Korean BBQ is absolutely one of my favorite and a lot of the enjoyment comes with the environment that it creates. Unlike many of the dishes you find in Canada, you have to take your time cooking the meat while you eat which provides opportunities to have a proper conversation with your friends! You can do this with beef, pork, or chicken with an array of vegetables to complement the taste. Let me take you step by step how I would prepare a Korean BBQ night at my place with friends.
- Absolute necessities:
- Gochujang (red pepper paste) – Around $5-8 for a small container
- Sesame Oil
- Pork, beef, or chicken
- Leaf lettuce
Things to Prepare:
- Portable propane grill (kind of like this one – Electric Grill)
- Paper towels (to soak up the grease from the meat while you’re cooking)
- Friends (kind of important for a social gathering)
Cleaning and Preparing the Vegetables:
Grab a bowl and throw the vegetables in there and give it a good rinse. You want to cut the stock part of the leaf lettuce so it is easy to separate for your guests, peel the garlic, and onion(s).
For a group of 4, usually 2 bunches of leaf lettuce is sufficient (20 leafs), about 4-6 garlic cloves (if you want garlic), 4-6 mushrooms, and one onion.
Cut the garlic cloves into 1/4″ slices.
Cut the onions and mushrooms into 1/2″ slices (onions, cut against the grain so you keep the rings).
Preparing the Meat:
Cut the meat into about 1/4″ slices, bite size. These have to be thin enough that you would expect it to cook within 1 – 2 minutes on the grill. Pork especially needs to be cooked thoroughly.
Season these piece with some sea salt or regular salt.
Preparing the Sauces:
Sesame Oil Dip (per person):
- Add 2 table spoons of sesame oil in a mini sauce plate.
- Add 1 teaspoon of salt.
- Add 1 teaspoon of pepper.
- Add more salt or pepper to taste for personal preference.
Gochujang (red pepper paste – Group of 4):
- Get 2.5 table spoons of the paste into a bowl.
- Add one table spoon of sugar.
- Add 4 – 6 table spoons of vinegar.
- Mix well until the consistency makes it easier to pour (should still be a bit thick and stick to the meat when dipped in it).
- Separate into 4 small sauce bowls.
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Prepare the Grill:
Either you have the electric plug and play verson or the propane grill, I’m just going to assume you know how life works and can figure this one out!
Cooking the Meat:
Cooking the meat is pretty straightforward. Grab a pair of tongs for you to grill the meat at the table where you and your friends are sitting around. The ingredients should all be there ready for you to enjoy the meal as soon as the meat is cooked well and straight off the grill.
Keep some paper towels near you so that you can dab some of the oil away while you are cooking. This is especially useful if you are cooking pork as that stuff is full of grease. If you don’t, expect to have some oil popping off the grill and we don’t want that on our nice clothes now do we!
The Best Part:
Talking with your friends about how to eat this thing!
There’s some pretty straightforward ways to eat this like a bunch of savages. You could just shovel it into your mouth or… wrap it up the way you are supposed to!
- Grab a piece of lettuce.
- Get a spoon to half spoon of rice on it.
- Grab a piece of meat and dip it in one of the two sauces and place on top.
- Red pepper paste will have a sweet and tangy, slightly spicy taste.
- Sesame oil with salt and pepper will have a nice low-key salt and pepper taste.
- For those of you adventurers…
- Grab a piece of raw garlic slice, dip it on one of the sauces and add it to the wrap.
- Grab a piece of cooked onion slice and do the same.
- Grab a piece of cooked mushroom slice and do the same.
- Eat it quick before someone takes it from you.
Obviously you don’t have to pile everything on top, but I strongly encourage everyone to try out various combinations of it! It is easy to prepare, easy to eat, and easy to have social conversations around.
What About Making the Kimchi?
If you are wondering this, then you probably know Kimchi is our most well known staple dish. It’s also incredibly complicated to make and I don’t have the time or knowledge to do so. Just buy some from a Korean grocer nearby and enjoy!
Hope everyone gives this a shot. It’s the best, well any time of the year.