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Cooking with AllHome: Korean Barbecue 

May 26, 2022

Cooking with AllHome: Korean Barbecue 

Korean Barbecue is the food trend that took the Philippines by storm… and it’s so easy to DIY and recreate at your own home!


Aside from K-Pop music and K-Drama, Korean Barbecue is one of the most prominent, if not the perfect introductions into Korean culture. Korean Barbecue is a popular experience as it combines traditions, etiquette, and food that are uniquely theirs. It is also a very communal experience. While enjoying a sumptuous meal, you also get to spend time with your family and friends together for a long duration of time. 

Meals would often last for two to three hours. It would begin with a salad or a hot broth and it culminates with an abundance of marinated meats, sauces, sides or banchan, and various other offerings. You would have to cook their own meats on a grill set into the table, it’s either a built-in grill or a portable hotplate. Then, after successfully cooking your meat of choice, you should roll them up with lettuce, dip them in various sauces, and eat them alongside an array of savory sides like kimchi or pickled vegetables. Sometimes, others would eat their cooked meats with steamed white rice or a bowl of kimchi-flavored rice! 

But to truly experience this Korean dining custom at your own home, you first have to gather all the proper equipment, cooking tools, and the ingredients you need for cooking and eating samgyeopsal!  


Korean BBQ Equipment & Ingredients

While Korean BBQ restaurants either have gas, charcoal, or portable stove grills built into the tables for their customers to use, the easiest one you could get for home use is a portable butane stove and a hot plate. They sell a bunch of different ones online and they also sell them at Korean grocery stores. 

You also need to pick up fermented and marinated ingredients if you don’t have the time to make those on your own. Korean grocery stores also have a variety of savory and spicy sauces that you need to polish off all the meat you cooked. 


Korean BBQ Meats

If you’re wondering where to get the meat for your DIY Korean BBQ, you can always go to a Korean grocery store or at the nearest All Day Supermarket. You could also shop online for all of the ingredients you need at allday.com.ph.

Make sure to buy your preferred cut of your favorite meat and have it sliced thinly to cook fast and evenly. 

Here’s a small selection of Korean barbecue meats that will be the vessel of the savory, spicy, sweet, bitter, and fermented flavors that make this Korean cuisine so popular and well-loved.


Galbi or Short Ribs cut is specifically for KBBQ where the ribs are cut thin across the bone. On the other hand, Bulgogi is the most commonly used thinly cut slices of sirloin, ribeye, or brisket. They might be cut differently but they have the same marinda.


The most popular pork item in Korean BBQ is probably Samgyeopsal or Pork Belly. You can have it either marinated or plain and can be thick-cut or thin. There’s really no rules when it comes to samgyeopsal.

But if you want that juicy and perfectly marbled pork meat, Hangjungsal or Pork Jowl should be perfect for you. Since its fat is more marbled throughout the meat, it doesn’t flare up on the grill as much as pork belly. 


Chicken is not as popular in Korean BBQ. But you could definitely include it if you want to. You could make a Chicken Bulgogi or Chicken Buldak.

Chicken Buldak is a great addition to your Korean BBQ feast. Just get some chicken thighs and marinate them in a spicy gochujang fiery sauce. Then, smother them in melty mozzarella cheese after grilling. 


Korean BBQ Vegetables

Yes, you need certain fresh vegetables in Korean Barbecue! They are what you use to hold your meats and sauces together. You need some greenery to make these small wrapped meat parcels to enjoy them. They also balance this really meaty food experience.

The most popular wrap in KBBQ is a lettuce leaf. But perilla leaves and thinly sliced daikon radishes would also work great. Perilla leaves or “beefsteak leaves” come from the same mint family as Japanese shiso leaves. They have a grassy, slightly minty flavor that balances the rich taste of grilled pork and beef.

But before you eat them, always make sure to wash and dry the leaves thoroughly!


Korean BBQ Side Dishes

It’s not really a Korean Barbecue feast without a spread of banchan. Banchan is an umbrella term for the small side dishes that help as a palate cleanser from all the meat consumed during a marathon of eating grilled meats.

Banchan are usually pickled or fermented vegetables such as radishes, cabbage, green beans, or cucumber. Some popular banchans are kimchi, marinated greens, stir-fried dried anchovies, steamed eggs, rolled omelettes, and more! 


Here are some side dish recipes you can recreate at home:


Ingredients for Korean Steamed Egg (Gaeran Jim)

  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Whisk together the eggs, water, scallions, and salt until fully combined. 

If using a microwave, use a heat-safe bowl and cover it with a plate. Cook it for 4 minutes.

If steaming on a stovetop, add the heat-safe bowl to a steamer. Steam it for 10 minutes over medium-high heat.

If you don’t have a microwave or a steamer, you can simply put the heat-safe bowl in a large pot with a few inches of water at the bottom. Steam it for 15 minutes over medium-low heat. 


Ingredients for Pa muchim (Scallion Salad)

  • 3 to 4 medium scallions
  • 2 tsp gochugaru
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar

First, cut the scallions crosswise into about 4-inch lengths. Then, thinly slice each piece lengthwise. Soak the sliced scallions in cold water for about 10 minutes. 

