Korean Short Rib Soup (kalbi tang) #SundaySupper

This Sunday Supper Event is all about sharing your favorite comfort food. Isabel of Family Foodie is our host and has brought a special guest, Lee Woodruff, to this week’s #SundaySupper. Who is Lee Woodruff? She is a contributer for CBS This Morning, a New York Times best selling author, mother of four, wife, and a fan of #SundaySupper! She will be joining us on our live chat tonight at 7 p.m. EDT pm on Twitter. You can ask her anything…get to know her…connect with her…I hear she’s nice. Don’t forget our hashtag #SundaySupper. 


Comfort food. Uncomplicated. Familiar. Personal. Soothing.

I actually had a hard time pin pointing my favorite comfort food. I have so many. Obviously, I grew up with my mom’s cooking which I love, but there are a lot of non-Korean dishes that are on my list when I need a little TLC and certainly a lot of dishes that MY grandma never made!

I have many favorite comfort dishes depending on the occasion. It could be a bowl of my mom’s yuk gae jang, a Thanksgiving leftover sandwich, spaghetti and meatballs, or chicken souvlaki. These days, it’s a plate of awesome cheese, good salami, and castelvetrano olives.

The other weekend my sister and her family came over to go apple-picking in beautiful west New Jersey. I made a pot of kalbi tang (literally short rib soup) the night before so that dinner wouldn’t take too long to get on the table once we got home. It is a simple soup, but flavorful and soothing. Kkakdugi (cubed radish kimchi) is the perfect complement to the soup with its tangy, spicy, and bold flavors. And of course a side of rice is always needed. This meal is perfect on a chilly day and more perfect with family.

Kalbi Tang (short rib soup)

Serves 4 generous bowlfuls

2 pounds bone-in short ribs (cut into 2-inch sections)
2 pounds boneless short ribs (cut into 2-inch sections)
6 cloves of garlic
16 cups (4 quarts) water
1/2 pound daikon
green onions for garnish

salt and pepper for seasoning

cooked white rice (to serve)
kimchi (pickled cabbage) or kkakdugi (to serve)

1 – In a large pot, soak the beef in cold water for about 20 minutes until the water is a dark pink. This helps helps draw out the impurities before cooking. Drain. Trim the ribs of any excess fat.

2 – Add garlic cloves and water to a large pot and bring to a boil.

3 – Lower the heat to medium low and simmer for about 3 hours. Periodically skim the the foam that has risen to the surface. At the end of 3 hours, the beef should be tender and the broth will be a little milky.

4 – Remove the beef and bones and set aside. With a large spoon, skim the broth of as much fat as you can. With a slotted spoon, scoop out the garlic cloves. If you’re making this a day ahead, cover and refrigerate the beef until ready to serve.

Note: An easier way to remove the fat and if you have enough time (like, if you’ve made this a day ahead of actually serving it), cool the broth and place the pot in refrigerator. Within a half an hour, the fat will have coagulated and will be much easier to remove with a large slotted spoon. And if you really want to make the broth super clean, you can pour the broth through a sieve into a another large clean pot.

5 – Cut the the daikon in 2-inch cross sections, cut each section in half lengthwise, and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices so you end up with rectangles.

6 – Over high heat, bring the broth to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and add the beef and daikon. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the daikon is tender and translucent.

7 – Place 2 or 3 ribs in each large soup bowl. Ladle the hot broth into the bowl. Garnish with green onions. Serve with rice and kimchi. Season the soup with salt and pepper as needed.

This Week’s Sunday Supper Recipes:

#SundaySupper Comfort Food |Soups

#SundaySupper Comfort Food  | Main Dish

#SundaySupper Comfort Food | Desserts

Pairing Wine with Sunday Supper Comfort Food Favorites! by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog 

Like I mentioned before, all you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.

We’d also love to feature your comfort food recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers.

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  • http://twitter.com/HipFoodieMom1 Alice Choi

    Amy, I love how you describe comfort food. “Uncomplicated. Familiar. Personal. Soothing” Totally! I love this.

    And dude, your kalbi tang looks perfect and oh soooo good! I love that when I think of (and eat) Korean food, I am always reminded of family, love and something familiar. . I love that you shared this today for Sunday Supper! :)

    • kimchi_mom

      Thanks Alice! It’s amazing how one bite of food can transport us to a different time.

  • http://twitter.com/CatholicKitchen My Catholic Kitchen

    This looks so good, I am bookmarking it for later. Does it matter what brand Kimchi I use.

