Korean barbecue

Korean barbecue (Korean: 고기구이, gogi-gui, 'meat roast') is a popular method in Korean cuisine of grilling meat, typically beef, pork or chicken. Such dishes are often prepared on gas or charcoal grills built into the dining table itself. Some Korean restaurants that do not have built-in grills provide customers with portable stoves for diners to use at their tables. Alternatively, a chef uses a centrally displayed grill to prepare dishes that are made to order.

Korean BBQ
Korean name
Revised Romanizationgogigui

The most representative form of gogi-gui is bulgogi, usually made from thinly sliced marinated beef sirloin or tenderloin. Another popular form is galbi, made from marinated beef short ribs.[1] However, gogi-gui also includes many other kinds of marinated and unmarinated meat dishes, and can be divided into several categories. Korean barbecue is popular in its home country, but has also gained popularity worldwide.


Korean BBQ was founded between 37 B.C. to 668 A.D. It was initially called “maekjeok”, which translated to “meat over a fire”, but was then changed to “bulgogi”. [2]It gained its global popularity through Hallyu, more commonly known as the “Korean Wave”, a term that describes the rise in popularity of Korean culture during the 1990s and 2000s.[3]


Koreans enjoying grilled meat and alcohol in the 18th century
Meat Marinated Unmarinated
  • Bulgogi (불고기) (also known as 'fire meat')
  • Galbi (갈비)
  • Jumulleok (주물럭), short steaks marinated with sesame oil
  • Dak galbi (닭갈비), spicy marinated chicken
  • Dak gui (닭구이), grilled chicken

Marinated barbecue meats

Bulgogi is the most popular variety of Korean barbecue. Before cooking, the meat is marinated with a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, ginger, scallions, sesame oil, garlic and pepper.[4] Pears are also traditionally used in the marinade to help tenderize the meat, but kiwi and pineapple have also been used more recently.[5] It is traditionally cooked using gridirons or perforated dome griddles that sit on braziers, but pan cooking has become common as well.

Sutbul (embers of charcoal) for barbecue

Galbi is made with beef short ribs, marinated in a sauce that may contain mirin, soy sauce, water, garlic, brown sugar, sugar and sliced onions. It is believed to taste best when grilled with charcoal or soot (, burned wood chips).[6][7]

Jumulleok is short steak marinated with sesame oil, salt and pepper. It is similar to unmarinated gogi-gui, distinguished it from other kinds of meat by its steak-like juicy texture. Jumulleok is also commonly found with sliced duck instead of beef.

Dwaeji bulgogi, or spicy pork, is also a popular gogigui dish. It is different from beef bulgogi in that the marinade is not soy sauce-based, but, instead, is marinated in sauces based on gochujang and/or gochu garu (Korean chili powder).[8] The flavor is usually better when made with fattier cuts of pork, such as pork shoulder or pork belly. [9]

Un-marinated barbecue meats

Korean barbecue-Galbi

Chadolbagi or chadolbaegi is a dish made from thinly sliced beef brisket, which is not marinated. It is so thin that it cooks nearly instantly as soon as it is dropped onto a heated pan.

Samgyeopsal is made of thicker strips of unsalted pork belly. It has fatty areas and is tender. In Korea, samgyeopsal is eaten more frequently than chadolbaegi due to the comparatively lower price of pork.

Korean barbeque-pork belly

Loins (deungsim, 등심) and boneless ribs (galbisal, 갈비살) are also a popular choice as an unmarinated type of gogigui.

Side dishes

Gogi-gui comes with various banchan (side dishes). The most popular side dishes are rice[10] and kimchi,[11] and a green onion salad called pajeori and a fresh vegetable dish including lettuce, cucumbers, and peppers invariably accompany the meat dishes at restaurants. Other popular side dishes include the spinach side dish (sigeumchi namul/시금치나물), egg roll omelette (gyeran-mari/계란말이), spicy radish salad (mu saengchae/무생채),[12] and a steamed egg soufflé (gyeran-jjim/계란찜).[13] A popular way of eating Korean barbecue is to wrap the meat with lettuce and/or perilla leaves and add condiments such as pajeori (spicy scallion salad) and ssamjang (a spicy paste made of doenjang mixed with gochujang).[14]

Korean barbecue is also popularly paired with alcoholic drinks, such as beer, soju, makgeolli, or wine.[15]

See also


  1. Although beef galbi is the most common form of galbi, it may also be made from pork ribs or chicken.
  2. Ahn, Byung-woo. "Korean Journal". Korean Journal.
  3. "Past, Present and Future of Hallyu (Korean Wave)" (PDF).
  4. "Bulgogi (Korean Barbecued Beef)". Food Network. Retrieved 2021-03-27.
  5. "A Brief History of Bulgogi, Korea's Most Delicious Export (Recipe)". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 2021-03-27.
  6. "Watch: How to Do All-You-Can-Eat Korean Barbecue Like a Pro". Eater. Retrieved 2018-03-30.
  7. "Grilled Beef Galbi (Korean-Style Marinated Short Ribs) Recipe". www.seriouseats.com. Retrieved 2021-03-27.
  8. "An Introduction to Korean Barbecue". www.seriouseats.com. Retrieved 2021-03-27.
  9. "Dwaeji Bulgogi (Korean-Style Spicy Grilled Pork) Recipe". www.seriouseats.com. Retrieved 2021-03-27.
  10. "An Introduction to Korean Barbecue". www.seriouseats.com. Retrieved 2021-03-27.
  11. "Beyond Kimchi, The Rich Variety of Side Dishes in Korean Cuisine". KCET. 2016-10-17. Retrieved 2021-03-26.
  12. Kastner, Erica (2018-09-20). "5 Easy Korean Side Dishes". The Pioneer Woman. Retrieved 2021-03-26.
  13. Kim, Sohui (12 February 2019). "Dashi-Steamed Egg Custard". Bon Appétit. Retrieved 2021-03-26.
  14. "An Introduction to Korean Barbecue". www.seriouseats.com. Retrieved 2021-03-27.
  15. "An Introduction to Korean Barbecue". www.seriouseats.com. Retrieved 2021-03-27.
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