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Korean Barbecue at Home

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Sweet-and-salty short ribs and chicken + lots of vibrant sides

Korean barbecue is the perfect party meal because it’s festive, convivial, and guests can tailor their meal to their taste. Plus, it’s an easy menu for the cook: The marinades for the barbecued short ribs (kalbi) and chicken (dak gogi) come together quickly and are best done ahead so the meat can absorb the sweet-and-salty flavors. Most of the banchan (the vegetable side dishes) can also be made ahead— some have to be—and some are no-cook, so all that’s left to do on the day of the dinner is make rice and grill the kalbi and dak gogi, which takes minutes. A sociable, delicious way to explore Korean tastes and textures, this feast is sure to become one of your favorites.

Web extra: Listen to an audio slideshow to hear Judy Joo describe the Korean barbecues of her childhood and to hear the proper pronunciation of the Korean dishes and ingredients. In the slideshow, Judy also shares less authentic―but acceptable―substitutions for some of the ingredients.

Menu Timeline

Up to 2 Days Ahead (At Least 1 Day Ahead)

  • Make the Cucumber Kimchi.
  • Make the Ssamjang.

1 Day Ahead

  • Make the Pickled Radish.
  • Make the Korean Bean Sprouts.
  • Marinate the short ribs and the chicken.

2 Hours Ahead

  • Cut and soak the scallions for the the Scallion Salad.
  • Make the Korean Spinach.

40 Minutes Ahead

  • Remove the spinach and bean sprouts from the fridge to let them come to room temperature.
  • Cook the rice for the barbecued chicken and short ribs.
  • Wash and prep the lettuce and scallions for serving with the chicken and short ribs.
  • Prepare the grill fire and clean the grill grate.

Just before serving

  • Grill the short ribs and chicken.
  • Toss the Scallion Salad with its seasonings.

Shopping List

Fresh Produce

  • 2 medium heads red green or red leaf lettuce
  • 1 lb. spinach
  • 1 lb. small cucumbers, such as Kirby or small Persian (about 6)
  • 5 oz. piece daikon (3 to 4 inches long)
  • 4 oz. fresh soybean sprouts
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 3 bunches scallions (at least 20 medium)
  • 2 medium shallots
  • 2 bulbs garlic
  • 1 5-inch piece fresh ginger
  • 1 bunch fresh chives

Meat

  • 2 lb. 1/2 -inch-thick, cross-cut, bone-in short ribs (flanken)
  • 2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut crosswise into 1-1/2-inch-thick strips

Other Groceries (most items can be found at an Asian market)

  • 3 cups white rice, preferably short-grain
  • 1 cup Asian sesame oil
  • 6 Tbs. apple (or Asian pear) juice
  • 3-1/2 Tbs. mirin
  • 3 Tbs. mul yut (malt syrup; or substitute light corn syrup)
  • 3 Tbs. gochugaru (Korean red chile flakes; or substitute crushed red pepper flakes)
  • 3 Tbs. dwenjang (fermented soy bean paste; or substitute red miso)
  • 2-1/2 Tbs. gochujang (red chile paste)
  • 2 Tbs. roasted sesame seeds
  • 2 Tbs. saeujeot (Korean salted shrimp; or substitute fish sauce)
  • 2 big pinches of Korean chile threads (or substitute 4 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh long red chiles)

Pantry Staples

  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2-1/2 tsp. plain rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. untoasted white sesame seeds
  • Vegetable oil
  • kosher salt
  • black peppercorns

The Menu

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