Korean BBQ Short Ribs on Coke

Coca Cola makes these short ribs tender and delicious.

Korean BBQ Short Ribs on Coke
Korean BBQ Short Ribs on Coke

This is the classic Korean BBQ recipe with a twist. I was taught that the secret to tender grilled short ribs is using apple pear and Coca-Cola©. Both help break down the beef. That classic thin 3-bone piece of short rib is called flanken cut. If you can't find it at an Asian market, tell any butcher you want ½-inch (1.3-cm) thick flanken cut short ribs. KBBQ pros like myself love a slightly chewy texture, but it’s not for all. If that makes you cringe a little, use any steak cut of beef, like flank, NY strip or even rib-eye. This recipe is perfect by itself or served with rice or rice-and-grain blends. Add some Gochujang or chili sauce and the recipe gets spicy.


Preparation Time1 hr

Cooking Time15 min


  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) soy sauce, I prefer regular but low sodium is fine
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) Coca-Cola© soda
  • 3 tablespoons (40 g) brown sugar, packed
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 apple pear, grated
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) toasted sesame oil
  • 2 pounds (907 g) flanken-cut short ribs
  • 2 green onions, very finely sliced on an angle
  • 1 tablespoon (12 g) toasted sesame seeds


  1. Combine the soy sauce, Coke, brown sugar, garlic, apple pear and sesame oil in a large bowl. Using a whisk or fork, stir all the ingredients until the sugar is dissolved and garlic is distributed evenly. Add the short ribs and massage the marinade into the beef. Cover and allow the short ribs to marinate for 1 to 4 hours.

  2. Heat a grill or pan to high for at least 5 minutes. If using a charcoal or gas grill, wipe the grill grates down with a lightly oiled towel right before cooking to clean any char and debris. This will give you a great grill mark and help keep the beef from sticking.

  3. Pat any marinade off the short ribs and grill for about 4 minutes on each side or until desired doneness.

  4. Remove from the grill and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.


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