Korean Short Ribs Air Fryer Recipe : A Comprehensive Guide

korean short ribs air fryer recipe

When it comes to delicious Korean cuisine, one dish that stands out is the mouthwatering Korean short ribs. These succulent ribs, also known as Galbi or Kalbi, are marinated to perfection and typically grilled. However, with the advent of the air fryer, you can now achieve that same juicy tenderness and incredible flavors with convenient and time-saving cooking techniques. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the food science, culinary details, selection, cleaning, preparation, tips, variations, doneness checks, and provide you with an irresistible Korean short ribs air fryer recipe. So, let’s dive in and discover the secrets to creating a memorable and flavorsome Korean feast right in your own kitchen!

Food Science behind Korean Short Ribs

Understanding the food science behind Korean short ribs is crucial for achieving the desired texture and flavor. The key ingredient in this dish is the beef short ribs, which are cut across the bone and have a significant amount of marbling. The marbling, or intramuscular fat, adds that highly sought-after tenderness and juiciness to the meat.

When cooked, the marbling begins to melt, infusing the meat with flavor and moisture. The air fryer, with its rapid hot air circulation, allows the fat to render while maintaining a crisp exterior. This cooking method ensures a beautifully caramelized surface while keeping the interior tender and juicy.

Culinary Details and Selection

  1. Choosing the Right Beef: Look for beef short ribs that have evenly distributed marbling. This marbling should appear as thin white streaks throughout the meat. Opt for ribs with well-trimmed fat to avoid excessive smoke and flare-ups during cooking.

  2. Beef Short Rib Cuts: Korean short ribs are usually cut across the bone into thin slices, also known as flanken-style. However, you can ask your butcher to cut them to your preferred thickness, typically between 1/4 and 1/2 inch.

Cleaning the Ribs

korean short ribs

Before marinating the beef short ribs, it’s crucial to clean them properly to ensure hygiene and enhance the flavors.

  1. Rinsing: Start by rinsing the ribs under cold water to remove any traces of bone fragments or blood.

  2. Pat drying: After rinsing, gently pat dry the ribs with a paper towel to remove excess moisture, ensuring the marinade adheres to the meat.

Marinating and Preparation

korean short ribs

The marinating process is where the magic happens, infusing the short ribs with a symphony of flavors emblematic of Korean cuisine. Here’s how you can prepare the perfect marinade and marinate your Korean short ribs:

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Marinade Ingredients:

close up view of air fried korean short ribs

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (rice wine)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


close up view of air fried korean short ribs

  1. Combine the Ingredients: In a bowl, whisk together all the marinade ingredients until the sugar dissolves and the flavors are well incorporated.

  2. Marinating the Ribs: Place the beef short ribs in a resealable plastic bag or a marinating dish. Pour the marinade over the ribs, ensuring they are evenly coated. Massage the marinade into the meat, making sure it reaches every nook and cranny. Seal the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or ideally overnight, to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.

Tips for Cooking Korean Short Ribs in the Air Fryer

Now that your short ribs are well-marinated, it’s time to fire up your air fryer and cook your way to culinary bliss. Here are some essential tips to help you achieve the best results:

  1. Preheating the Air Fryer: Preheat your air fryer to ensure even cooking and optimal results. This step usually takes about 3-5 minutes, depending on your specific air fryer model.

  2. Spacing the Ribs: It’s essential to avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket as it can hinder proper air circulation and lead to uneven cooking. Cook the ribs in batches if necessary or use a larger air fryer that can accommodate all the ribs without overlapping.

  3. Basting: To enhance the flavors and prevent the ribs from drying out during cooking, baste them with the marinade after every 5-7 minutes of cooking time. This process will ensure juicy and succulent ribs with a beautiful caramelized glaze.

  4. Checking Doneness: Since every air fryer model varies in terms of temperature and cooking time, it’s crucial to use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. The internal temperature should read around 145°F (63°C) for medium-rare or 160°F (71°C) for medium. Adjust the cooking time accordingly to achieve your desired level of doneness.

  5. Resting Period: Allow the cooked short ribs to rest for a few minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute within the meat, resulting in tender and flavorful bites.

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Recipe: Air Fryer Korean Short Ribs

Servings: 4-6


  • 2 pounds beef short ribs, cut across the bone
  • Marinade (as mentioned above)


  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200°C) for about 3-5 minutes.

  2. Drain the marinade from the ribs and discard any excess liquid.

  3. Place the ribs in a single layer in the air fryer basket, ensuring they are not overcrowded.

  4. Cook the ribs for 10-12 minutes, flipping once halfway through.

  5. After 5-7 minutes of cooking, use a brush to baste the ribs with the remaining marinade.

  6. Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. For medium-rare, it should read 145°F (63°C), while medium is 160°F (71°C). Adjust the cooking time accordingly if needed.

  7. Once done, transfer the ribs to a plate and let them rest for a few minutes.

  8. Serve the air fryer Korean short ribs hot, garnished with toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions. They pair perfectly with steamed rice and some Korean side dishes such as kimchi or pickled vegetables.


  1. Spice it Up: If you prefer a spicy kick, add a tablespoon of Korean chili paste (Gochujang) or a teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the marinade. Adjust the quantity based on your preference for heat.

  2. Citrus Twist: For a tangy and refreshing twist, add the juice and zest of one orange or one lemon to the marinade. The citrus notes will complement the rich umami flavors of the beef.

  3. Honey Glazed Ribs: To add a touch of sweetness and a gorgeous glaze, brush the ribs with honey during the last few minutes of cooking. The honey will caramelize, creating a sticky and finger-licking coating.


Congratulations! You have now unlocked the secrets to mastering Korean short ribs in the air fryer. From understanding the food science and culinary details to selecting the perfect ribs, cleaning, marinating, and cooking techniques, you have gained invaluable knowledge to create a delectable Korean feast. Experiment with variations, apply the tips wisely, and delight your friends and family with these mouthwatering Korean short ribs that are sure to be a crowd-pleaser. So, fire up your air fryer, embrace the incredible aromas, and enjoy the culinary journey that Korean cuisine has to offer!

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  • FAQS On Korean Short Ribs Air Fryer Recipe

    What Is A Korean Short Ribs Air Fryer Recipe?

    A Korean short ribs air fryer recipe is a dish that combines marinated beef short ribs with the use of an air fryer, resulting in a crispy and flavorful meat dish.

    What Are The Key Ingredients In A Korean Short Ribs Air Fryer Recipe?

    The key ingredients in a Korean short ribs air fryer recipe often include beef short ribs, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, and sesame oil.

    Can I Use Any Type Of Beef For This Recipe?

    While traditional Korean short ribs (galbi) are made with beef short ribs, you can use other cuts of beef such as flank steak or beef chuck for this recipe.

    Do I Need To Marinate The Beef Before Using An Air Fryer?

    Yes, marinating the beef is essential for achieving a flavorful and tender result. It is recommended to marinate the beef for at least 2 hours or overnight before cooking.

    How Long Does It Take To Cook Korean Short Ribs In An Air Fryer?

    Cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of the meat and the temperature of your air fryer. On average, it can take about 12-15 minutes at 400°F to cook the ribs.

    Can I Adjust The Seasonings In The Marinade To My Preference?

    Yes, you can adjust the amount of soy sauce, sugar, and other seasonings to suit your taste. However, it is recommended to follow the basic proportions of the ingredients for an authentic Korean flavor.

    Can I Prepare This Recipe In Advance?

    Yes, you can marinate the beef in advance and keep it in the refrigerator until ready to cook. You can also pre-cut the vegetables and have them ready to add to the air fryer for a quicker meal prep.