need to grill the other side. Brush on extra glaze and serve with remaining sauce on the side. Garnish with chopped green onions and/or sesame seeds if desired. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Notes

  1. Short ribs options:  I use boneless 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) thick beef short ribs (slice them horizontally in half if they are 1 inch thick). You can also use thin short ribs with the bone (flanken). Ribeye, sirloin, chicken breasts, pork tenderloin or pork chops would also be great with the marinade and grill method.
  2. Substitutes in Marinade :
    • Instead of pear - use apple, kiwi or pineapple.
    • Instead of water - use pineapple juice or (half pineapple, half water). Don't over marinate with pineapple juice as they ribs can get mushy.
    • Instead of mirin or rice vinegar -  use white vinegar
    • Instead of dark sesame oil - use light 
    • Instead of onion - use green onion
  3. If you don't have sous vide equipment: I suggest marinating for at least 24 hours. Spray grill with oil and heat to medium high (about 450-500F). Remove ribs from marinating bag. Reserve marinade to make glaze/sauce as per instructions above if desired. Pat meat to dry with paper towel, brush on glaze if using, spray with oil. Grill ribs for 2-3 minutes per side for medium rare. Instant thermometer will read 130F/54C. Let rest 5 minutes. 
  4. If you don't have a grill:
    • After sous vide cooking, broil ribs for 2 minutes close to the heat on one side. Brush with glaze first. 
    • If you don't have sous vide equipment or a grill, bake short ribs at 375F for 20 minutes, then broil for 2-3 minutes close to heat to brown. 
  5. Make Ahead:
    • Timing options/shortcuts:
      • Marinating time can range from 6 hours to 2-3 days. 24 hours is best.
      • Sous vide time for this recipe is 24 hours. But I've tried the short ribs for only 5 hours and the meat was a lot more tender than no sous vide, but less tender than 24 hours. This tells me that anywhere from 12-24 hours will be good too. Even 30 hours should be fine.
    • Needless to say, the entire recipe can be made ahead except for the final step of grilling (or broiling) for 2 minutes just before serving.
 
Nutrition values are estimates. 
Calories: 518kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 134mg | Sodium: 1277mg | Potassium: 913mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 6mg