In the last Campus Circle issue, I introduced you to a few Korean BBQ joints in Koreatown that are worth a try. But let’s face it: Korean BBQ can be expensive. Although Korean barbeque meals are delicious, some might not understand why they should pay more than $25 or more per meal. This is true for most college students on a budget, but don’t let these high prices keep you from enjoying juicy and marinated meat that only Korean barbeque can offer!
To avoid high costs, you can always cook Korean BBQ in your kitchen by making a quick trip to the supermarket and following these simple steps. Yes, that’s right – you can make Korean BBQ at home! And you’ll be amazed by just how easy it is:
The first thing you should do is go to any Korean supermarket: I recommend Zion Market, Galleria Market, Koreatown Galleria and The Plaza Market, which are all conveniently located in Koreatown. All of these markets carry high quality meat, and they have clean facilities.
Once you get to the super market…
1. Go to the vegetable section first.
Not a vegetable fan? Well, vegetables are necessary for enhancing the taste of Korean barbeque; it also helps you digest the meat. And did you know that vegetables are full of the fiber and vitamins that meat lacks? So first, get lettuce and sesame leaf to wrap your meats, and purchasing onions is a must -- especially if you want to cook Korean barbeque beef short ribs. Mushrooms, garlic, pepper are all optional.
2. Now, check out the meat section.
There is so much meat in Koreatown supermarkets, and you might be overwhelmed with which one to choose. First of all, decide if you want to eat pre-marinated meat or plain meat.
Pre-marinated meat is ready to cook; all you have to do is open the container, heat the pan and cook it! (However, be careful when you cook pre-marinated meat because the seasonings speed up the cooking process and could potentially burn the meat). Since some pre-marinated meats are overly sweet, you can always go for plain meat and make the seasoning yourself.
For plain meat, beef sliced brisket, beef sliced belly, black pork belly, pork sliced belly, pork sliced neck and beef boneless short ribs are recommended for cooking.
For marinated ones, I recommend marinated beef short ribs, marinated pork sliced butt and marinated beef sliced rib eye.
3. Wait - there’s more!
You’d be surprised to know that there are more things that go with Korean barbeque. For instance, sliced radishes are very popular in Korean restaurants because the sweet and sour taste goes well with any meat. Also, try cooking kimchi when eating Korean barbequed meat. If you cook the kimchi, it gets rid of its spicy flavor. To do so, put some kimchi on the grill until it turns brown. For a dipping sauce, seasoning soybean paste will be your number one choice; it goes well with both marinated and plain meats.
How to cook Korean Barbequed beef short ribs:
Beef sliced briskets and pork belly taste better without seasoning. However, beef short ribs go well with the sweet marinated sauce that we try in Korean barbeque restaurants. The recipe for this condiment is very simple (however, it does take up to four hours for the meat to absorb the sauce, so prepare in advance):
Seasoning for 5 pounds of beef short ribs includes one cup of brown sugar, one cup of soy sauce, 1/2 cup of water, one peeled and grated onion, one peeled and grated Asian pear, four tablespoons of minced garlic, two tablespoons of dark sesame oil, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper and two thinly sliced green onions.
Next, do the following:
1. Sprinkle brown sugar over the ribs.
2. Mix all of the remaining ingredients for a marinated sauce.
3. Use a big Ziploc bag, and place the meat in the bag.
4. Pour the marinated sauce and tightly close the bag.
5. Put the Ziploc in the freezer and let it stay for four hours.
6. Heat the pan to medium hot. If it’s not hot enough, it takes a long time. When it is too hot, it burns on the surface and stays raw inside.
7. Grill short ribs. (Turn just once! The more you flip it, the less juicy it will be.)
8. When it is brown on both sides, cut it into sizes you want.