Ok, I will admit that this picture was not taken at my house. It was taken in Seoul during our first of four Korean BBQ meals. Given that we were only in Korea for ten days, I guess this was our favorite, go-to meal. The basic premise is simple. In the center of the table is a grill and as soon as you order, hot coals are placed on the grill along with a cooking grate. In some restaurants such as the one in this picture, an exhaust is pulled close to the cooking meat to keep the smoke at bay. Around the tiny table are various bowls of sauces, different types of kimchi, salad and lettuce leaves. The youngest person at the table is responsible for cooking the meat. Once it is ready, you take a piece of meat from the grill, place it on a lettuce leaf, sprinkle with a bit of sauce, roll up and eat it in one bite. It is delicious!
It is a very communal meal, which I think is one of the reasons that we like it so much, apart from the incredible flavors. There is no right or wrong in how you compose it. Frankly, it is just a lot of fun.
I was at the grocery store earlier this week and I saw "Flanken" style ribs in the meat section. Next to the meat, someone had placed jars of Korean BBQ Bulgogi Marinade. I immediately began planning how to recreate Korean BBQ at home. I would not normally buy a premade marinade but since I had not made this type of marinade before, I figured I would give it a try. Flanken style beef ribs are a popular cut for Asian BBQ. The ribs are thinly cut across the bones so each slice contains a few pieces of the bone. I marinated the ribs overnight in the marinade and then grilled them outside for just a few minutes. We wrapped them in lettuce leaves as we had done in Korea and it was a wonderful trip back.
I wanted some simple side dishes to accompany the beef. My container garden is beginning to yield lots of zucchini so I made a simple Korean style pancake. In last week's CSA shipment, we received a large head of red cabbage. A few minutes on the Internet and a few more minutes chopping and we had a simple Red Cabbage and Green Onion Slaw.
There were no leftovers so I think dinner was a hit. It was a lot of fun and we lingered at the table longer than most nights. That's another great benefit of this meal.
Red Cabbage and Green Onion Slaw
adapted from www.nerdswithknives.com
For the slaw:
3 cups of finely shredded red cabbage
3 finely shredded green onions
For the dressing:
2T soy sauce
2T toasted sesame oil
2T red wine vinegar
1t finely minced garlic
1t grated fresh ginfer
1t sesame seeds
Mix together all of the dressing ingredients. Just before serving, add the dressing to the slaw. Serve immediately.