The tteokgalbi is a compound word and its direct translation means ‘rib rice cake’ which is more of a luxurious beef patty than a regular, commoner food. Rib cuts are pretty expensive and tteok dishes are often served during important Korean holidays. But then again, when you look at the history of tteokgalbi as a royal dish, it wouldn’t be so surprising that a fancy dish would find its way in the modern kitchens.
While its name suggests tteok, tteokgalbi doesn’t actually contain any rice cake. The name was derived from its appearance which closely resembles the siru-tteok.
The method of cooking this might seem a little complicated but it’s worth it. The meat is taken off from the ribs, finely chopped and then marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, honey, mirim (an East Asian rice wine, but sweeter), Korean pear, onion, green onion, garlic, ginger and sesame oil. The marinated, finely chopped meat is then wrapped around the flour-coated rib for it to stick, and then finally, char-grilled. You can do away with the rib if you want it boneless.
*photo source: https://blog.naver.com/cavallonero/161694565