19 (Tue) January 2010
-Oksu (Joongang Heights Apts), Seongdong, Seoul, Korea-
Bulgogi (불고기) may be prepared by one of three methods. First, ideally to some (including me), the meat is cooked on an open grill over charcoal. The primary benefits are the smoky flavor and crisp texture of the slightly burnt edges from the direct heat. One drawback is the loss of marinade dripping into the fire, which can result in dryness if the meat is of poor quality or the marinade is insufficient. Thus, some prefer pan-cooking, which retains the juices. This is also the most common method used at home for obvious reasons of convenience. Finally, more of a restaurant thing, bulgogi is sometimes cooked in a ceramic hotpot, along with broth and sliced vegetables (e.g., mushrooms, napa cabbage), somewhat like a stew. Whatever the method, it’s almost certain to be accompanied by rice and kimchi, and maybe a few additional sides.
As the primary meal-maker in my family, I’m grateful that most major supermarkets here, even Costco, have bulgogi marinated and ready to go. I usually add more sugar, fresh cracked black pepper, and some sesame oil to suit my personal tastes, as well as any vegetables that may be lying around (e.g., paprika, as pictured above), but it’s all good.
NOTE: This post was initially published on GMTD’s prior site and is now reposted on this site. Due to the unavailability of the original image files, however, the photos presented here are the low-resolution versions downloaded from the prior site, hence the poor quality. Thank you for your understanding.