What would you order from this menu? Seems confusing?
YIIIIIIKKESSSSS. Well read on for some clarity.
You’ve either heard of Korean BBQ and can’t wait to try or you have been going every Friday for the past 16 weeks, getting tired of the same old pork belly and now find yourself wondering: is this the best it can get? The answer is always no and you have done yourself the biggest service by coming to this page and finding out the real tea: What to order at Korean BBQ.
1.) The Best Meat You’ve Never Heard Of (Gal Maegi Sal-갈매기살)
I’m not gonna lie, I actually have to Google right now what this meat in fact is, because all I know is that: IT IS GOOD. Such an underwhelming description for such an amazing cut of some animal that I’m not sure of yet, but promise I will give a better run-down after the Googling.
OMG no wonder I love it so much, it’s:
If the restaurant you’re at has this, that’s a 10/10 would eat again Yelp review. (PS: why do I need to download the app to see Yelp pictures on my phone? Infuriating.)
To be exact.. it is skirt steak, so probably not a good choice if you like your meat well done because it’s not always super tender. With this option, the grill usually gets a ring put around it, in which the staff will pour a scrambled egg mix with ham and other good stuff (see below). Such a good combo. Best thing is: It’s CHEAP!
2.) CHICKEN WHAT???? (Dak Galbi-닭갈비)
Haha, It’s actually not weird at all… but it’s one of the best things you can order at K-BBQ: Chicken Ribs!!
It’s just sooooo yummy and it never fails. You can usually get these marinated or not, both are genius tbh. The only piece of advice: when you’re taking the lettuce and making the little wraps, keep it simple with the chicken ribs. If you don’t know what I’m talking about… keep reading.
BONUS: There are also a lot of restaurants that do chicken rib stir fry, with lots of cheese and rice cakes, etc. That’s a really indulgent alternative to K BBQ too.
3.) The Cutest Meat to Say Out Loud (JOOK!KOO!MI!-쭈꾸미)
Okay, if you’re not a seafood lover I think this may be out for you. BUT if you are a seafood hater and still kinda dig calamari, stayed tuned.
🚨WARNING! WARNING!🚨 This dish is SUPERRR SPICY!!! Best to ask for light sauce if you can’t handle too much spice.
So it’s small octopus. Not baby octopus and not live octopus, so when they bring it out to you it’s usually drowned in this sauce and not at all moving or anything.
Yummy to eat with grilled mixed rice balls that have seaweed and other veggies and packed in together. It’s amazing! #TRUST
4. Are You For EEL? (Jang Eo-장어)
So the Korean word for aweome is Jjang, and the word for eel is Jang-eoh (eoh meaning fish) so it’s basically awesome-fish, right? Maybe I lost you there, but I was super skeptical at first about eating eel. Totally thought it was gonna be gross and was totally wrong.
🚨WARNING! WARNING!🚨 This dish is expensive!!! Where you might spend an average of $15 on pork belly per person, eel is about $40 per person average. It tastes super luxurious too though. You get what you pay for? PS there are no bones usually when you order and this does NOT have a fishy taste at all. Tastes like chicken?
5. Cheeky, Cheeky – Pork Cheek (aka Pork Jowl-Gaburi Sal-가브리살)
We always go to the same barbecue spot in Gangnam, Seoul and one time we had a big group so we decided to try some different cuts of meat instead of just the classic pork belly. One of them was the pork cheek and we started ordering it every time from then on in.
The cheek is usually more tender and oily (in a good way!) and a nice meat to offset the fattiness and crispiness of the belly. Great with a bottle of soju!! Although the bottle might be done before the meat gets cooked… ah the joys of trusting yourself to cook pork right. I’ve definitely ate some raw pork in my days. Don’t be like me, be patient.
4. Not Your Average K-BBQ Ribs (Pork Back Ribs-Deung Galbi-등갈비)
Pork back ribs>LA galbi: HANDS DOWN
What is up with LA galbi? It’s super hard to eat, usually has some weird, sweet marinade on it. It’s yuck, like, let’s move on.
So these ribs are kinda like a short rib. So picture tender, fall off the bone meat and most likely with a spicy barbecue sauce smeared all over it. Really good with beer and I’m not even a beer drinker, but it’s such a perfect combo. The best part is: they’ll give you cute little finger gloves so you don’t get all messy when you eat them, but that’s never guaranteed with saucy meats now is it?
Ready, Set, Eat! Good to go now with the gloves thank you very much.
3. You Thought I’d Leave Out Pork Belly? Dae-Pae Style (대패삼겹살)
So this is pork belly, with a twist: It’s THIN.
I feel like I may have lost you there, but trust me thinner can be better!! Hear me out.
So they will usually give you this marinade that the super thin slices of meat just soak right up like a sponge, then the meat sizzles and cooks within a few SECONDS on the grill. And Isn’t the worst part of Korean BBQ just staring at the meat and waiting and waiting and waiting for it to finally be ready?
I have totally been too impatient and paid for it later when it comes to the classic pork belly and that’s why this version is awesome!! The slices are sooo crispy when you leave them on for a few extra seconds too.
2. Korean Kebabs??? (Lamb Skewers-Yang Gochi-양꼬치)
This is originally a Chinese delicacy, but they are all over Korea and most likely you have one or two spots in your own city’s K-town. The cool part is that it comes over a different type of grill than you’re used to. It Spins!!! Weeeee. You will feel like a kid again watching the seasoned little skewers twirl around and around to get the perfect cook.
If you’re looking for speed, look elsewhere, cause this is another one that takes a bit long to cook, unless you’re cool with medium rare lamb. The good part is that I’ve never had an overcooked lamb skewer taste dry or unappetizing, so you can’t mess this one up!! The meat is already really well seasoned, but the trick is to dip your meat in MORE seasoning. There’s a red powder that always comes with lamb skewers, and while I have no clue what it is, I do know that it is BOMB. I literally coat that stuff like a layer of fur all over the lamb. Obviously a great pair with Tsingtao beer. #notsponsored #obviously
1. Rings of Death – (Small intestines-Gop Chang-곱창)
By the title, I know you’re probably already turned off, but this is my favourite of all time food at K-BBQ. If my parents can do it, you can! They are super crispy on the outside and super oily and soft on the inside. After 2 or 3 bottles of soju, just try it! You won’t remember anyways, unless you’re like me and it’s the best thing you’ve ever tried.
The one we ate here is a big combination platter of heart, large intestine and small intestine. Sounds different to say the least, but #TRUST.
Thanks for reading + here are some extra little tips, cause I love you so much xx
PRO K-BBQ TIP: Take the kimchi and pour the whole thing over the grill. Warm kimchi = happy tastebuds. Eat as is or put it into your wrap. If you don’t know about the wrap part, you can ask the restaurant staff for lettuce or perilla leaves to make mini wraps. You can add roasted garlic, bean sprouts, rice, whatever you want and then of course the meat! This should be free or like a dollar.
BONUS: Get cold noodles at the end of your barbecue. Naeng-myeon (냉면) at the end of barbecue is one of the most traditional Korean things you can do! Feeling guilty? You already did all you can eat K-BBQ, so don’t worry about it and go a bit more over the edge. You deserve it!!
AVOID: PIG SKIN AT ALL COSTS!! It’s disgusting… I can’t stress this enough.
Thanks again for reading & happy eating!!!