Introduction: Maui Kalbi

About: Cooking is what sparks joy and creativity in my life. Food is my passion and my way of sharing my culture with you. I love eating, cooking, and learning about your culture through food.

A copycat recipe of Da Kitchen Kalbi Short Ribs recipe. A short rib recipe that will bring the taste of Maui to your kitchen.

The first week of sheltering in place got me dreaming of Maui beach. I wish can fly to Maui right now and spend my quarantine days on the beach with a glass of lava flow and a Kalbi plate.

Instead of daydreaming, I decided to bring Maui to my kitchen. I got some Kalbi short ribs from Costco a while back and decided to try out this recipe from, of course with a little tweak of my own. The result was amazing and I can’t wait to share it with you and your family.


  • 2–3lbs of beef short ribs, Kalbi (aka Galbi)
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup of orange liqueur
  • 1 tbsp of sesame oil
  • 5–10 cloves of garlic, chopped (the more the better)
  • 2–3 green onions thinly sliced
  • 1–2 pieces of ginger, chopped ( I love my super spicy)


  • toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Step 1: Cleaning the Kalbi

Clean the Kalbi by soaking them in cold water for at least 30minutes. This helps remove impurities and blood from the meat. Does it really and do we need this step?

After 30 minutes, drain and pat the Kalbi dry with a paper towel to remove any excess water.

Tip #1: Why soak the beef in cold water?

There is no concrete answer to whether or not it is beneficial to soak the meat in plain water. I have seen my grandma and other chefs use this soaking method to make cleaner and clearer broth. Similarly, when time is tight, meat blanching, a method of putting meat specifically bones in cold water which is then brought to a boil before the meat is drain and rinsed, is also used to remove what is often referred to as meat impurities. Since we are not making broth here, skipping this step will not have any effect on the outcome. Personally, I do this method out of habit.

Tip #2: Can’t find Kalbi

You can use the marinade to marinate any type of meat such as pork and chicken or use any type of beef cut of your choice.

Step 2: Prep the Best Marinade

Chop and slice the garlic, green onions, and ginger. Add all the ingredients above except for the Kalbi and sesame seeds into a jar and mix.

Tip #3: Don’t have access to orange liqueur?

No problem, just use orange juice instead. Zest in some orange zest for that extra aroma. You can also use pineapple juice instead, but if you do so do not marinate the meat overnight. Pineapple juice is super acidic so it will over tenderize your meat.

Step 3: Marinate the Meat

In a container with lid, pour just enough marinade to cover the container bottom. Layer the Kalbi over the marinade. Top the Kalbi with more marinade and repeat the process until all the kalbi layers are covered in the marinade. Similar to how you do lasagna.

Why so complicated?

Well, I didn't want to kill the environment by wasting a Ziploc bag, but if you don’t mind, feel free to dump all the marinade and kalbi into a 1-gallon Ziploc. Make sure to give it a little Ziploc a little massage if you do so. Put the lid and refrigerate overnight in the fridge.

Step 4: Grilling

Light the grill of your choice. For me I prefer charcoal. Cook the Kalbi until it is cooked to your liking. It takes about 2–3 minutes per side depending on your Kalbi cut thickness. Glazed the excess marinade over the Kalbi throughout the cooking process for extra flavor.

Tip #4: Making sauce

If you are a saucy person and can’t live without some sort of sauce over your Kalbi. Take the leftover marinade sauce and reduce it down in a saucepan. Serve it along with your Kalbi.

Step 5: Enjoy

Serve with your favorite sides and hot sauce. For an extra fancy touch, sprinkle on some toasted sesame seeds prior to serving. I served mine with a side of coconut rice and stir-fried asparagus.

Tip #5: I made too much Kalbi, what do I do?

There is never such a thing as too much Kalbi, LOL. However, if you decided to make extra like I sometimes do. Cooked Kalbi freeze really well in a freezer Ziploc bag or vacuum seal bag. To serve just reheat your Kalbi in the oven at 400–425°F for 15–20 minutes depending on your Kalbi thickness.

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