Sunday, 17 April 2011


So having lived in Korea for over a year, I have realised that it is criminal of me not to have documented a single one of our many Samgyeopsal visits.

Samgyeopsal is the Korean bbq experience and one not to be missed. I am not under any illusions and know that the samgyeopsal restaurant is a meat eating domain, but I still enjoy it and love to experiment with vegetarian alternatives.
The idea is that you first order your meat, favourites of which are the marinaded galbi and regular thick bacon strips. The raw meat is brought to your table instantaneously along with an astounding array of side dishes, kimchi and lettuce leaves for you to munch your way through. Although I obviously don't eat the meat, I order a portion of dwenjan jjigae (a soy and tofu stew) and make my way through a ton of barbecued kimchi!!! (traditional fermented  cabbage).

The idea is to take strips of pork and cut it up using tongs and scissors. You then lay out a lettuce leaf, add some grilled garlic and kimchi with a dollop of soybean paste and then top it with your meat and a few beansprouts. You then wrap it into a little parcel which you scoff in one juicy mouthful.

Alternatively you dip your cooked meat (or kimchi) into the vinaigrette and onion dressing using your chopsticks along with a small amoutn of mixed salad. It's an incredibly healthy meal.

There are also some truly wonderful salads and accompaniments which can include squid, a scrambled egg pot, whole chillies, fish and even pineapple if you are lucky.

One rather interesting point though is that in this style of restaurant, it is assumed at all times that the foreigner has no barbecuing ability. Therefore the ajummamas frustratingly take over at every opportunity and usually ends up dumping the cooked pieces of meat onto my little meat free corner.. mmm yummy meaty fermented cabbage.

Samgyeopsal is usually a social event and sometimes the table can become very busy with dishes, beer bottles and soju!

It is a very Korean affair- not just a bbq, a Korean bbq!! The best part is the cost. A full meal including beer or soju will not usually set you back more than 10,000 won a piece (5 whole English pounds)!!!!

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