After draining the sliced scallions, add the gochugaru, sesame oil, and sesame seeds and toss well.

Right before serving, add the soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar to the mixed salad for added flavor. Toss it well before serving.


Ingredients for Korean Kimchi:

  • 1 Napa cabbage, cut into 2-inch strips
  • 1/4-1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 4 tbsp Korean red pepper flakes
  • 1 large daikon radish, peeled and cut into 1-inch matchsticks
  • 2 bunches green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces

In a large bowl, put the cabbage in it and sprinkle it with salt. Mix thoroughly using gloves, if preferred. Place a heavy pot or pan on top with weights and allow cabbage to sit for 1-2 hours until wilted and water has been released.

After discarding the water, rinse the cabbage 2 to 3 times in the sink until salt is removed. Allow it to drain in a colander for another 15 to 20 minutes.

Combine all the remaining ingredients with the cabbage and mix them all well. Add the Korean red pepper flakes into the mixture, followed by daikon radish and green onions. Mix them well until all ingredients are well-incorporated. 

Once done, place the mixture in a jar and make sure to add fermenting weights to press down so the mixture is submerged in its own liquid. Seal it tightly and make sure to place the jar on top of a plate since the mixture may bubble over while fermenting.

Allow it to sit at room temperature for 2 to 5 days.

Each day of fermentation, make sure to remove the lid to release gases. Check on the fermentation weights and keep it pressed down on the cabbages to keep it submerged. You can taste a sample each day to decide if the level of fermentation is to your liking.

And finally, after 2 to 5 days of fermentation, you can start eating the kimchi you made! You can also store the kimchi in the refrigerator so you can have it longer.

But if you don’t have the time or patience to make your own kimchi, you can just buy one online at allday.com.ph or at the nearest AllDay Supermarket branch.


Ingredients for Gamja Jorim (Korean Braised Potatoes)

  • 1 1/2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 lb baby potatoes, large ones cut into halves and small ones leave as whole
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup (reduce to 3 tbsp to your taste)
  • sesame seeds for garnish, optional

Heat a large skillet or wok over medium high heat, add cooking oil and potatoes. Pan fry the potatoes for about 4 to 5 minutes or until the potatoes’s edges are slightly light golden brown.

Pour the water, soy sauce and maple syrup into the potatoes and bring it to boil. Keep it at a hard boil until most of the liquid is gone and thicken. It will take about 15 to 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fully cooked. Stir it occasionally so the potatoes will be cooked and coated with the sauce evenly.

After removing it from heat, garnish it with sesame seeds. Serve immediately or keep it in a fridge for 3 to 4 days. It can be eaten cold, room temperature or hot. 


Korean BBQ Sauce or Paste

Just like Banchans, Korean BBQ is not going to be complete without the traditional Korean sauces or pastes! The most common pastes Koreans use are gochujang, ssamjang, and doenjang. 

Gochujang is a pungent fermented chili paste that takes months to make at home. It is also sold in Korean stores for those who don’t have time to make their own. Ssamjang is the universal no-cook, stir-together dipping sauce of Korean barbecue. It combines the savory funk of doenjang or soybean paste with the sweet heat of gochujang. 

These pastes are also usually served together with sesame oil and sea salt for dipping as they provide subtle roasted and bitter notes. 

If you want to make your own Ssamjang, here’s a simple recipe you can easily follow.

Ingredients for Ssamjang:

  • ¼ cup fermented soybean paste (doenjang)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Korean red chile paste (gochujang)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
  • 2 teaspoons roasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Adjust the amount of Gochujang to taste. Use it immediately or store it in a sealed jar and refrigerate it for up to 1 week.


Korean BBQ Drinks

Korean alcoholic drinks are a key part of a Korean BBQ feast.

With all the rich flavors of the heavy meal you just consumed, you will want plenty of cold beverages on hand such as soju, beer, Makgeolli, or even wine!

Just like KBBQ, drinking is a collective activity in Korean culture. It also comes with its own etiquette. In an ordered fashion based on seniority, Korean pour their drinks for others and not for themselves. They also receive drinks with two hands, and drinking shots as a group which makes eating Korean BBQ with them all the more fun!


Level Up Your Korean Barbecue Experience with these Additional Sides 

One of the other key components of any Korean meal is rice. So it stands to reason that rice should also be on the table when you’re having a Korean Barbecue feast. If you get tired of wrapping your meats with lettuce, you could always eat your grilled meats with a bowl of steamed white rice.


And if you’re feeling fancy, you could even add stews! In Korean restos, Doenjang Jjigae or Soybean Paste stew is a K-BBQ staple that often comes at the table just when you need to rest a little because you’re starting to get full. But if you’re on a budget, you could still have this kind of palate cleanser in the form of a Korean spicy ramen! 


In the end, what truly matters is the company you have and who you will enjoy this Korean custom with as it centers around tradition, food, and culture. What better way to learn more about another country’s culture than to experience it with their food and your best friends and loved ones, right?


To start your DIY Korean Barbecue feast at home, visit AllHome for its wide selection of cooking ware, homeware, kitchenware, and more. You may also visit AllHome’s website, https://www.allhome.com.ph, or follow AllHome’s official Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/allhomeofficial   


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