Korean barbecue (고기구이, gogi-gui, “meat roast”) refers to the popular method in Korean cuisine of grilling meat, typically beef, pork, or chicken. Such dishes are often prepared on gas or charcoal grills built into the dining table itself. Some Korean restaurants that do not have built-in grills provide customers with portable stoves for diners to use at their tables. Alternatively, a chef uses a centrally displayed grill to prepare dishes to order.
The most representative form of gogi-gui is bulgogi, usually made from thinly sliced marinated beef sirloin or tenderloin. Another popular form is galbi, made from marinated beef short ribs. However, gogi-gui also includes many other kinds of marinated and unmarinated meat dishes, and can be divided into several categories. Korean barbecue is popular among Koreans, but has also gained popularity worldwide.
Meats – Marinated
Beef : Bulgogi (불고기)
Beef : Galbi (갈비)
Beef : Jumulleok (주물럭), short steaks marinated with sesame oil
Pork : Dwaeji bulgogi (돼지불고기), spicy pork bulgogi
Chicken : Dak galbi (닭갈비), barbecued chicken
Meats – Unmarinated
Beef : Chadol bagi (차돌박이), thinly sliced brisket point
Beef : Deungsim (등심), sirloin
Beef : Kkot deungsim (꽃등심) rib eye steak roll
Beef : Ansim (안심), beef tenderloin
Beef : Salchisal (살치살), chuck flap tail
Beef : Galbisal (갈비살), rib meat
Beef : Chae kkeut (채끝), strip loin
Beef : Buchaesal (부채살), top blade
Beef : Anchangsal (안창살), outside skirt steak
Beef : Chimasal yangji (치마살양지), flank steak
Pork : Samgyeopsal (삼겹살), pork belly
Chicken : Dak gui (닭구이)
Marinated barbecue meats
According to a grill research website, Bulgogi is the most popular variety of Korean barbecue. Before cooking, the meat is marinated with a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic and pepper. It is traditionally cooked using gridirons or perforated dome griddles that sit on braziers, but pan cooking has become common as well.
Galbi is made with beef short ribs, marinated in a sauce that may contain soy sauce, water, garlic, sugar and sliced onions. It is believed to taste best when grilled with charcoal or soot (숯, burned wood chips).
Jumulleok is short steak marinated with sesame oil, salt and pepper. It is almost similar to unmarinated gogigui and one thing that distinguishes it from other kinds is its steak-like juicy texture. Spicy pork daeji bulgogi is also a popular gogigui dish. It is different from beef bulgogi in that the marinade is not soy sauce-based, but instead, is marinated in sauces based on gochujang and/or gochu garu (Korean chili powder).
Un-marinated barbecue meats
Chadolbegi is a dish made from thinly sliced beef brisket, which is not marinated. It is so thin that it cooks nearly instantly as soon as it is dropped onto a heated pan.
Samgyeopsal is made of thicker strips of unsalted pork belly. It has fatty areas and is tender. In Korea, samgyeopsal is eaten more frequently than chadolbegi due to the comparatively lower price of pork.
Also, loins (deungshim, 등심) and boneless ribs (갈비살) are a popular choice for an unmarinated type of gogigui.
Read our article about Korean Food.