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Jan 14, 2012 09:47 AM

How can I learn how to cut beef short ribs traditional Korean style (wang galbi, king style, not LA style)?


I'm getting into Korean BBQ and I want to learn how to cut beef short ribs traditional Korean style. My butcher can cut it L.A. style, across the bone, bue I want it traditional/king style (aka, wang galbi), with the meat filleted out from the bone into a very thin strip. See for details. I doubt my butcher would do this, because he probably wouldn't know how, and even if he did, I doubt he'd be willing to spend the time doing it. Besides, the local butchers are not consistent in terms of how thinly they slice the meat, and I want it extremely thin. I know I could probably buy wang galbi at a Korean market, but I want to use grass-fed beef, and grass-fed beef is not available at my local Korean market (in Oakland, California). Any suggestions as to how I can learn how to cut this meat myself? I looked on Youtube, Amazon, and Google, but I couldn't find anything. Thanks in advance for your help!

Bonus question: Does the meat cook/taste better king-style, in your opinion, compared to L.A. style?

  1. Put the short rib on its side, take a very sharp knife, cut starting at the outer edge, make a slice as thin as you want, cutting parallel to the bone/outer edge of the meat. Stop cutting just before you reach the underside of the meat. Bend the slice out a little so you have a clear idea of where the cut ends. Turn the bone over and repeat cut over and over just inside of the previous cut until the meat is cut in a zig-zag pattern almost to the bone. Gently flatten the resulting ribbon.

    Actually, I don't think it tastes different, except if one is in the know and appreciates the extra effort involved.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Joebob

      Very clear description. I'll give it a try. I have a feeling I'm going to be able to get it thinner this way than my butcher can using his meat saw to slice LA style. Thanks for your help!

      FYI: Here's a photo of what I'm aiming for:

      1. re: damian

        I would suggest you start closer to the bone and slice across...then rolling out to cut the ribbon. The technique is similar to how a Sushi Chef would roll out paper thin cuts of a cucumber or daikon radish before he juliennes them.

        As for knife skills, the criss cross pattern may be more easily achieved by a gentle tapping, rather than swift fine slicing, to prevent from slicing through the meat.

        1. re: fourunder

          Good suggestions, fourunder. I imagine I can get a cleaner cut if I do it ribbon-style, as you suggest.

          My question now is: Is there any advantage to using king-style ribs instead of pounded LA-style ribs? The latter is obviously like a lot less work, but I'm willing to do the extra work if I can get a better result. My primary goal is to get the meat as uniformly thin as possible. King-style seems easier to eat, because the bone isn't distributed throughout the meat, but that factor's not particularly important to me.


          1. re: damian

            The easiest way to slice,either uniformly thin, or slightly thicker and pounded.... is to purchase full slabs of three or four bones, and simple remove the meat from the bones. You could do this simply with a sharp knife...and the thin slices should be easy enough, but if you partially freeze the meat, you could make more exacting slices.

            I'm not familiar with the King Style or LA Style as you mention. Is the KS with three bone slices and LA Style the longer strip with single bone?

            I mentioned above, you could swipe the meat off the 3-4 bone slabs...but you could also purchase boneless as well. Just go to any Restaurant meat wholesaler open to the public.....they are often called Cash n' Carry Wholesalers. They say you are four persons removed from The president of the US......finding a person you know in the food business may be easier than you think. You could probably ask for boneless short ribs at you local supermarket as well. Get to know the butcher and purchase when on sale. Some may carry grass-fed beef.

            Restaurant Wholesale in my area of NJ sell Short Ribs for about $2.60/lb. Boneless goes for about $4/lb

            While pounding will make it more tender slightly...the criss cross pattern is done to prevent curling and easier chew.....My suggestion is to use puree Kiwi in your marinade, as it contains an enzyme that naturally breaks down the meat could also use pineapple or Asian Pears

    2. We're going to close this thread, as there is another one at