Korean Language Blog

Let’s Eat Meat! Posted by on Nov 18, 2008 in Uncategorized

Today’s post will introduce some of the most popular meat dishes in Korea.  If you’re a vegetarian, this post is not for you.  I’ll write about some Korean dishes without meat in a future post.  In the meantime, please don’t report me to PETA.  For all you meat eaters out there, this post will highlight some savory Korean dishes that I would highly recommend.  So let’s get ready to eat meat!

Bulgogi (불고기) tops the list as one of the all time Korean favorites.  Bulgogi (불고기) is beef that has been marinated with soy sauce, sugar, seasame oil and garlic.  It’s usually grilled and depending on the restaurant, may cost about $15-30.  Some people eat bulgogi (불고기) with lettuce and rice.  The lettuce acts like a taco shell and the rice and bolgi (불고기) serve as the filling.

The next popular meat dish is kalbi (갈비).  Kalbi (갈비) is also a beef dish.  However unlike bulgogi (불고기) kalbi (갈비) can be sparse in meat with thick bones inbetween the meat.  Kalbi (갈비) is also less tender than bulgogi (불고기), while costing about the same or more than bulgogi (불고기).  Like bulgogi (불고기), kalbi (갈비) is grilled and marinated and sometimes consumed with rice and vegetables.  Carrots and onions are the most typically grilled with kalbi (갈비).

If you’re low on cash, try some samgyupsal (삼겹살).  Samgyupsal (삼겹살) is not a beef dish.  It’s actually a pork dish.  Samgyupsal (삼겹살) looks a lot like American bacon, but  thicker in texture.  Samgyupsal (삼겹살) is often grilled but not marinated.  It’s consumed by dipping it in a sauce consisting of soy sauce, black pepper, vinegar and salt.  Depending on the restaurant, it can be as cheap as $9 per plate.  Typically people will order some soju (소주) or a Korean alcoholic beverage with samgyupsal (삼겹살).  Since soju (소주) is relatively cheap as well ($1-2 per bottle), you can still get a full meal without destroying your wallet.

Maybe you’re more into seafood.  Well then I would recommend sengsun-hwei (생선회).  sengsun-hwei (생선회) is raw fish that has been thinly sliced.  Sengsun-hwei (생선회) is marinated with rice wine, soy sauce and seasame oil.  It is sometimes dipped in a spicy red pepper paste called kochujang (고추장).  Depending on the quality of fish and the restaurant, it may cost around $17-25 per plate.

A lot of Korean meat dishes have two things in common.  One is that they are often marinated and two, the use of soy sauce as a condiment or marinating sauce is preferred.  Remember before you eat say the phrase, “chal mok ke sum ni da” or (잘 먹겠습니다).  This phrase means, “I’ll eat it well” or “I’ll eat with delight.”

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