The Real Korean BBQ experience, Galbi (Kalbi)

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Food Reviews

– By Brad Lewis, CKC guest blogger
* See galbi recipe here.

Food Reviews

– By Brad Lewis, CKC guest blogger
* See galbi recipe here.

Not only do Koreans love their seafood, but they know what to do with beef too. And they do it with typical Korean tasty originality! On one of my final nights in Korea, I was taken to a restaurant high on a bluff above the country’s scenic southern shores. It’s a spot long known for great Korean Galbi beef steak. Like with many North American steaks, Koreans like a good marinade. And theirs is original. Unlike the West, Koreans cut their meat into fairly thin strips, and cook it right in front you. How rare or well done is your taste? Have it your way! You pick it right off the grill. Some of you may think you know “Korean BBQ.” Well, this was the real deal.

Cooking with charcoal (“Soot” in Korean)

First, the meat. The plates of uncooked marinated slices and small cuts kept coming throughout the feast. The waitress handled the grill expertly, the grill that was of one piece with our table, round and set within the center. You could watch her work the pieces on the grill, or just do it yourself. Just don’t let the meat get overcooked, if you don’t like it that way! Fact is it’s easy to get distracted. There’s lots of other tasty morsels placed around, many compliments to pair with the steak, and a variety of ways to enjoy it all.

Thin and long slices of meet are wrapped around ribs

A server cuts the meat into bite sizes while cooking

Second, everything else. So you got some tender, steaming hot off the grill steak. Now what?? First let’s set the scene for fully. You have white Korean rice of course, and different forms, flavors and cousins of kimchi – ie pickled radish. You also have warm garlic cloves, various sauces, grilled mushrooms, sliced marinated onions, and different kind of long leafy greens, including lettuce – for wrapping. The lettuce wrap is a great way to go, putting in steak along with some sauce, onion, and garlic – if you can contain it all and get it to your mouth. A bit of a challenge with chopsticks; I admit I went to plan B, aka fingers. Another way to enjoy Galbi with its side delicacies is to pluck out a choice bit of meat, dip in some sauce, then to your mouth straight away. But you follow it closely with onion, then, garlic, rice, kimchi, mushroom – like a progressive meal in one bite. Work the table. Watch your Korean hosts, they do it with speed and efficiency. After many rounds of Korean barbeque combination bites, don’t forget to save some room. Here comes the soup! Never a shortage of scrumptious food at a Korean dinner, and this Galbi feast might be the topper.

Lots of side dishes, wraps and condiments

Complete the meal with rice and dwenjang jji gae (soy bean paste stew)

Instead of rice, you can have cold noodles (spicy noodles or non-spicy soup noodles)

See galbi recipe here.



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