Over the Christmas break, my sister Ahrie – the only one of the five of us siblings who was actually born in Korea – was helping me map out my year of Korean cooking adventures. She helped me choose galbitang for February because it’s a warm, rich, comforting soup that sounded nice for a cold cold time of year. I didn’t think I even knew what it was, but after I made it, I recognized the flavors and textures. I remember as a kid feeling like the radishes were potato-wannabes and being disappointed. As an adult I appreciate their lighter texture and marinated yumminess.

But when I made it and showed it to Ahrie, she was so confused.

She meant “gablijjim” not “gablitang.” How I got it confused (or did she?), I don’t know. But anyway, in digging around for tips and tricks for galbitang, I kept running into info on gablijjim. By the rule of what’s popular on the internet, I became intrigued with galbijjim.

So I made both. (Also, I happened to have overbought on beef short ribs, so it all worked out.)

Both are savory stews. Galbitang is a little lighter, with more vegetables and the glass noodles, whereas galbijjim is all comfort and the focus is squarely on the short ribs. Galbijjim reminds me of boeuf bourguignon, and galbitang reminds me of a dish somewhere on the spectrum between tteokguk and galbijjim. This post is about GALBITANG.

most of the galbitang ingredients

See how that radish looks like a gigantic potato? And how it’s green on one end? That’s a Korean radish. At the Korean grocery store, they were labeled as Jeju radishes, as in from Jeju island, off the southern coast of South Korea. Firmer, more flavorful, and typically larger than Japanese daikon radish, which are all white. They can be swapped in recipes in a pinch, but they’re definitely different.

(As an aside, I love these Y-peelers for peeling larger produce. I discovered them as an adult in culinary school, and now cannot live without them in my kitchen.)

Once peeled, I diced the radish. First by cutting it in half width-wise. Then cutting each one into 1-inch sheets. I cut these into 1-inch squares. The corners will be a little smaller, that’s ok.

my favorite kind of peelers for big jobs

I love my Misen chef’s knife! All diced up.



Then once the meat is done soaking and has been drained, add it to the pot. Then the water and radishes. Finally, add in the sweet potato glass noodles (these are chewier and pleasantly more toothsome than rice noodles), then the green scallions just at the end.




Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Korean
Serves: 6-8 servings
  • 2 lbs beef short ribs
  • 1 oz soju
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 5 garlic cloves slices
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Jeju Korean radish
  • 4 oz sweet potato glass noodles
  • 2 scallions
  • gochugaru, for garnish
  1. Rinse and dry all produce.
  2. Rinse meat with cold water and let soak submerged in cold water and soju for at least an hour. Drain.
  3. Meanwhile, make the marinade: In a large bowl, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  4. Large dice the daikon into 1-inch squares. Add daikon to the marinade bowl, and toss gently to coat.
  5. In a large pot, over medium-high heat, cook the meat with 6 cups of water. Boil for 5 minutes, then bring to a simmer for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Add the marinated radishes and cook for 10 more minutes.
  7. Add the glass noodles and cook until pliable, about 4 minutes.
  8. Turn off the heat.
  9. Cut the scallion greens into 1-inch sticks, and add to the pot. Reserve the scallion whites.
  10. Thinly slice the scallion whites for garnish.
  11. Serve hot garnished with scallion whites. Place gochugaru at the table as an optional garnish.