Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Korean Barbeque: Galbi

As far as Korean food goes, there is not much better than Korean BBQ, otherwise known as Galbi.
Galbi, sometimes spelled kalbi, is a delicious meal of marinated beef ribs barbecued on a grill which is right in your table. Galbi dishes can also be made from pork, or chicken, although beef is the most common. It's a sort of do-it-yourself meal, where your server will bring everything you need to your table, after which you set about grilling your meal and getting all your fixings ready. When you order galbi you will usually receive a variety of sauces, garlic, kimchi, lettuce, and some soup along with your meat.

Occasionally, galbi is grilled for you and brought to your table, in which case it looks like this. This is a less common method than the grill-at-your-table method.

The grill-at-your-table traditional method is really neat, and personally is my favourite. Your server will bring you meat and then you'll slap it on the grill yourself, and grill it to perfection. Gabli is usually grilled over hot coals, and the grill has a hood to take away the smoke.

When the meat has cooked for a few minutes on each side, its time to cut it up into bite-sized morsels for eating. If you leave your galbi untouched for too long, your server will notice your shining white skin and come over and do this part for you, but its pretty easy, so you can do it yourself if you feel up for the challenge. Just grab the metal tongs that were used to put the meat on the grill, and that large pair of scissors that you've been wondering about since you sat down, but felt too embarrassed to ask what they were for. Pick up the meat with the tongs and start cutting with the scissors. Its not as easy as it sounds -- at least not for me -- but you'll get used to it.

The man in this picture is already going for the next step. Once the meat is cooked and you've cut it into delicious pieces, grab some lettuce and put a piece of meat -- dipped in your favourite sauce -- into a piece of lettuce with some rice, and maybe some kimchi, roasted garlic or bean sprouts. Wrap it into a ball, put the ball in your mouth, chew and enjoy!

Galbi is a delicious Korean food, traditionally only affordable to the rich and famous, but today available to everyone. There are Korean barbecue restaurants in most major cities in Canada and the US, and if you ever have the opportunity to try one, you definitely should. Delicious!

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