As part of Grilling Month on Food Republic, we asked our go-to illustrator David Navas and his wife, writer Judy Cantor-Navas, to take us on a world tour of grilling. While we Americans like to think that we have a trademark on barbecue culture, throwing meat on a grill over fire is a global phenomenon. Still, that’s no reason for you to have to look at more boring photographs of steaks and flames. Instead, let’s take a more artful look at how different people interact with their grilled meats.
Also Known As: Gogigui
What’s grilled: Short ribs, pork belly, brisket, rib eye.
The Setup: Korean BBQ restaurants tables have a “barbecue pit” in the middle, a round or rectangular well with a grill or griddle over gas or coal. You can recreate it at home with your George Forman, a camp grill or a tabletop gas grill found at Asian restaurant supply stores and supermarkets.
The Sides: Lettuce leaves for wrapping, fresh scallions, spicy bean paste; garlic slices for grilling; small plates of kimchi, pickles and vegetables, called banchan. (Related: How to make a Korean banchan spread.)
The Sauce: The basic mix is Asian pear, sake, soy sauce, honey and sesame seeds.
The Drink: Traditional poricha (barley tea), Hite beer.
Grill-side style: Unlike the casual American backyard barbecue, traditional Korean barbecue is regimented by strict table manners, and rituals that prescribe how to eat it. As a foreigner, you don’t have to worry so much about the right size to tear the lettuce. But do be polite at this communal table, and wear a dark shirt, so if you slop the sauce it will be less obvious.
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