Posted by: Hungry Korean | September 15, 2010

Korea’s finest

YAY! Last day of my juice cleanse and I can go back to enjoying food tomorrow. So to commemorate my final day on this self imposed hell, I decided to blog about what Koreans love (and do) best: BBQ meat!  And boy did I do alot of that in Korea.

Beef is expensive in Korea so most Koreans will grill up pork. (not that I’m complaining – those that know me know I am a die hard pork lover)  During our stay in Jeju Island we asked someone where the best place to get BBQ was and they directed us to this particular restaurant.  We ordered the whole pork belly and marinated beef.

Unlike most places here in NYC (they use electric or gas), restaurants in Korea grill their meat over real coals. See here and note the advanced “smoke suction ventilator” coming from the ceiling.

Real charcoal will get you that delicious smokey flavor.

Then came the pork belly….

We threw some large mushrooms, onions and garlic on as well. Fatty, porky goodness. Once it’s charred to a perfect doneness, a server comes and slices it up for you.

Here is what I consider a perfect bite:

Take a piece of meat (that’s actually beef), throw in some hot pepper paste and a raw clove of garlic, wrap it up in a lettuce leaf and you have an Atkin’s diet lover’s delight! It’s so good. The vegetables and garlic cut the fat of the meat and the spicy paste adds salt and Korean flavors to the bite. Look, I know the garlic clove does not help your breath but honestly it just doesn’t taste as good without it. So long as the people you will be spending the rest of your evening with are eating it, don’t worry about it!

My favorite aspect of this place is they gave unlimited portions of the spicy raw crab I love so much!

Ooooooo it was SOOO good. I got two servings and my parents told me to stop. Spicy, salty, slightly briny. I just love it and it’s better than any I’ve had here in NYC.

Here’s a different place we went to in Pusan with our extended family living there.

See how red the coals glow??…that’s how you want it. This variety of beef is very thinly sliced and marinated in a sweet garlic soy – it’s called bulgogi. This place was definitely my favorite bbq place of all those we tried.  The meat was so tender due to the thin slicing and it had an incredibly sweet and delicate soy flavor that did not overpower the flavor of the beef.  Look at the variety of green wraps they provide.

And here’s the final variety we got in Seoul (again beef):

Note that this is cut differently. It’s thicker than the bulgogi but it is also marinated in a sweet garlic soy. This is called galbi.

Yes…Koreans love their BBQ. I love my BBQ.

If you’ve never had it, you MUST run to your local Korean BBQ house and try some galbi. You will be an instant convert.

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