Korean BBQ at home, simple or complicated? SIMPLE!! It’s so easy to enjoy a lovely Korean BBQ meal with your friends or family in the comfort of your own home. Forget going out and spending $16.99 at an All you can eat restaurant and totally forget spending $14.99 on one single plate of meat. For $15 total, you can enjoy enough meat for a family of four! Although the prep time and cleaning may be discouraging, we are in a recession and saving every penny counts these days. Put the extra cash you save into your gas tank or save it for a trip to Las Vegas, just kidding.
What You Need:
- A grill – George Foreman, Korean gas grill..broiler..
- Any kind of Meat/Chicken you want. We used Chadol (thinly sliced Beef found in Korean supermarkets) and Pork Belly – pre-sliced
- Red Leaf Cabbage
- Green Onion
- Sesame oil
- Sea Salt/Pepper
- Rice Wine Vinegar
- Korean Red Pepper Flakes
- Soy Sauce
- Ssam Jang – Red pepper paste miso for meat dipping
- Optional: Dduk – Rice Cake for wrapping, Vinegared Radish Wraps
$1.71 for pork belly aka bacon, so cheap!
One pound of Chadol is only $5.89, you can usually find it cheaper as well. The same amount is 3x the price in any restaurant. In American supermarkets, you can ask for thin sliced rib-eye or any type of meat.
The following are a couple optional items to make the bbq experience more authentic. We went and bought a package of delicious rice cake wraps. This particular one actually says “vietnamese” rice paper. So, yes, go buy yourselves one of these. The other item is vinegared radish wraps. These tangy & sweet things are delicious when used as a wrap with the yummy bbq.
What To Do:
So here, in Koreatown, a Korean BBQ is not a proper Korean BBQ without some veggies to eat the meat with. Of course, you can use plain whole red lettuce leaves to wrap your meat, but we love making our own Korean lettuce salad–very similar to the ones you find at the Korean bbq places.
First you will need about 3-4 bulbs of green onions. Clean them well and slice them in half lengthwise like so:
Then, at a somewhat diagonal direction, thinly slice the green onions so you are left with thin slivers of green onion pieces.
Next, get your red leaf cabbage and slice them into ‘salad’ size pieces. Add them into the same bowl as the green onions.
For the salad dressing get about 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and pour into a small bowl. Then add in 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar into the bowl. You can add a little more if you’d like. Then, add in about 1/2-1 tablespoon of sesame oil into the bowl. This serves as like the ‘olive oil’ in Western salads.
Then drop in about 1/2 – 1 tablespoon of Korean red pepper flakes. For a little sweetness, add in 1/2 tablespoon of sugar. Mix well. Add in a few sprinkles of sesame seeds (optional).
Add in the dressing to the salad mixture. Toss well.
Next, let’s get the dipping sauce ready for the meat. Pour in about 1 tablespoon of sesame oil into individual small bowls. Add in 1/3 tablespoon of sea salt. Generously sprinkle in some black pepper into the plate. Wa la! You have your dipping sauce. Easy!
Now, onto our rice paper. Don’t forget to boil this in hot water until the rice cake slices are soft and tender. Then cut it into small squares. Done.
We are finally ready to BBQ! Now, there are many ways to enjoy your bbq at home. If you have an electric grill, this would be perfect. However, many of us do not have that. In this case, you can use your oven, broiler, and if all else fails, you can use your fry pan to cook the meat. The downside to doing it in the oven/broiler/fry pan is that the meat will be precooked. We decided to try it both ways. We tested our handy dandy George Foreman Grill and also used our broiler. The George Foreman Grill was perfect for our thinly sliced Chadol. We turned the grill on, plopped the chadol on, closed it..and opened it up a little while later and tada! We had our yummy chadol ready to go. It was amazing to see how much fat dripped down! Egad!
The Pork slices also worked well, but we didn’t have enough patience to wait for the meat to cook through on the Foreman grill. So, we decided to put it in the broiler, and they were done in no time!
To add to our bbq experience, we also made Korean bean paste stew.
So, when all was done, how did we enjoy our bbq? Well, here are some pictures from this day:
The above is a picture of our ssamjang and dipping sauce. Ssamjang is essentially Korean red pepper paste mixed with Korean miso. So, if you have these two items, just mix them together to make ssamjang. If not, every Korean supermarket carries this delicious sauce.
To end our entry, here is how we enjoyed our bbq:
1. Pick up your meat
2. Dip in oil sauce
3. Put meat onto your radish wrap or dduk wrap or lettuce wrap
4. put a dab of ssamjang onto the wrap as well as some of the yummy lettuce
5. wrap it up, stick it into your mouth. CHEW CHEW CHEW the heavenly goodness
6. Pick up your spoon…get a spoonful of the bean paste stew
7. Wash it down with your Korean beer.