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Maui-Style Ribs

Maui-Style Ribs

For those of you who limit the amount of beef you eat, if you’re like me it has to be really worth it when you do. Believe me, these ribs are. And they’re easy to make.

We used to serve them at our restaurant and they were incredibly popular. The recipe was inspired by Azeka’s market on the island of Maui. They are sometimes called “Korean” or “Kalbi” style ribs.

While there are many versions of the recipe, they all use the same components that give the ribs their distinct flavor – soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, garlic and ginger. Unlike the ingredients, the method is always the same with a long marinating and short cooking time.

The ribs are different from your typical ones that include the entire rib bone. Instead, these are cut across the bone into thin slices so they are predominantly meat with three small cross cut bone pieces. Because they are thin, the marinade penetrates the meat faster and they cook more quickly on the grill. Make sure you cook them over medium and not high heat because they have a tendency to burn from the sugar in the marinade.

Serve them in their full size or cut them into small pieces in between the bones to make them easier to pick up and eat with your fingers.


1-1/4 cups soy sauce or reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/2 to 2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup chopped green onions
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1-1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
1-1/2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1-1/2 tablespoons chopped gingerroot
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
12-14 thinly cut beef short ribs (about 3 pounds) also called Korean or Kalbi ribs

Whisk together all ingredients, except ribs, and put them in a nonreactive dish for marinating or in a re-sealable plastic bag. Add ribs, turning to coat evenly; refrigerate 12 to 24 hours, turning two to three times during marinating.

Preheat grill to medium heat.

Remove ribs from marinade and discard marinade. Grill ribs, turning once until cooked to desired doneness, about 4-5 minutes per side.

Makes 4 to 5 servings


Linda Augustine Linda Burner Augustine is a freelance recipe developer, food writer and cooking teacher who lives in Seattle with her husband and two children. She is passionate about inspiring people to cook dinner and eat together and her blog AYearAtTheTable.com features main dish dinner recipes.