I may have eaten galbijjim first, but I learned how to make boeuf bourguignon before I attempted making galbijjim. What good does this do me? Well, I guess I’m hoping that my tastebuds’ memory  will mind-meld with my hands-on experience to give me a leg up on this dish.

Both are braised beef short rib stews with root vegetables. Boeuf bourguignon is more heady with its wine and butter. Galbijjim is brighter in flavor with it’s aromatics and savory sweetness. I wonder how many other world cuisines have an awesome braised short rib dish. If you know, will you let me know in the comments?

What I know about galbijjim is that it’s a celebration dish (read: not for everyday). And that’s a good thing, because it’s incredibly rich (read: highly caloric). It’s a decadent dish, and I think I would pass out if I had it more than once a year.

I did swap out most of the sugar by adding in more Korean pear, and it was still super rich and delicious. In my experience, cutting back on at least 25-percent of the sugar in just about every recipe I’ve ever come across has not hurt the flavor one bit. It didn’t fail me here, and I definitely cut out more than half the sugar.

While the ribs soaked, there was plenty of time to get the mis en place together for the braising liquid (see above), as well as for the root veggie add-ins (see below). I had some orange and white carrots, so I included some of both.

I let the short ribs and marinade simmer together for about an hour – I probably left it going for a little longer. Then I added the veggies in last and only for about half an hour so that they still had a nice tooth to them.

I served it up hot and garnished with some of the remaining scallions. It was so rich that a small portion was all I needed.

There were a lot of leftovers. I froze most of this dish in individual containers, and it disappeared before I knew it. Meaning my husband found his way into the freezer and sought it out. He’s been known to forget to eat lunch (the meal we’re not together for), so it’s definitely telling that the memory of how delicious this was had him actively going back for more. I guess he liked it!


Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soups and Stews
Cuisine: Korean
Serves: 6 to 8 servings
  • 3 lbs short ribs
  • 1 oz soju
  • 2 oz soy sauce
  • 1 Korean pear, cored
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced, divided
  • 2 small yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and large-diced
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 1-2 inch chunks to approximately match size of potatoes
  1. Rinse and dry all produce.
  2. Rinse and soak short ribs in cold water and a shot of soju for at least an hour. Drain.
  3. Meanwhile, make the braising liquid: whisk together soy sauce, chopped Korean pear, sugar, mirin, minced garlic cloves, minced onion, sesame seeds, sesame oil, and ¾ of the sliced scallions. (alternate option: in a blender, pulse the same ingredients in a blender until slushy; no need to pre-chop).
  4. Prep the add-ins: potatoes and carrots. Optional: Use multi-color carrots for additional color.
  5. In a large cast-iron Dutch oven, cocotte, or stock pot, over high heat, add the short ribs and braising liquid, mixing well to coat. Cook until it reaches a boil, then lower heat to a simmer.
  6. Cover the pot with a tight lid and simmer for at least an hour.
  7. Add the potatoes, carrots, and ¾ of the scallions, stir gently to combine, and simmer for another half-hour.
  8. Serve hot, garnish with remaining scallions.