This is Korean barbecue at its best: thin slices of beef short rib marinated and grilled.

What to buy: Korean-style beef short ribs are much thinner than the more common English version. They should only be about 1/4 inch thick, with three rib bones attached. If you can’t find them, other cuts of beef or ribs can be used (cooking times may vary).

Korean malt syrup or mool yut is a very thick and sticky syrup made from ground corn or sprouted barley (or sometimes both) and is used to give sweetness and shine to meat dishes. It can be found in Korean markets or online, but if you can’t find it you can substitute half the amount of barley malt syrup, light corn syrup, honey, or sugar.

Soju is a distilled liquor made from grain or sweet potato and can be found in Asian markets or specialty liquor stores.

Game plan: These ribs are fairly fatty and can cause flare-ups on the grill. Space them at least 1 inch apart (grill in batches if necessary) to prevent grease fires.

This recipe was featured as part of our Korean barbecue menu.

  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 20 mins, plus marinating time
  • Active: 20 mins

Ingredients (11)

  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup Korean malt syrup
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and minced
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soju
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds Korean-style (flanken cut) beef short ribs (cut 1/4 inch thick across the ribs)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, for garnish


  1. Combine juice, soy sauce, malt syrup, scallions, garlic, sesame oil, brown sugar, soju, and pepper in a medium nonreactive bowl. Whisk until completely incorporated.
  2. Place ribs in a large resealable plastic bag or a nonreactive dish and cover with marinade. Toss the meat in the marinade until well coated. Seal and refrigerate 12 hours or overnight.
  3. Heat a gas or charcoal grill to high (about 400°F) and rub the grill with a towel dipped in oil. Remove ribs from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature while the grill is heating, at least 20 minutes.
  4. Remove ribs from marinade and let excess drip off. Grill, spaced 1 inch apart, until well done and crispy on the edges, about 5 minutes per side (look out for flare-ups). Remove to a platter, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve.