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KBBQ @ Home: Our Favorite Recipes

March 4, 2020

A classic American BBQ is great, but with these Korean BBQ recipes, we hope you’re ready for a refreshing twist on your usual outdoor cooking.

korean bbq recipes

For many, “Korean BBQ” usually conjures the experience of sitting around a smoky table in a bustling restaurant, surrounded by friends and loved ones, busy wait staff, and of course the intoxicating smells of grilled meat.

But you don’t have to wait for a table or get stuck with a huge gratuity just to enjoy the comforts of KBBQ. With the right ingredients and equipment, you can enjoy this staple of Korean food in your very own home.

Whether you’re prepping for a party or just want to practice your grilling skills, we’ve put together six of our favorite Korean BBQ recipes you can try this very weekend. Read on to learn about the basics of Korean BBQ, the cooking equipment you’ll need, and of course classic Korean BBQ recipes.

Components of Korean BBQ

Grill

The central component of Korean BBQ is, of course, the grill. But don’t worry if you don’t have a gas or charcoal grill built directly into the table like you’re used to in restaurants. You can cook KBBQ (typically beef, chicken, and pork) using a standalone gas or charcoal grill, a portable stove or grill, an oven broiler, or even (for some dishes) stir-fried in a pan.

Refrigeration

KBBQ is all about the meat. That means you’ll need a quality refrigerator or freezer to store the meat in preparation for grilling. Make sure to practice good food safety any time you’re defrosting frozen meat!

Banchan

No Korean BBQ is complete without an assortment of vegetable side dishes, or banchan. While you can try your hand at making some at home, many popular dishes – such as kimchi – can be bought from the market fully prepared. That way you can focus on grilling!

Sauces & Toppings

Like any good BBQ, many KBBQ recipes call for simple dipping sauces or toppings like green onions.

Now to the recipes.

Our Favorite Korean BBQ Recipes

BULGOGI

The superstar of Korean BBQ, bulgogi (“fire meat”) is thinly sliced marinated beef cooked at high heat. The marinade is usually quite simple, with few ingredients, and the meat can be marinated quickly, making for a super easy KBBQ dish.

Though usually made with beef, you can also make “bulgogi” from pork, chicken, and even fish by using a similar marinade and cooking method.

Scroll down for classic recipes.

1. Beef Bulgogi Recipe

For this beef bulgogi recipe, use top sirloin or beef tenderloin (the tenderest cuts). For the marinade, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Soy sauce
  • Brown sugar
  • Asian pear or red apple cider
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Black pepper
  • Sesame oil

If desired, you can cook the meat with onion and carrot, and top with green onions. The linked recipe has helpful information for grilling vs. pan-frying.

2. Spicy Pork Bulgogi Recipe

In this spicy pork bulgogi recipe, you’ll cook thinly sliced pork shoulder with onion and scallions.

For the marinade, you’ll use similar ingredients to other bulgogi sauce, but with chili peppers and chili paste for a spicy flavor:

  • Korean chili pepper paste
  • Korean chili pepper flakes
  • Soy sauce
  • Rice wine or mirin
  • Sugar or brown sugar
  • Corn syrup or honey
  • Sesame oil
  • Minced garlic
  • Ginger
  • Small grated apple

For the best flavor, you’ll need to marinate the meat for at least an hour before grilling or stir-frying.

3. Chicken Bulgogi Recipe

Though chicken (“dak”) bulgogi is often spicy like the pork recipe above, the marinade in this chicken bulgogi recipe contains no chili paste or peppers. Instead, the ingredients are similar to those for the classic beef bulgogi above.

Note that you’ll need to marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours or overnight.

GALBI

You can’t have a barbecue without ribs. Luckily, ribs (galbi) are staples of Korean BBQ.

Like bulgogi, galbi consists of marinating thin cuts of meat for several hours or overnight for maximum flavor, then grilling or pan-frying.

Find recipes for beef and pork ribs below.

4. Beef Galbi Recipe

Traditional galbi means beef short ribs, which are right up there with bulgogi as a favorite KBBQ dish. This galbi recipe features LA-style galbi, which is cut slightly differently (longer and thinner) than traditional galbi but uses the same marinade.

5. Pork Galbi Recipe

Just like bulgogi, you can make galbi without beef. Once again, it’s all about the signature marinade and cooking style here. This pork (“dwaeji”) galbi recipe helpfully includes an option for a non-spicy, sweet and savory marinade OR a spicy marinade for those who want an extra kick.

PORK BELLY

Who doesn’t love grilled pork belly at a barbecue? In KBBQ, pork belly can be grilled plain and served with a dipping sauce and salad, or marinated before cooking. Read on to learn more.

6. Grilled Pork Belly Recipe

For this super quick and easy grilled pork belly recipe, you’ll make a spicy dipping sauce (“ssamjang”) for the pork as well as a simple green onion salad to serve on the side.

A classic American BBQ is great, but with these Korean BBQ recipes, we hope you’re ready for a refreshing twist on your usual outdoor cooking.

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