Classic Korean barbeque ideas and ingredients

Korean barbecue (also known as gogigui) refers to the method of roasting meat or vegetables. The dishes are often prepared at the table on gas or charcoal grills, and, many times, the grills are built into the tables themselves. 

According to Sang Kim, it’s not all about the beef when it comes to the best Korean barbecue. In fact, vegetables are a staple. 

Here are more of Sang’s tips for Korean barbecues.

Main components
  • The most popular form of gogigui is bulgogi, which is thin, marinated slices of beef sirloin or tenderloin. You can also include dark meat chicken thighs and pork belly. 
  • Vegetables are a huge component of any Korean meal. Traditionally, you would include zucchini, asparagus, enoki mushrooms, button mushrooms, bell peppers, and eggplant. That said, any market-fresh Canadian vegetables would work.
  • Thinly sliced garlic is a must!
  • Don’t just pile everything on the grill. Do the chicken first, because it’s thicker. Next, do the beef and pork (they should be thinly sliced and will cook very fast). Next, do dense vegetables, like asparagus and eggplant. It’s important to chop bigger veggies (like asparagus) into smaller pieces so everything fits on the grill.

Side dishes
  • Traditional side dishes include kimchi, seasoned spinach, seasoned bean sprouts, and, of course, rice.

  • Korean barbecue is traditionally made into a wrap, called ssam style. There are three different types of leaf wraps: stand green leaf, purilla leaf/shiso leaf, and boiled sweet cabbage. 
  • Take the leaf in the palm of your hand and put a spoonful of rice in it. Then add your protein or vegetables. Add a side dish, and then top it with a condiment paste or sauce. Wrap everything up in the leaf and enjoy!
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