I've tried several marinade recipes and the one I use is an adaptation of them. It's lower in sugar than most and includes vinegar which adds flavour and acts as a meat tenderizer.
Korean-Style Grilled Short Ribs
preparation time: 5 - 15 minutes
marinating time: 12-24 hours
cooking time: 6-8 minutes
1.8kg beef short ribs, sliced crosswise to 6-8mm thickness, trimmed of fat*
freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp mirin
6 cloves garlic, minced
1. Season the ribs with black pepper. Place them in a resealable heavy-duty plastic bag (a freezer bag works well).
2. Combine the marinade ingredients and pour over the ribs. Seal the bag and massage the ribs with the marinade through the bag turning over several times to ensure that all of the meat is coated. Refrigerate the sealed bag for 12 - 24 hours, turning occasionally.
3. Remove the meat from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature. Pre-heat the barbecue on medium-high, or the oven on the broil setting. Remove the ribs from the marinade, shaking off the excess and discard the marinade. Grill or broil (top rack of the oven) the ribs 3-4 minutes per side until browned and cooked to medium-rare or desired degree of doneness.
* Short ribs are a fatty cut of meat; ideally you want them to be marbled, with the fat evenly distributed but sometimes there are areas of fat in the meaty section that can be easily trimmed off.