Unlike American pitmaster-style barbecue — where smoke is applied in concert with indirect heat — Korean style ribs are all about the marinade. Soaking the fatty ribs in a gorgeous, savory fruit-based sauce is how the meat gets its incredible flavor and tenderness. Trust me when I say there are none better.
Technique tip: This marinade needs at least four hours to work its magic. But, ideally, they should be made the night before and set in the fridge to hang out overnight.
- 1/2 Asian pear, peeled and cored
- 1 Gala or Fuji apple, peeled and cored
- 1/2 white onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 cup gochujang (Korean chile paste)
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup canned pineapple
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 pounds 6-inch cross-cut bone in plate short ribs or 2 pounds of boneless short rib meat
- Sesame seeds, for garnish
1. Combine all ingredients except the ribs and sesame seeds in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. It's best to prepare the marinade a day ahead and allow it to sit, refrigerated, overnight, to allow the flavors to mingle.
2. Slice through the rib racks, separating the individual ribs. Place them in the marinade in a large zip-top bag or bowl and massage for 30 seconds until the ribs are fully coated. Let marinate in a refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours, up to 24 hours.
3. Remove the meat from marinade, shaking off any excess.
To grill: Heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium heat. To test the temperature, carefully place your hand 6 inches above the grate, you should be able to withstand the heat for just about 5 seconds. Grill the ribs until well browned and cooked through, about 15-20 minutes, flipping frequently.
To roast: Alternatively, preheat your oven to 350°F and place the ribs on a baking tray on the top rack. Roast for 45 minutes, until the meat is tender and cooked through.
4. Once cooked, allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes then garnish with sesame seeds.