Galbitang is a type of guk (Korean soup) in which galbi (beef short ribs) is stewed in water for many hours with ingredients such as daikon and onions. Galbi means “short ribs” while tang is another name for guk, which means “soup.” Therefore, galbitang literally means “short ribs soup.”
Galbi has been eaten in Korea since the Goryeo Dynasty (918–1392). It is believed that galbitang was first served at royal banquets that occurred during the late Joseon Dynasty around 1890. Today, galbitang is a popular dish at wedding receptions.
The basic ingredient of the dish is short ribs that are slit with a knife and cut into pieces about two inches long. The pieces of meat are then added to a pot of water along with a whole daikon. The pot of water is then brought to a boil and then the heat is reduced to a simmer.
After five hours of simmering, the meat, which is extremely tender and the daikon are removed from the pot. After being removed from the pot, the meat is usually seasoned with scallions and garlic, sesame oil, salt, and pepper powder. The daikon is then sliced into smaller pieces.
The broth that remains in the pot is then chilled down. When cool, a layer of fat will appear on top which can then be easily removed and discarded.
The final step is to add the seasoned meat and sliced daikon back to the broth where it will simmer for a few more hours.
Galibtang is similar to seolleongtang, which uses ox bones instead of short ribs.