In today’s segment of “What’s That?” we are going to dive into one of the more intimidating culinary experiences: Korean BBQ.
What makes Korean BBQ so unique?
For starters, unlike most dining out experiences, YOU are doing the cooking. Below, we will give you all the tips and tricks to impress the company with whom you are enjoying this action-packed meal.
Before we even dive into the meats, let’s first get a lay of the land. Your two main tools are going to be a pair of tongs, to handle and the meat, and a pair of heavy duty scissors (yes, scissors), to cut the meat once it is cooked. We recommend using one pair of tongs to handle the raw meat and a secondary pair to flip and hold the meat once it’s cooked.
This next tip may sound like common sense, but just make sure to cut the meat from the bottom up when holding it with the tongs.
Now let’s talk sides. At any Korean BBQ joint you will be served banchan. Banchan is a variety of tasty Korean side dishes that range from kimchi, to soybean sprouts, and everything in between. We will cover banchan more in-depth in future articles, but just know that these are included for free with your meal and are unlimited, so do not be shy in asking for the re-up!
Additionally, you will have a variety of sauces to add to your BBQ. Some of the classics are a spicy soybean & chili paste, as well as a sesame oil with salt and pepper.
Time to talk about the star of the show: the meats! (and seafood). The variety of meats will vary from restaurant to restaurant but there will always be a few mainstays:
For those who may be looking for alternatives to red meat, other popular options at Korean BBQ are chicken (which usually comes in a variety of marinades) and shrimp.
So, now you have your meat cooked. You might now be asking, “How do we eat it?” and “Why do I have a pile of lettuce on the table?”
First of all, that lettuce is going to be the main device to get that delicious meat into your mouth. Quite simply, put a slice a meat in the middle of that lettuce, add any sauces or banchan that you desire, and fold it up like a taco. That is protein Korean BBQ-style!