Let me start off this post by stating that I am not Korean, nor am I Hawaiian, but I am from Hawaii and I LOVE Korean food!
My hunt for a kalbi recipe started after my mom had visited me in California, and brought me this amazing pre-made kalbi marinade from Hawaii! The marinade had just the right amount of each ingredient and wasn't too salty. I started going through my Hawaiian cookbooks and searched online to see which ingredients were the main players of this incredible sauce. The most recent recipe I tried was the one right off of the Foodland re-usable shopping bag from Hawaii! Erin pointed it out to me the last time she visited us, and I've kept the bag handy ever since.
After trying out a couple of different kalbi recipes, I decided that these ratios best suit my taste, but feel free to add more or less of each ingredient. I hope my take on this Hawaiian favorite will be enjoyed by everyone at your BBQ!
5 pounds of boneless or bone-in beef short ribs (about 1/2" - 1" thick)
1 1/2 cup low sodium* shoyu (soy sauce)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 cloves of garlic, smashed then sliced
2 - 3 tbsp green onions, chopped roughly
1/4 medium yellow onion, sliced thinly
1 in of ginger, peeled then grated
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp shichimi togarashi (Japanese red pepper mix)
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
*If you don't have low sodium shoyu on hand, change shoyu to water ratio to 1:1*
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together, until well combined. Once the sugar is dissolved, taste the marinade to ensure it is to your liking. The marinade should look something like this:
Once satisfied, pour 1/2 of the sauce into the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking/marinading dish (the glass pyrex dish is perfect for this) making sure to include some of the onion slices. Lay down slices of the beef in the marinade. Pour the rest of the marinade over the beef and cover tightly with saran wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours; overnight if time permits.
I also like to marinade the kalbi in a gallon sized ziploc bag when I'm taking it to a friend's house. It saves space in the refrigerator and I don't have to worry about my dishes when leaving the party. If you choose this marinading method, make sure to double bag the meat, to prevent the sauce from leaking.
Remove ribs from refrigerator about 1 hour before grilling, but leave covered. You want to make sure they are around room temperature before tossing them on the grill, to ensure even cooking.
Cook each rib about 3-5 minutes depending on how rare you like your meat.