The Ultimate Guide to Korean Galbi: What it is and How to Enjoy it



Korean cuisine has been gaining popularity worldwide in recent years, and for good reason.

One of the most beloved Korean dishes is galbi, a type of grilled meat that is both delicious and easy to prepare.

In this post, we'll introduce you to what galbi is, its history, and how to enjoy it to the fullest.

What is Galbi?

Galbi (갈비) is a Korean dish that typically refers to beef short ribs, although pork and other meats can also be used. The ribs are marinated in a sweet and savory sauce made with soy sauce, garlic, sugar, and other seasonings. The meat is then grilled or broiled to perfection, resulting in a tender, flavorful dish that is perfect for sharing.

History of Galbi:

Galbi has a long history in Korea, dating back to the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897). During this time, the dish was mostly consumed by the aristocracy and was known as seogalbi (서갈비). However, it became more widely available and popular in the 20th century with the introduction of charcoal grilling, which helped to enhance the dish's unique flavor.

Types of Galbi:

There are several types of galbi, each with its own unique flavor and texture. The most common types of galbi are:

  • LA-style galbi: This type of galbi is cut across the bone, resulting in a thin, flat piece of meat. It is marinated in a sweet and savory sauce and is often grilled over high heat to caramelize the marinade. 

  • Kalbi jjim: This is a braised beef short rib dish that is simmered for hours in a sauce made with soy sauce, sugar, and other seasonings. The result is a tender, succulent dish that is perfect for cold weather.

  • Dwaeji galbi: This is a pork version of galbi that is marinated in a similar sauce as beef galbi. It is often grilled or pan-fried and is a popular dish in Korea.

How to Enjoy Galbi:

Galbi is often served as a main dish alongside rice, kimchi, and other side dishes. It can also be enjoyed as a snack or appetizer. Here are a few tips on how to enjoy galbi to the fullest:

  • Use your hands: In Korea, it is common to eat galbi with your hands. The meat is often cut into small pieces, making it easy to pick up and eat.

  • Pair it with soju: Soju is a popular Korean alcoholic beverage that pairs well with galbi. The sweet and savory flavors of the meat complement the smooth, slightly sweet taste of soju.

  • Try different types of galbi: Don't be afraid to try different types of galbi to find your favorite. LA-style galbi is the most popular, but braised pork galbi (dwaeji galbi) and other variations are also worth trying.

Galbi is a must-try dish for anyone who loves Korean cuisine or grilled meats in general. Whether you're dining out at a Korean restaurant or trying to make it at home, following these tips will help you enjoy galbi to the fullest. Give it a try and let us know what you think!