Kalbi, or delectable Korean shortribs, marinated in a sweet-soy marinade and grilled to perfection, are a favorite in my house. I first had kalbi when I lived in Japan and then in NYC with my Japanese co-workers. When we moved out of the City, we occasionally had to brave Route 100 to go eat authentic Korean food in Yonkers.
Shortribs are often prepared in stews or braises, because they are known as a tough and stringy meat. However, Koreans slice it thin and grill it. And its marbled and textured meat is highly flavorful, just like skirt steak. The key is the technique of cutting the short ribs, which I show below. Alternatively, if you have a Korean market nearby, you can buy the kalbi pre-cut.
If you can't get shortribs or find they're not of the right quality, buy pork spare ribs and cut them horizontally (not vertically), so that are three or four bones in each strip.
For four servings, get 3-4 lbs. thick shortribs, as pictured here. Ask your butcher if you're not finding what you want in the case.
Trim any excess fat from the short ribs.
I've started the first cut here, just for the picture.
Here is the meat fully cut through. Now, pound it a little so it is flatter and more even. As you cut the rest of the shortribs, use your judgement whether you need to cut it once, twice, or thrice, depending on the thickness of the shortrib.