An irresistible smoky taste
Galbi is a grilled rib of beef or pork, or diced chicken. When it is well-grilled, the marinated beef rib, known as so-galbi, becomes a dark-reddish brown with a smoky sweet taste.
Almost every cut of beef can be grilled over the fire. The rib is the best cut for galbi because of its fat content. For a better taste, sit directly next to the grill table, and serve friends piece by piece.
Pork galbi is very popular in many Korean barbecue restaurants because it is cheaper than beef, and more tender.
Pork galbi is often served with a side of lettuce or other leaves that are used to wrap the slice of cooked meat, commonly together with some sliced garlic. This combination provides a well-balanced diet. Many visitors say that the smokeless indoor grill is very interesting.
Dakgalbi is spicy stir-fried chicken, made by stir-frying marinated diced chicken (‘dak’) in a sauce together with assorted vegetables on a round hot plate. Since this dish was developed in the small taverns on the outskirts of Chuncheon, in Gangwon Province, it is often called Chuncheon Dakgalbi.
The Dakgalbi Festival is held annually in Chuncheon. The festival is taking a new name this year: the Chuncheon Dakgalbi & Makguksu Festival.
“Chi-maek”, a Korean cultural experience.
Fried chicken has become the favored companion of draft beer since the 1970s. Now the combination, called chimaek (chicken + maekjoo (beer)), takes up an important part in Korean drinking life along with samso (pork BBQ + soju). Fried chicken is also the most popular snack, loved by everyone in Korea.
Chimaek is now part of the consumer culture in Korea and there is even a festival in Daegu with chimaek as its theme. The Chimaek Festival attracts hundreds of thousands of people annually. This year, more than 70 chicken brands and dozens of beer companies are expected to participate in the festival.
Visitors to the 2018 Chimaek Festival can enjoy an outdoor cinema where they can savor the perfect combination of delicious crispy fried chicken (’chi‘) together with a refreshing chilled beer (’maek‘, from the Korean word for beer, maekju) on a lawn. There are many attractions such as the Chimaek Café and creative contents.
Famous Korean dish
Bibimbap, which literally means mixed rice, is one of the most famous and popular Korean dishes. Bibimbap is served as a bowl of steamed rice topped with assorted vegetables called namul.
Toppings may vary depending on the time of year. As namul is already seasoned, there’s no need to add more salt. For those who enjoy a hot spicy taste, stir in a spoonful of the pungent local chili pepper paste, called gochujang.
A fried-egg or ground meat may also be included in the mix. Stirring everything together thoroughly in the bowl before eating is a mouthwatering experience. Bibimbap is rich in nutrition but low in calories.
Bulgogi is made from thinly sliced beef or pork. Before cooking, the meat is marinated with a mixture of soy sauce and other ingredients to enhance its flavor and tenderness. It is then grilled, often on a barbecue or on a stove-top griddle, or stir-fried in a pan.
Bulgogi is traditionally grilled, but alternative ways of cooking are popular today. Interestingly, it is the only dish in which the meat is marinated before cooking.
In the past, bulgogi was considered a feast for special occasions. Thanks to its taste and simplicity, it is arguably the most popular Korean dish among international visitors.
According to a recent lifestyle survey, Koreans love to eat bulgogi in the winter, and naengmyeon in the summer. Naengmyeon is the perfect choice with which to cool off on a hot summer’s day.
The exact recipe varies depending on the local region. In general, the noodles are thin strips of buckwheat dough.
Naengmyeon is served in a large bowl with a tangy iced broth, julienne cucumbers, slices of Korean pear, broad thin strips of lightly pickled radish, and either a boiled egg and/or slices of cold boiled beef.
The refreshing cold broth is made of beef, chicken (or pheasant), together with cabbage kimchi, radish kimchi, or a mix of the two. Vinegar, mustard or sugar can be added to taste.