    • kimchi_mom

      It doesn’t which brand, just as long as it’s good! I’ve been making my own, but I just tried “Mother In Laws” kimchi (the vegetarian version) for the first time. So expensive, but I was curious. It tasted really good, but a little too sour – I think they may have left it on the shelf a little too long. I bought it at Whole Foods so it may be available at your local WFM.

      Your better options at the Korean market. Not sure where you’re located, but there may be a few near you!

  • Tammi @ Momma’s Meals

    This sure sounds like It could be soothing for me! I like how you can make it the day before but complete it the next day. Thanks for sharing!

    • kimchi_mom

      AND it freezes well! Thanks for stopping by!

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  • http://twitter.com/reneedobbs Renee Dobbs

    I’ve had shortribs lots of ways but not yet in a soup. I want to try this and can only imagine how tasty the beef broth is after simmering for hours.

    • kimchi_mom

      It’s true, I haven’t seen many other recipes including short ribs in a soup. I hope you give it a try!

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  • http://twitter.com/bakerstreet29 Baker Street

    Never had shortribs in soup but it sounds like a fabulous idea! This is a recipe that I must try out soon! :)

    • kimchi_mom

      I hope you do!

  • http://twitter.com/familyfoodie Isabel Foodie

    This looks amazing. What a wonderful recipe. Thank you for sharing during #SundaySupper! Your photography is beautiful.

    • kimchi_mom

      Thanks Isabel!

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  • A_Kiasi

    I, too, have never heard of shortrib soup, but I’ll bet it’s a hit.

  • Jen @JuanitasCocina

    Your photos are gorgeous. And I will have a HUGE bowl. YUM!

    • kimchi_mom

      Thanks Jen!

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  • http://twitter.com/SheLikesRuffles Katie C

    This recipe looks so unique! I definitely would love to try it out: sounds delish!

    • kimchi_mom

      Thanks Katie!

  • http://www.AnAppealingPlan.com/ Krayl @ An Appealing Plan

    I had a hard time picking my favorite comfort food too. So many great options. Your’s will be added to my list for sure!

    • kimchi_mom

      I know, right? You crave certain dishes and certain times, but it always satisfies. :-) Thanks for stopping by!

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  • http://flouronmyface.com/ Flour On My Face

    This looks like an interesting soup.

  • Ann Mah

    Slowly braised cuts of meat like this are my favorite types of meals. Thanks for sharing this simple and homey recipe!

    • kimchi_mom

      Thanks for stopping by Ann!

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  • Tara

    Look at those meaty short ribs, yummy!!!

  • Jean Pope

    This reminds me of filipino sinigang which is also often prepared with ribs. It’s not quite 8 am but I would love this right now–with a side of rice, of course!

    • kimchi_mom

      I have no problems eating this for breakfast! It’s so mild and soothing…sometimes it’s the perfect thing on a chilly morning!

  • http://damndelicious.tumblr.com/ Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    This was one of my favorite Korean dishes growing up! And my mom wouldn’t make it that often so it would be such a treat when she did! Can’t wait to try this out myself – its going to be amazing! :)

    • kimchi_mom

      Yeah, we didn’t have it that often growing up, but that rich beef broth is pretty memorable. We actually had kori gom tang a lot…same beefy broth.

  • Paula @ Vintage Kitchen

    I never saw a soup with ribs, but slow cooking meat is so wonderful and your pic make it look delish!

    • kimchi_mom

      Thanks Paula!

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  • http://www.lacocinadeleslie.com/ Leslie Limon

    That looks like a whole lot of delciousness! I’ve never tried Kalbi Tang before, but now I just HAVE to have some.

    • kimchi_mom

      I promise you’ll love it! :-)

  • http://www.webicurean.com/ Webicurean

    Never had this before, but it sounds so good!

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  • Beate weiss-krull

    This looks fantastic! I will need to put it on our fall/winter menu :)

    • kimchi_mom


  • Jennie @themessybakerblog

    This soup sounds amazing. “Uncomplicated” is a wonderful description of comfort food.

    • kimchi_mom

      Thanks. Who has time to fuss when you just want good food? :-)

  • http://twitter.com/cookieaday Stephanie Zielinski

    Thanks for a great new soup recipe to try!

    • kimchi_mom

      You’re welcome…hope you enjoy!

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  • http://twitter.com/HezziD Hezzi-Ds Books&Cooks

    Wow this looks great (and easy!)

    • kimchi_mom


  • diabeticFoodie

    I’ve never had this soup. Must try!

    • kimchi_mom

      Yes you must! :-)

  • http://twitter.com/IRun4Wine Megan Wood

    YUM! I love short ribs but have never had them in a soup. I must try this!

    • kimchi_mom

      Yeah, I guess it’s more common to see short ribs in stews and braises. But I do hope you give it a try!

