Friday, February 29, 2008

Korean Berbecue (Beef, non-marinated)

Most people think of "Galbi" or "Galbee" when asked about Korean barbecue. Galbi is a marinated short ribs and is only one item under Korean barbecue. There are many different kinds of Korean beef barbecues depending on the type of meat and type of marinate or no marinate. The non-marinated Korean barbecues are very easy to prepare.

1. There are a few choices of meat. You can either get loins, or ribs. Unless you go to a Korean market and specifically get the ones that are nicely sliced, the easiest way for you is get a loins or rib steak and slice them yourself at home. Try to slice them thinly like the pictures below because if too thick, you won't get the flavor right due to the different techniques of heating for Korean barbecue.

2. Once you have the slices ready, you want to mix them with sesame oil, little bit of salt, and black pepper. Some people add garlic at this point to the fresh meat and that's totally fine.

3. If you barbecue on a grill, that'll be fantastic, however, a home frying pan will work just fine. The only thing is that you want to cook the meat (since they are thin enough) with high heat. Cook one side of the meat on high heat for maybe 30 seconds and quickly flip to cook the other side for another 15 seconds. Cooking in high heat for a short time preserves the juiciness of the inside and also outside will have slight brown grilled marks. I like it slightly pink inside just like steaks so sometimes I under cook it but it's totally upto you. Try to cook other sliced vegetables with the meat such as mushrooms, garlic slices, or sliced onions.

This picture below is the loins.

These are the ribs. I personally like ribs better for some reason. They taste juicier and sometimes naturally sweeter to me.

So yes, cooking the barbecue part is very simple and straight forward. Try this with the 1) green onion salads (I posted a recipe for that here), 2) Korean miso soup (spicier and thicker than Japanese miso soup) 3) lettuces (Some indispensable fresh vegetable side dish with Korean barbecue includes lettuce, fresh green peppers, sesame leaf called "gaet ip" and finally some pickled radish called "moo chung" 4) dipping sauce called Sahmjang or Ssamjang.

Here is what Sahmjang looks like. You dip the meat, garlic, and other cooked vegetables into this sauce and this will definately upgrade the flavor. You can purchase this from a Korean supermarket. Below is what it looks like.

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