My brother’s friend Alex introduced me to my first taste of “real” Korean cuisine. Growing up, Korean food was “kimchi,” a traditional fermented Korean dish made of napa cabbage with a variety of seasonings. If we dined out, it was often at a Chinese restaurant — or occasionally at a Japanese restaurant. Never Korean. So, when Alex came along, he opened my food senses to a whole new cuisine. One of the first dishes he shared with us is Gal-Bi, grilled marinated beef short rib.


    • 3/4 cup soy sauce
    • 3/4 cup 7-Up
    • 1/4 cup apple or rice vinegar
    • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 1 tablespoon black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
    • 1/4 cup minced garlic
    • 1/2 large onion, minced
    • 3 pounds Korean-style short ribs

Pour soy sauce, soda and vinegar into a large, non-metallic bowl. Whisk in brown sugar, white sugar, pepper, sesame oil, garlic, and onion until the sugars have dissolved. Add ribs to marinade. Cover bowl. Refrigerate overnight or at least 7 to 12 hours — the longer, the better. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat. Remove ribs from the marinade. Cook on preheated grill until the meat is no longer pink, 5 to 7 minutes per side.