Cross cut short ribs have grown in popularity in recent years, with good reason. They’re super flavorful, plus fun to chew on. They’re basically  beef short ribs cut differently. You cut horizontally across the rib plate so that you get long, thin pieces of meat studded with many ribs. They’re frequently called Korean short ribs (kalbi) or flanken. Despite how easy they are to cook, not everyone knows how. Here’s one way.

Keep in mind that in general, we’re not big on marinating. We don’t want to lose the true flavor of the meat. Flanken happens to take well to marinating. You can leave the ribs in a marinade for up to 12 hours without losing flanken’s big, beefy taste. Also this marinade is beyond good. You may find yourself using it on other cuts, too, not just cross cut short ribs.

Marinade

Serves 4

4 to 6 garlic cloves, minced

1 (1-inch-long) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup mirin

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup canola oil

2 tbsp. pure maple surup

2 tbsp. toasted Asian sesame oil

1 tbsp. Asian chili sauce, such as Thai Sriracha or Korean gochujang

3 pounds flanken aka cross cut short ribs, cut 1 inch thick, 2 to 3 ribs across

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 head butter lettuce (optional)

1/4 cup coarsely chopped scallions (white and green parts)

Method

  • Put the garlic to taste, ginger, soy sauce, mirin, vinegar, canola oil, maple syrup, sesame oil, and chili sauce in a bowl and mix well. Pour the marinade into a thick, sealable bag, place the flanken in the bag, and marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature or up to 12 hours in the refrigerator.
  • Heat a grill to high. Oil the grill grates. Remove the meat from the marinade and put it on the grill; reserve the marinade. Grill the meat until done, about 3 minutes on each side. Be careful not to burn the ribs; the high sugar content of the marinade makes them char easily. Transfer the ribs to a platter and set aside.
  • Pour the reserved marinade into a saucepan set over high heat. Bring it to a boil and cook until it becomes thick and syrupy.
  • To serve, drizzle the flanken with the reduced marinade and sprinkle with the cilantro, sesame seeds, and salt.
  • To eat, pull the meat off the bones, wrap it in lettuce leaves if using, and sprinkle with scallions.

You read that right: it takes less than 10 minutes to grill. This is finger food at its finest. You might want extra napkins.