Aussies are famous for their bbqs, it’s a huge part of our laidback lifestyle and outdoor culture but did you know firing up the BBQ is also a way of life for Koreans too?
With a delectable combination of spicy and salty flavours, their marinated meats sizzle on grills, whilst friends gather around the hotplates cooking their meat and share over the tabletop grills at restaurants, on the street or in homes around the country.
Forget simply throwing a snag on the barbie; before cooking, Koreans marinate the meat in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, and pepper to ensure it’s tender and packed full of flavour when cooked. Bulgogi, which literally means fire and meat refers to the method of cooking the strips of beef, pork or chicken.
From beef brisket to pork shoulder steaks or even grilled squid, anything goes when it comes to your choice of meat.
If you like ribs go for the Sogalbi-gui, which refers to marinated beef short ribs grilled over a charcoal stove. As the ribs cook, the smoky flavour from the charcoal infuses the meat and gives it a distinctive taste that makes you want to come back for more.
The meat might be the hero of the Korean barbecue but the accompaniments are just as good. The vast array of delicious side dishes include fried rice with egg, Kimchi, tofu, a green onion salad called Pajori or stir fried vegetables. Other dishes such as crispy pork belly and fried chicken grace the menu too.
And what to wash all this delicious food down with? Meals are enjoyed with the world’s most popular spirit Soju – a distilled, rice liquor which is made in South Korea and famously nicknamed Korean firewater by locals for its potent effects.
Feeling hungry? Korean cuisine is gaining notoriety throughout Australia so you don’t have to take the trip all the way to South Korea just to whet your appetite.
Here’s a selection of recommended places to experience the Korean barbecue across the country:
Hwaro Korean BBQ at 562 Little Bourke Street in Melbourne is a cute little spot to enjoy meals cooked on mini charcoal BBQs at a table surrounded by exposed brick walls.
In Perth Took Bae Kee at 542 Hay Street in the city is famous for it’s reasonably-priced dishes and friendly service – a must visit.
For Sydneysiders Sydney Madang at 371 Pitt St as an extensive menu of meat options and boasts celebrity fans include chef Neil Perry.
If you live in Brisbane grab a group of friends and head to Maru in the city where staff will recommend one of the meat combos and you can share over a bottle of Soju.
For authentic Korean BBQ experience in Adelaide visit the aptly names Korea restaurant on 133 Goodwood Rd.
So what are you waiting for? Fire up that hotplate and get sizzling!
What are your favourite Korean food? Do you have any Korean BBQ restaurants you’d recommend?
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