Kalbi BBQ

Quick Look_______________

The 3 college ministries of Gracepoint Fellowship Church (acts 2 fellowship, koinonia, kairos) go into hypermode as we prepare for the upcoming school year. One signature dish that we have been doing for years is Korean bbq, serving meat called Kalbi. The picture above is some brothers grilling the 1000+ lbs that we do for the UC Berkeley campus. The good news is that you don't have to wait for New Student Welcome Night to enjoy this tasty meat...
  • Prep time: 10-15 minutes
  • Cook time: 30-45 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Labor Intensity: Could do by yourself, but why not call some friends over?
  • 30 servings, adjust by 1.5x if your group tends to eat multiple servings.


  • 6 cups soy sauce
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 large onion (under $1 at safeway)
  • 2 bunch green onions ($1 safeway)
  • 1 Kiwi ($0.50 safeway)
  • 30 peeled cloves of garlic (about 1 lb at ranch/koreana for $2)
  • 25 lb short ribs or beef chuck (you need to cut chuck 1/2 inch thin) (chuck is about $2/lb on sale)
  • Total: about $55


  • Chop onions into 2 inch pieces that will fit into a blender
  • Chop off the root tips of the green onion and put in blender
  • Peel the kiwi, or cut in half and squeeze the insides into a blender.
  • Add garlic to blender
  • Fill with enough of the soy sauce to fill blender 1/2 way, you may have to add above ingredients in multiple batches.
  • Blend everything.
  • Pour all ingredients (except meat) into a large bucket or stockpot.
  • Mix everything to make it homogenous.
  • Cut the meat thin (it should be no thicker than 1/2 inch at most) This may require time and labor.
  • Put the meat into large ziplock bags or large plastic tupperware. Avoid storing in metal containers as it may react with the meat.
  • Pour enough marinade to submerge meat. You may need to make more.
  • Squeeze out all air and seal ziplock if you store it that way
  • Store overnight in fridge.
  • Grill meat over flame or you can pan fry it on a stove.

Tom's Tips and Tricks_______________

Cook the meat to well-done. It seems counter-intuitive, but because of the nature of the meat and the way it was marinated, it reaches optimal tenderness when fully cooked, just don't overcook to the point of burning or drying out.
Beef chuck is the cheapest way to go. Just cut it thin, it may be difficult and time consuming. Be careful not to cut yourself. You can buy the actual kalbi short rib at Chinese markets, like ranch, for about $3/lb on sale.
[Possible side dish] Rice, salad, bread rolls


Anonymous said…
Awesome! I love Kalbi whenever we eat this at Gracepoint Fellowship Church.
Anonymous said…
Yum! That picture makes me hungry.....
danchiang said…
Why does it reach optimal tenderness when fully cooked?
tomkim said…
Good question....I'm going to talk about meat and tenderness in an upcoming post.
Anonymous said…
hey tom, when you gonna to cook some of this good stuff for all of us at gracepoint? now that will be good fellowship for the whole church! (much better than salivating over these pictures...)
tomkim said…
we got 1100 pounds coming next wednesday at our New Student Welcome Night!
I think we're also going to cook this for our 2nd anniversary for Gracepoint Fellowship Church (10/22/06)
Anonymous said…
WOW. NSWN was crazy last week! There were so many people! Are there any leftover Kalbi? I'd love to have some.
tomkim said…
Sorry, I don't think there is any leftovers. It was really good!.
Anonymous said…
When's the next time we'll get some kalbi?
tomkim said…
I don't know. Maybe the next big event like Gracepoint Fellowship Church's 2nd anniversary.... Not really sure but I look forward to it too!
tomkim said…
BTW, I explain why kalbi is tender here
Jenn Chen said…
Grilling all that meat for three hours in scorching heat changed my perspective on kalbi...especially after manning a grill with only two other brothers helping.
Anonymous said…
Good post. Thanks

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