  • Kim Bee

    I wish I was at your place for dinner tonight. This is outstanding. The photos just make me want to try to reach into the screen.

    • kimchi_mom


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  • http://twitter.com/Dinnersdishes Dinnersdishesdessert

    What a great soup. Love traditional family recipes some days. Gorgeous photos!

    • kimchi_mom

      Thank you!

  • Amber @ Mamas Blissful Bites

    I love your photos!!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! I’m not too far from NJ, I would drive for a dinner at your house!

    • kimchi_mom

      Aw, thanks Amber! You’re always welcome here! :-)

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  • http://twitter.com/JBuggica Jennifer Buggica

    This dish sounds great! Traditional recipes are always the best, in my opinion!

  • The Wimpy Vegetarian

    I love seeing the variety of comfort foods this week! This looks wonderful!!

    • kimchi_mom

      Thanks! And I agree with you…it’s a great line up this week!

  • http://twitter.com/wallet_appetite Laura Hunter

    I too have way too many comfort food dishes that I love so it makes choosing one for a theme like this difficult. But I have to say I love your choice, this look so simple to make and so yummy.

    • kimchi_mom


  • Crazy Kwistin

    Beautiful photos and meal!

    • kimchi_mom

      Thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/martindredmond Martin Redmond

    Love me some beef short ribs! This soup looks finger-licking good!

    • kimchi_mom

      You are so right! It’s the best way to eat those ribs…if they don’t fall off the bone first! :-)

  • Carla

    Interesting that you used both bone and boneless ribs! This soup sounds simple with the ingredient, but I bet the flavors were complex and amazing (and I’ll be right over)!

    • kimchi_mom

      Yes, thank you for noticing! :-) I added the boneless just to satisfy my love for beef! Personally, I always feel like the restaurants skimp a little on the beef servings, so I just go all in at home! :-)

  • Lucy Hill

    Beef bones are really great for soup…just love the broth of it! :)

    • kimchi_mom

      Yes, it’s very soothing and super flavorful!

  • http://MrsMamaHen.com/ Conni

    MMMM! This looks so simple, and I find often that simple = very good!

    • kimchi_mom

      Thanks and I totally agree! Simple is always good!

  • http://www.girlichef.com Heather @girlichef.com

    So beautiful. I love the simplicity of so many comfort foods. And I have a little variety of them, as well :)

    • kimchi_mom

      Thanks Heather!

  • http://profiles.google.com/lizzy.do Lizzy Do

    Short ribs make the BEST soup! Beautiful photos a wonderful bowl of comfort!

    • kimchi_mom

      Thanks Lizzy!

  • http://twitter.com/bigbearswife Angie Barrett

    I’ve never heard of short rib soup! I’m totally missing out on this!! yum!

    • kimchi_mom

      You should definitely give it a try!

  • http://www.facebook.com/cindy.kerschner Cindy Kerschner

    A great new soup to add to my list of keepers!

    • kimchi_mom


  • Patti

    I just recently made some short ribs. I’ll bet that broth is full of flavor! Great recipe!

    • kimchi_mom

      Thanks Patti!

  • MamaMommyMom

    I’m not a big fan of short ribs (Isn’t that sad?) but I can totally relate to the cheese and olives thing. Maybe it’s just that my palate has matured? I dunno, but I can find comfort in a plate of cheese and olives (with a glass of wine) any day!

    • kimchi_mom

      Good cheese and olives always make happy! Cheers!

  • http://twitter.com/SECooking Sandra

    I love this kind of soup. I made kkori gomtang several times and I love it and didn’t care if it takes hours to cook, it warms up your soul. Actually didn’t wanna even use pressure cooker :) I have to try it with short ribs now that the cooler weather arrived. Thank you for sharing, will try try it soon!

    • kimchi_mom

      Awesome! Actually I remember my mom making kkori gomtang more often than kalbi tang. It was probably the novelty of eating oxtail back then that is seared into my memories!

  • http://twitter.com/marocmama marocmama

    Mmmmm great recipe!! I’ve never been sure how to use daikon but this looks like a great recipe to start with!

    • kimchi_mom

      Daikon are great in soups and braises. The cooking takes away the bitter flavors and the radish takes on a meaty quality.

  • Sarah

    You know the Korean word for “cool” which we use to refer to something that is refreshing but we use it to describe a good hot heart warming dish like your kalbi tang. That’s all I can think of right now. Sheewonhae! I love kalbi tang and you have totally made want a big bowl of it with ggakdugi! I love your Korean cooking.

    • kimchi_mom

      Thanks! That means a lot coming from you! :-)

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