Korean food has made its way into becoming one of the most favourite cuisines all around the world – one of the trends of the global K-wave that no one can deny. From hot, grilled meat and bibimbap to crispy-juicy friend chicken, KBBQ joints worldwide have become a staple that seems to receive universal love and approval. And it’s not just one of curiosity though, for many converts will often grow to love and enjoy KBBQ as a dining option every once in a while.
If you are fond of watching Korean dramas, then you know how your stomach rumbled watching your favourite heartthrobs dig in the juicy and sizzling grilled meat wrapped in lettuce. And not to mention the appealing array of endless side dishes that come with it. A mouth-watering display that speaks directly to our insatiable hunger, there are those moments you want to be in the main character’s shoes and dig into the delicious meal.
Still, if you’ve somehow not tried partaking in this unique food setting before, we highly recommend you give it a try the next time you pass by. Here are but some of the options you can look forward to the first (of many) times you’ll try KBBQ!
Well, we have meat in all our barbecues, so what makes this unique? If those are some of the thoughts on your mind, then we’ve got a thing or two to share. Korean barbecues are known for their thick-cut meats that you can grill in a span of minutes. Some of these meats are unseasoned, while others (like the fan-favourite beef short ribs) are often marinated overnight in a unique Korean dressing that imparts sweetness and savouriness into the meat. We would go as far as to say that this marinade is what put KBBQ onto the radar in the first place.
At different price points, you can find a wide variety of cuts of various meats. Although if you are looking for the full range of KBBQ experience, we recommend you go for a mix of fatty and leaner cuts, going for those in a variety of spicy and non-spicy marinades. Beef short ribs and bulgogi are some of the Korean-themed options that you must try!
2. Lettuce & Sauce
You would have most probably seen a friend or two wrapping meat inside a lettuce or perilla leaf along with a dollop of ssamjang and other sliced vegetables if they so choose. We know that Koreans love their spicy food, and ssamjang is one way to add spiciness to their KBBQ experience. Be careful, though, for ssamjang has hints of spiciness that comes along with the sweetness.
This is the popular style of eating KBBQ as the crisp vegetable lends its texture and flavours to cut through the thickness of the meat. Each mouthful is a cacophony of balanced flavour that leaves you wanting more.
3. Fried Chicken
You wouldn’t expect fried chicken to be an option at any barbecues (after all, we have a grill in front of us) but we can’t leave this out as Korean fried chicken just has a distinct and mouth-watering flavour that all KBBQ patrons know and enjoy. If anything, we’re just glad for a different flavour we can find on our tables after savouring all the various BBQ options on the table.
4. Side dishes, also known as banchan
No Korean meal can be complete without the wide array of side dishes available. Whether it is a custom of hospitality or introducing a wide range of healthy flavours and bites to the table, these dishes are used to clean the palate of the often heavy and oily meats.
These can come in the form of fermented and pickled vegetables such as traditional spicy kimchi, water kimchi made by pickling sliced radishes, stir-fried dried anchovies, rolled eggs, and more. The best is when you can pick any and all of the options you want in bite-sized options, getting to savour the best flavours Korea has to offer while saving space for all the meat you know you’ll inevitably consume.
Japchae is a noodle stir-fry dish that is popular on Korean festive holidays. This consists of glass noodles produced from sweet potatoes plus seasoned meat and a ton of vegetables. Japchae works great as a side dish to a bigger meal, paired up with the different meats you’ll be cooking the entire meal.
If you’re craving Korean barbecue, bring your family or friends and head down to one of the Korean restaurants near you. We’re sure that it will be a positive and scrumptious experience as you savour the best of what Korea has to offer.
The food culture is but one aspect of Korean culture that we have grown to love. For those whose love of the Korean culture goes beyond just the food itself, you might find yourself yearning to learn the language and understand the culture on a deeper, personal level. If that is you, we at Sejong offer a Korean language course for everyone who wants to learn this language. Led by our native speakers, you are guaranteed that you’ll make steady progress with every lesson. What are you waiting for? Sign up with us and get started on your journey today!