Korean BBQ... at home
Have you been to Toronto??? That's pretty much the first thing and last thing you have to try if you're there. Its pretty much all you can eat for 13.95 dinner... and when they say ayce, its not like vancouver where you can only have beef... they really mean everything... beef, beef rib, chicken, pork, fish... and anything on the menu. That was a few years ago but i dont imagine they would have increased their prices that much more.
So reminiscing of acye korean bbq, we visited some joints in Vancouver... They dont really have AYCE, there were 2 places we know of, one is Dae Bak Bon Ga (but they dont do AYCE anymore and the other one is Pork Belly Beer House http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/14/1520867/restaurant/Robson-Street-West-End/Pork-Belly-Beer-House-Vancouver in downtown Vancouver. The second place is still pretty awesome, but its just pork belly and you'd need to pay more for more stuff. their beer is pretty cheap though so u can more than be full for the price. Still kinda limited sauces and stuff... so it left me craving for the Toronto experience... How is it that Vancouver is so much more asian and AYCE korean bbq hasnt become widespread???
The next best thing is to make it yourself at home. Of course, the beauty at Korean places is also the multitude of side dishes, and pretty ghetto atmosphere where if you're asian and somewhat pale skin, they assume you're korean, and will say many sentences while you give the blank look, hinting that you dont understand, yet it still keeps coming... Or maybe they just dont feel like speaking in English unless necessary.
The side dishes:
- Kimchi (i have my own way of making it, i find it a bit easier and less salty than what i've found online, depends what taste you are going for)
- Daikon (lo bok) (same as kimchi)
- seaweed (love that stuff... this video is kinda weird because she adds pollock)
- potatoes (kinda simple, just sweet sauce)
- bean sprouts (love that stuff too)
These are kinda tough to get because you are only going to eat a small quantity everytime so u'd be making a pretty big quantity of each. Worth making your own if you are going all out, but otherwise, you can go to H-Mart and pick up a small quantity of each.
Now the main stuff: MEATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTtttttts
- pork (kalbi sauce)
- chicken (kalbi sauce)
- beef (bulgogi sauce) --> sure, u can buy it from these guys, or you can go to TNT, it was on sale for 3$ a few weeks ago.
- beef shortrib (kalbi sauce)
The meat... you dont have to buy precut stuff... its not as fresh and its more expensive (you have no choice for shortrib cause more people i know dont own a saw they can use for cutting rib bones)
I buy the chicken from any supermarket when its on sale, frozen 3$/lb for chicken breast. Beef, you could really use anything but sirloin works well because everything is sauced u dont have to worry that much about it going dry (unless u over cook it)
This is the main decision you have to make. If you've been to korean bbq, you must have noticed how your grill eventually gets to a point where u just cant grill anymore and you really should just get it swapped. At home, you dont have that luxury. I bought one that looks a lot like the one at the restaurant. The first time around, feels great, yeahhhhhhhhh i'm at the restaurant. Tastes great. And then comes the washing part... this is where your dreams crumble down like the buildings in Inception. Look at it after two cooking sessions, and trust me... VERY hard to wash... i've tried dish washer... soaking it in water with soap... using the gas range to burn that stuff (this seemed to be the only solution really but would use a whole lot of gas to clean absolutely everything).
Its never gonna be clean, unless i spend way too much effort, which time costs more than the salary i'd make working that same time to buy a new one. So for my birthday, my fiancee bought me this non-stick one, after we watched korean TV in an LA thai joint showing korean TV. It changed my life. Its about as non-stick as you can want, while still able to char the surface of the meat (which is the problem of most non-stick pans, so Calphalon designed this "sear" collection which is non-stick and can sear).
This is how the new korean grill looks like after the damage. You know its a good sign when the sugar burnt stuff lifts up by itself. The only thing i hate is that I dont have to spend so much effort cleaning it... nooooooootttttt.
Oh yeah, i should show you the food.
Bacon is really nice on this grill!!!
Or you could use the George Foreman grill. But let me tell you... it doesnt really work for korean bbq because most of its browning power is from the top heating element and when you cut meat thin the way you like it for korean bbq... it doesnt touch the top element... sadly. But i love the non-stick surface.
Crispy and delicious meat!!! and onions that come with it. Enjoy with a beer, on a balcony, hot summer day, with the sun setting. its kind of what happened.
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