Dwaeji Galbi 돼지갈비- Ham Ji Park Copycat Pork Ribs

Ham Ji Park is a Korean restaurant in Los Angeles, and they are famous for their dwaeji galbi (spicy pork ribs). I ordered them a few weeks ago for “research” purposes, and I’m pretty sure I have cracked the recipe! 

Dwaeji galbi is a popular Korean bbq dish, marinated in a sweet & spicy sauce, then grilled or slow cooked. This dish is actually VERY easy to make and is definitely a crowd pleaser.

I tested this recipe 3 times and even brought some of Ham Ji Park’s ribs home to do a side-by-side taste test. My husband’s friends came over for dinner for the final taste test- they demolished every last bite and confirmed they were as good as Ham Ji Park!

Prior to tackling this recipe, I did some research on how the ribs are made. Here is what I found:

You do not need to marinate over night- all you need to do is thoroughly massage the marinade into the ribs, and they are ready to grill right away. I know that sounds wrong but trust me on this one!

The type of ribs matters– it has to be pork spare ribs and not baby back. The reason for this is because baby back ribs are meatier and won’t absorb as much of the marinade. Spare ribs are flatter and have more surface area for the marinade, ensuring that every bite is flavorful. 

Grill fast & on high heat– Ham Ji Park grills their ribs on high heat, and they have to be grilled quickly so that they don’t dry out. My recipe takes about 30 minutes of grilling time and they are still juicy, but I believe Ham Ji Park cuts their ribs thinner to cook even faster. 

This is totally optional, but if you want the full Ham Ji Park experience, serve the ribs on a sizzling cast iron plate. A few minutes before the ribs are ready, I set it on the grill with some onions and oil. Place the ribs on top and serve immediately. It will impress your friends and family if you serve it sizzling on a hot plate! Below is the one I have. 

Watch how to make it

Dwaeji Galbi 돼지갈비- Ham Ji Park Copycat Pork Ribs

Korean sweet & spicy pork spare ribs- Ham Ji Park style.

Ingredients
  

  • 3 lb pork spare ribs
  • 1 green onion chopped
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 onion sliced

Marinade

  • 1/4 Asian pear
  • 2 tbsp onion
  • 2 tbsp garlic
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup oligodang (cooking syrup) or sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp dwenjang fermented soybean paste
  • 2/3 cup gochujang
  • 1 tbsp gochugaru
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp msg optional

Instructions
 

  • Remove the membrane from the ribs, then cut them into single pieces and soak in cold water for 1 hour.
  • Blend all the marinade ingredients together until smooth. Ham Ji Park's ribs are VERY sweet. I didn't make mine quite as sweet, so add more oligodang or sugar if you want.
  • Drain the water from the ribs and pat them dry with paper towels. Set some of the marinade aside for basting later, then massage the rest into the ribs.
  • Lightly oil your grill and make sure the heat is high enough to get a nice char on the ribs
  • When it starts to char, flip them over and baste with the reserved marinade. Continue basting and flipping occasionally for about 25 minutes
  • Optional: slice some onions and cook them in a skillet (on the grill) with a little oil. The ribs should be done once the onions start to soften. Put the ribs on the skillet and remove from heat.
  • Top with green onions and sesame seeds.
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