The Magic of Galbi & The Korean Friendship Bell

galbi, kalbi

Galbi 갈비
Grilled Flanken-Style Beef Short Ribs in a Korean Marinade
Lettuce, Perilla, Pickled Cucumber, Scallion, Ssamjang, Sesame Seed Garnish

The magic of Galbi 갈비 is in the marinade. Asian pear tenderizes the meat and adds a hint of sweetness. Pear – combined with garlic, onion, and ginger, plus soy sauce, mirin, honey and sesame oil result in a full Korean flavor explosion.

This entire marinade is made in a food processor, it couldn’t be easier. The ribs are rinsed, coated, then left to marinate for eight hours.

grilling galbi, kalbi

Hours of marinating result in the tender yet chewy texture. Grilling imparts a wonderful smoky note to the already complex flavors of the marinated meat while the honey and sugar caramelize into a slightly sweet glaze – making this an absolutely irresistible barbecue dish.

galbi, kalbi

Galbi, ssamjang (spicy seasoned soybean paste), sliced scallion,
pickled cucumber, perilla, and iceberg lettuce.

Use a knife and fork or wrap all the ingredients in a lettuce leaf for one delicious bite.

korean friendship bell

The Korean Friendship Bell
San Pedro, California

Wilson, my trusty companion, and I hike all about our charming corner of Los Angeles (a special little town within the city limits called San Pedro). This past weekend we made our way down to the site of the Korean Friendship Bell.

korean friendship bell

“The friendship bell, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, was presented as a gift from the people of the Republic of Korea to the people of the United States of America on the occasion of the American Bicentennial Jubilee to further the friendship and trust between the two nations.

korean friendship bell

Cast with an alloy of tin, copper, gold, silver and phosphorus, the bell reflects the distinct characteristics and beauty of traditional Korean bells. The knob of the bell comprises a dragon-shape figure and a sound pipe. On the outer circumference of the bell are four pair of goddesses craved in relief to symbolize the spirits of freedom, independence, peace and prosperity in each of the two countries.

korean friendship bell

Ornate bands of the rose of Sharon, the national flower of Korea, decorate in relief the shoulder and rim of the bell. The bell measures 3.63 meters in height with a circumference of 7.25 meters. It weighs 17 metric tons.

korean friendship bell

The bell pavilion, constructed in traditionally Korean architectural style with a blue tiled roof, is painted in a unique coloring pattern, which is known in Korea as tanch’ong.

It is the hope of the Korean people that the friendship bell will forever sound the continued prosperity of the United States of America and the Republic of Korea, together with the enduring friendship of the two nations, which is sealed by a mutual faith in freedom and independence.”
July 4, 1976

Galbi Marinade Recipe

galbi marinade

Blend the following ingredients in a food processor.

  • 1 Asian pear
  • 6 -8 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 2″ ginger

galbi marinade

Add the following ingredients and blend again.

  • 2 T. honey
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 c. mirin
  • 3 T. sesame oil
  • several grinds of black pepper

short ribs galbi style

Rinse flanken-cut short ribs of beef in cold water, drain.

marinating galbi, galbi marinade

Add marinade, coat well. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours.

This marinade is great with other cuts of meat, pork and chicken too.

marinated galbi

After 8 hours remove ribs from marinade. Prepare the grill.

Grill Team: Bill, Al, and Sally

shishito, grilled shishito peppers

Appetizer: Grilled Shishito Peppers
Serve with a splash of toasted sesame oil, a squeeze of lemon, salt, and sesame seeds.

grilled galbi

Grill ribs over high heat.

grilled galbi

When they start to char turn them over. This is a fast process, maybe 5 minutes.

grilled galbi

Serving GALBI – Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

table setting

Serve with iceberg lettuce leaves, perilla leaves,
ssamjang (spicy seasoned soybean paste), pickled cucumber…

grilled shiitake

…sliced scallion and some grilled shiitakes.

shiraz, the wild ride, tait
Excellent wine pairing with Galbi
Tait “The Wild Ride” Shiraz Australia 2007

Berry & Spice, Intense & Full-flavored
Great with grilled meats! YAY for grilling season!

17 thoughts on “The Magic of Galbi & The Korean Friendship Bell”

  1. Oh, beautiful chunk of seasoned beef! Thanks for awakening my appetite for Asian pear, desire to drink good wine and my curiosity to visit San Pedro! I can’t wait to try this!

  2. As I browsed through your post I kept saying amazing to myself and here I see a few comments saying the same thing! Truly amazing – wonderful post!!!

  3. Wow, the Friendship Bell. Last time I was there was when Gretl came out to L.A. to inspect the future daughter-in-law…
    Beautiful dishes, beautiful photos. I never thought to photograph wine in B&W, great idea!

  4. I have yet to do Korean barbecue (am intimidated) and I think this needs to be done. Grilling season has finally come and must find new avenues to explore. And loved exploring the Korean Friendship Bell with you and Wilson.

  5. Lori this recipe sounds *fantastic* especially since I love Korean food and I love ribs. 🙂 The pear in the marinade is intriguing, and making it all in the food processor is quick and easy. Also, thanks for sharing the great photos and info about the Friendship Bell!

  6. The pear *makes* galbi marinade. Without it, you just have a sweet and sour marinade, which isn’t all that interesting at all. Out of about two dozen recipes I’ve looked at in the last 10 minutes, yours is one of two that includes the pear. It’s not optional!

    1. One more thing – authentic Korean galbi restaurants almost always serve sliced roasted garlic with the meat along with sesame oil/sea salt dipping sauce. Primo!

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