Low Carb Korean BBQ Beef Shortribs

The family adores Korean BBQ. Eating good quality beef BBQ is pretty pricey in Singapore and so we do table top grill BBQ once in a while. Of course the whole house smells like grilled meat after that, but I think it’s really worth it! The problem with eating Korean BBQ outside is that a lot of the meat is marinated and there’s a lot of sugar in the marinade as well as the sauces. So I usually make my own marinade for the kalbi (LA cut) beef. There are 2 kinds of beef I usually have in the freezer – thinly cut beef short ribs for the barbecue. And thin slices of Shabu Shabu beef for steamboat. There are some weekends I don’t feel like cooking and it’s good to let the kids take charge of cooking at the table! There are a couple of items I will always have for my table grill as these items are amazing with a smoky sear:

  • Beef short rib (sokalbi gui)
  • Pork belly (samgyopsal)
  • Fish slices
  • Squid rings
  • Prawns
  • Japanese pumpkin
  • Zucchini slices
  • Sliced king oyster mushrooms

These meats and vegetables are awesome wrapped in lettuce or any other salad leaves. I sometimes will make a low carb pancake batter with vegetables and kimchi to make kimchi jeon (pancakes) on the smooth side of the table grill. That’s kid#1’s favorite. In Korean BBQ I usually also have a couple of banchan or side dishes – kimchi, marinated bean sprouts, cold tofu, spicy cucumbers and seasoned spinach. The more energetic I feel, the more side dishes there will be…but I fear I fall far short of a typical Korean ajumma who can have 8-10 little side dishes per meal.

Banchan including cucumber salad, spicy beansprouts, marinated tofu and kimchi (clockwise from left)

Anyway today’s recipe is the Korean beef marinade. This is truly to die for as I’ve tried quite a lot of recipes and this one really works the best. The beef ribs are the star of the whole BBQ and are a family favorite – even Grandpa M who can put away a surprising amount of food when he’s in the zone. I think I may have mentioned that I blog to keep my regular recipes accessible to myself – it’s like a little record of all my favorite recipes. Well this is sure my favorite go to Korean beef marinade. Forget the bottles of sauce in the Korean supermarket. The freshness of this marinade comes through with tones of sweetness and umami flavor.

Thin cut beef short ribs (also known as “LA cut”).

Low Carb Korean BBQ Beef Shortribs

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


    Soy sauce base

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1 inch knob of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (light)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup sugar substitute (I used monk fruit sweetener)
  • 1/4 cup red or white wine
  • Marinade

  • 1 serving of soy sauce base above
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 Nashi pear, grated (if not available can substitute with a small apple)
  • 1 sprig spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Korean roasted sesame oil
  • Meat

  • 1 kg of LA cut beef short ribs


  1. In a small saucepan, mix the water, garlic and ginger slices, soy sauce, black pepper, sugar substitute and wine together and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat ans simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Cool the soy sauce base, then stir in the minced garlic, grated pear/apple, spring onions and sesame oil.
  3. Put the beef ribs and marinade into a ziplock bag and lay the ribs and marinade flat in a tray. Marinate overnight.
  4. Before barbecuing, lift out the beef short ribs from the marinade and make sure the spring onions and garlic are brushed off the surfaxe of the ribs.
  5. Barbecue the ribs over medium or high heat on the grill, turning over about 1-2 minutes per side. With a pair of scissors, cut the ribs into smaller pieces, leaving a bit of rib bone in each piece. Serve hot!


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