Peanut butter and jelly. Salt and pepper. New York City and yellow cabs, Empire State building and Liberty Statue. Paris and Eiffel tower.
Some things are forever associated together, making them almost a perfect couple (or grouping). For me, one of these perfect associations is summertime and BBQ. Once the snow has melted, and the weather warm enough, it is time to pull out the BBQ and dust the cobwebs gathered on it during the winter; then go to the grocery store and make a beeline for the steaks in the meat department, and pick up some veggies in the produce section, prep the steaks, wash and clean and the veggies, light up the BBQ and let magic happen- or rather the Maillard reaction. The simplicity of a BBQ meal belies its toothsomeness. It’s a wholesome meal that involves fresh food, little processing (artificial or otherwise) and little time. It leaves more time to have a good conversation or two, or simply enjoy good company. But when the temperature drops and little snowflakes threaten the sky, the BBQ sadly has to be put away until next year.
However, Korean BBQ, a popular Korean dish, is enjoyed not just in the summertime. Because Korean BBQ can be ready on a grill built into the table, it can be enjoyed year-round. This method of cooking also has the added convenience of offering cooked “just in time” meat (because Korean BBQ is predominantly carnivorous). Plus, anyone can be the chef. No one is relegated to some corner to cook by themselves. It’s a collective effort, and the rewards are enjoyed together.
Meat can be beef, pork and/or chicken, marinated or non-marinated. Marinated beef includes bulgogi, galbi or jumulleok. Bulgogi and galbi are probably the more well-known cuts of beef to the point of being almost mainstream: go to your local M&M Meat Shop and you can now request galbi or Korean style short ribs, or pick up some PC Korean BBQ sauce and marinate the meat yourself. Preparing Korean BBQ is easy- there are a few recipes at the end of this blog.
Restaurants serving Korean-style BBQ are ubiquitous enough. Mind the BBQ perfume you’ll be wearing afterwards, but it’s a delightfully convivial meal shared with friends. There may be some anxiety about overcooking, or even burning the meat, but that stress will quickly be relieved, peals of laughter will ensue as will rounds of applause lauding the successful chef. A perfect evening. And you don’t have to wait for the summertime weather to enjoy it.
This is NOT a (paid) advertisement or endorsement of any of the products mentioned here.