A kiwi is the secret to this fool proof beef marinade

Marinades are a chefs quick trick. They can make anything taste like it took hours to make but in reality all it took was less than 20 minutes of hands on time while the rest of the work is left up to the ingredients. One very special dish, called beef galbi, uses a unique marinade to break down short ribs aka a tough cut of muscle into a tender piece of meat in just 12 hours. The special galbi marinade is loved around the world and it just so happens to be the easiest thing to make. It uses common pantry ingredients that you most likely already have on hand. Soy sauce, mirin, honey, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, scallions, and one very special ingredient… a kiwi. Yes, a kiwi. I know it sounds very unique to add a fruit to a dish but trust me. This kiwi is adding a lot more than flavor.

Kiwis have an enzyme called actinidin that acts as a meat tenderizer. So, when you mix a kiwi with a protein it goes to work taking those long protein strands and break them down into shorter ones thus making your meat nice and tender. However, since this tenderizer is an enzyme it doesn’t know when to stop doing its job. It will continue to tenderize the meat until its completely beat up which is something you don’t want to happen. For me, the sweet spot is a 12 hour marinade which is perfect for all the home cooks out there working a 9-5!

Beef Galbi is a perfect dish to make when you’re craving some delicious Korean food or your in the mood for some KBBQ at home. Its crazy simple to make and with all that leftover galbi marinate it’ll easy double as a sauce for some quick stir fried veggies. Serve everything up with a touch of kimchi on the side and you have a classic Korean favorite at home. Check out the full video here!

Short Rib Galbi


  • 1 pound of short ribs

  • 1 cup of gable marinade

  • 1-2 tablespoon of excess beef fat from the short ribs.


  1. Start by butterflying your short rib. Check out the video here to see how to do this!

  2. In a bowl mix together the short ribs and galbi marinade. Let it marinade in the fridge for 12 hours.

  3. 12 hours later, grab the short ribs out of the fridge and get a cast iron pan on medium high heat.

  4. Once it start to smoke just a little bit, add in the short rib fat and let the fat render out. Once all the fat is rendered out, remove the fat add in your short ribs.

  5. Depend on which cut of short ribs you decided to go with you will cook on each side until it get a nice char on both sides. This marinade does have sugar to be careful to watch it because it will char quickly. About 1- 2 minutes per side should be good.

  6. Once all the short ribs are seared and delicious. Serve with rice and some barchan!

Stir Fried Galbi Veggies


  • 1 tablespoon of beef fat

  • 1 zucchini, diced into 1 – 2 inch pieces

  • 1 pound of mushroom, roughly torn

  • 1/2 cup of galbi marinade


  1. Get a cast iron pan on medium heat and add in 1 tablespoon of beef fat.

  2. Next add in the chopped zucchini and give it a toss. Once they become nice and brown add in the mushroom. Sauce for another 1 minute.

  3. Pour in the galbi marinade and cook for about 3 minutes. Plate with some galbi short ribs, rice, and some kimchi. Enjoy!

Galbi Marinade


  • 3 fat garlic cloves

  • 2 knobs of ginger

  • 3 scallions whites

  • 1/2 a kiwi or pear

  • pinch of chilies

  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce

  • 1/4 cup of Mirin

  • 2 tablespoon of sesame oil

  • 2 tablespoons of honey

  • good pinch of salt

  • 3 scallion greens, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds


  1. In a food processor add in all the ingredients except for the chopped scallion greens and roasted sesame seeds. Blend until everything is broken down. About 30 – 45 seconds.

  2. Next, add in the sesame seeds and chopped scallion greens. Pour into a bowl and set in the fridge until ready for use.

Recipe Details
By Alex Chung

Senior Food Writer at Pro Home Cooks