Korean BBQ Baby Back Ribs Recipe

Korean Kalbi Baby Back Ribs Recipe


In this recipe, you’ll learn:

  • Slather ribs with Korean BBQ flavors: sweet, ginger-garlic soy glaze
  • 10 minute prep time for fool-proof baby back ribs
  • Secret trick to the most tender baby back ribs
  • Cooks in oven, easy cleanup

The nearest good Korean BBQ restaurant is over an hour drive away, simply too far when the best accompaniment to Korean BBQ is several super-cold OB beer alternating with sips of chilled soju (Korean rice alcohol, like Japanese sake).

That’s why we love making Korean food at home, but it also means that I have to modify ingredients and cooking methods a bit. You might be more familiar with Bulgogi, a popular Korean BBQ dish that features shaved rib-eye beef slices marinated in mixture of soy sauce, brown sugar and sesame seeds. But the lesser known dish is Kalbi, or thinly sliced bone-in beef short ribs flavored in a similar marinade. Bulgogi and Kalbi are both cooked over an open flame – usually hot charcoal set in the middle of the table!


I’ve modified the Korean BBQ Kalbi recipe to use easy to find pork ribs to make Korean BBQ Baby Back Ribs, since my grocery store doesn’t carry the short ribs cut like this. Regular beef short ribs that are available are too chunky and clunky to eat by hand. Baby back ribs are perfect – tender, flavorful and simple to cook.

Oh, and I’m not about to carve out the middle of my dining table to install a charcoal grill, so we’re going with a simpler technique – the oven.

But firstlearn from my mistake

The first time I played with this recipe, it was a disaster. Not the recipe, but the oven was a crazy mess. I had cooked the baby back ribs on a cookie sheet, thinking it was the perfect size to fit 2 racks of ribs.

Korean Kalbi Baby Back Ribs Recipe

Unfortunately, I failed to remember that baby back ribs are JUICY and release a lot of FAT when cooking. Guess where that all ended up? All over the bottom of my oven where it then sizzled and burned. Burning fat in a hot oven is just not a good combo. While my family enjoyed the ribs for dinner, I spent the better part of the evening trying to scrub off all of the black, burned spots.

So, learn from my hot mess. Use a roasting pan at least 2-inches high.

Korean Kalbi Baby Back Ribs Recipe


Korean BBQ Baby Back Ribs Recipe Video


Korean BBQ Baby Back Ribs

Servings: 4-6 Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 95 minutes


6-7 pounds baby back ribs
salt & freshly ground black pepper
1/2 onion, grated
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 stalk green onion, chopped
2 tablespoons rice vinegar (or white/cider vinegar)


Heat oven the 375F. (optional) Using a butter knife to pry it up, separate the membrane from the back of the ribs and discard. Generously season both sides of the ribs with salt and pepper. Wrap the ribs in foil, meaty side up and seal completely. Bake for 90 minutes. To make the Korean Kalbi sauce, mix together the remaining ingredients in a bowl. After the ribs are cooked, remove from the oven and carefully open up the foil -- be careful of the hot steam! Slather 3/4 of the Korean Kalbi sauce on the tops of the ribs. Place the oven rack in the top third of the oven and heat the broiler to high. Put the ribs back in the oven, foil still open, and broil until the sauce bubbles and caramelizes, about 3-5 minutes. Keep a watch on the ribs – it's so easy to burn them! Just before serving, pour the remaining Korean Kalbi sauce on top of the ribs.

Comments 4,219

  1. [email protected]

    Great gift.

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  3. Pingback: Korean Kalbi Baby Back Ribs : Sir Chef

  4. Lucy @ Lucyeats

    Great looking ribs, Jaden! They’re so perfect for a large group! Good lesson on using extra lengths of tinfoil too -my problem is that I accidentally cut it when i’m removing my food so I now use two layers!

  5. Ken

    This recipe takes too long and heats up the kitchen for way too long especially in Hawaii!!!! I use my induction stovetop (90% more efficient than regular electric or gas stoves) to heat my Fagor 6L pressure cooker (70% reduction in cooking time) to cook my ribs cutting time down to 30 min total. Per Steamy Kitchen recipe prep Baby Back Ribs for cooking, place 1 liquid cup of pork stock in pressure cooker (steam roast in pork stock to infuse more flavor and juiciness), place steaming rack in pressure cooker and then place ribs in pressure cooker on rack, if they do not fit you can stand ribs on ends to fit but no more than 2/3 full of pressure cooker. Close and lock pressure cooker lid and bring to high pressure and then lower heat to just maintain high pressure, cook for 15 min. Use rapid release to open pressure cooker. Place baby back ribs on a rack over a sheet pan following Steamy Kitchen recipe coat ribs with Korean sauce and broil both sides till caramelized about 7 ½ min per side 15 min. total. Steamy Kitchen Korean Style Baby Back Ribs done in 30 min. instead of 95 plus min. PS: White rice in a pressure cooker takes about 6 min. to cook.

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  6. Wendy

    I will make double the portion of the sauce. Use half to marinade the ribs overnight and use the other half as directed.

  7. Tom

    its funny I live in Korea but have been going out of my way to find recipes and make american style bbq ribs. This recipe looks super delicious so its going on my list for this weekend’s dinner.

  8. Christine

    Just have to say! This is my family’s favorite dish for special occasions and on days when we crave for Jadens’ yummy ribs. It’s so super good and full filling!

    Thanks for this awesome creative recipe!



  9. Jay

    Great recipes and easy to follow. I change my recipes a little bit by cooking it for at least 2-3 hrs for the meat to fall of the bone texture.

    If you want a richer flavor, you can put the ribs on a pan to seers for 5 minutes. This carmelized the honey,sugar, onion and give the ribs even richer flavor.

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