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The Grill in the Table for Korean BBQ


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On a trip to Tokyo, I went into a Korean Restaurant that had grills in the middle of all the tables.

The food was served raw, with condiment trays and sauce trays.

Has anyone ever seen this in America?

I'm curious.....

Eric

RestaurantEdge.com

why yes i have...down on harry hines (dallas) they have a korean place such as u have described...and i have family that lives out in tucson arizona who have been to one out there as well....if i remember correctly im told its on speedway blvd but i dont remember the names right off hand...

so im thinking...thats two here in th good ol US of A so its highly likely we have them all over the place...you just have to look for them

a recipe is merely a suggestion

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Has anyone ever seen this in America?

I'm in middle Canada and we have at least one place that has this. It's a Mongolean BBQ called Palatal. You have the option of having the cooks grill up your food or you can do it yourself at your own table.

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Even at korean resturants that don't have the built in grills, if you order grill dishes (more than one order, total), they will bring out a portable butane grill setup for you.

I like the places that use wood/coals instead of gas but they are few and far between.

Soup

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In Japan the Korean BBQ places are referred to as Yakiniku (click). Korean restaurants however in Japan are, uh, how do you say, Japanicized, so they don't usually carry the full breadth of Korean dishes that you see in Korean restaurants in the US. You don't typically see the obligatory first course of Banchan, with a selection of Jigaes, different mandoo, etc.

Soup, I agree, coal is definitely preferable over gas, but you are starting to see even the top Korean BBQ places in NYC and NJ convert over to gas now.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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There quite prevalent where I am, and moreso in Toronto for obvious reasons.

The experience seems to vary considerably from place to place, whether tabletop or built-in grill. At a restaurant in Korea town I was surprised to see that when we ordered Kalbi the waitress brought the raw tray and shoved all of it right on the hot grill, rather than letting us cook at the pace we wanted.

Are there not also differences in how the meat is prepared beforehand? My korean friend makes an incredible kalbi marinade and uses ribs that have been cut crosswise, whereas several restaurants I've tried have served individually cut ribs and meat rather than the way more amusing crosscut version.

I hope I find a gem in the future as I've found Korean food (other than the odd type of kimchi or fish stew) bland and uninteresting.

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Can't think of a better place for Korean BBQ at 4:30 am.

When I used to stay out late/early in the morning, there were two things that I look forward to cap off the evening. First is the a great breakfast at a diner . The other is going to a korean place.

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In the north New Jersey area(i.e. Fort Lee, Cliffside Park) there are at least 2-3 dozen a number of which are open 24 hours a day, great after a long night one is about 4-5 miles from my house.

edit: (i guess nj is not exactly middle america; geographicly)

Edited by M.X.Hassett (log)
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There quite prevalent where I am, and moreso in Toronto for obvious reasons.

The experience seems to vary considerably from place to place, whether tabletop or built-in grill. At a restaurant in Korea town I was surprised to see that when we ordered Kalbi the waitress brought the raw tray and shoved all of it right on the hot grill, rather than letting us cook at the pace we wanted.

Are there not also differences in how the meat is prepared beforehand? My korean friend makes an incredible kalbi marinade and uses ribs that have been cut crosswise, whereas several restaurants I've tried have served individually cut ribs and meat rather than the way more amusing crosscut version.

I hope I find a gem in the future as I've found Korean food (other than the odd type of kimchi or fish stew) bland and uninteresting.

Even for folks who've found poor quality korean food, I'm suprised that you would use the world "bland" to describe it. Most of korean food is about "in your face" strong tastes and smells.

As for the merinade, there are a lot of differences although soy sauce and seseme oil seems to be constants. The cut of rib most people use at home is call LA cut or Flanken cut. Most resturants will take a larger peice of meat off the rib and butterfly it. Don't know what that cut is referred to. Eitherway, with a good marinade and a good grill, it all taste great.

I hope you find some great korean food. It is really a treat.

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On a trip to Tokyo, I went into a Korean Restaurant that had grills in the middle of all the tables.

The food was served raw, with condiment trays and sauce trays.

Has anyone ever seen this in America?

I'm curious.....

Eric

RestaurantEdge.com

In Philadelphia:

Porky & Porkie Korean BBQ Buffet, 11th Street and Washington Avenue.

Opened this past spring.

Loads o' fun. Great for a group outing.

There are other Korean restaurants in town that serve food that you cook yourself on a tabletop grill or burner, but most of these aren't raw meat buffets.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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  • 2 months later...

The banchan served at these Korean bbq places are not necessarily first course items. They are meant to accompany the grilled meat. Here is a summary of typical banchan served in grilled meat restaurants in Korea:

1. Various kinds of kimchi

- Regular kimchi

- Scallion kimchi

- Cucumber kimchi

- Water kimchi

- Unfermented kimchi (basically "raw" kimchi that has been fresh made and not fermented)

2. Various "Jeons" or pancakes

- Seafood and scallion pancake

- Mungbean pancake

- Pancakes that utilize seasonal produce

3. Various leafy greens for "Ssam" - for wrapping the meat

- Green leaf lettuce

- Red leaf lettuce

- Chinese cabbage

- Korean perilla leaves (I don't know if this is the accurate name for this aromatic leaf)

4. Condiments for "Ssam"

- Korean fermented bean paste for "Ssam" (called "Ssam-jang")

- Korean red pepper paste ("Gochujang")

- Sliced raw garlic slivers (dipped into Ssam-jang and put on top of meat wrapped in any "Ssam" leafy green)

- Marinated scallions (these are scallions that haven been shredded very thin and tossed with sesame oil, salt, red pepper flakes, vinegar) - also to be put into "Ssam"

5. Various "Banchan"

- Various "Namool banchan" - various blanched and marinated vegetables such as mung bean sprouts ("Kongnamul"), spinach ("Shigumchi namul"), etc.

- Various fermented seafoods "Jutkkal" - fermented squid, fermented oyster, fermented fish guts, etc.

6. Dipping Sauce for Meat

- Sesame oil with salt and pepper mixed together

- Sometimes grilled meat is dipped directly into "Ssam-jang"

7. Western Style Salads

- Iceberg lettuce in some form of house style oriental dressing

- Potato salad (usually boiled potatoes with apples in mayonnaise)

- Kabocha squash salad (steamed kabocha in mayonnaise or simply served as is)

8. "Mook" or Jellies

- Acorn "Mook" - Jelly made from Acorn starch and marinated with sesame oil, red pepper flakes, salt, etc.

- "Chungpo Mook" - Jelly made from starch of mung beans (I might be wrong) and also marinated with sesame oil, dried laver, soy sauce, sesame seeds, etc.

These are the accompaniments to the grilled meat. Just pick and choose whatever you want to eat with your meat.

After you are done eating the meats, the rice or noodle course ("Shik Sa") is served. Steamed white rice is served with "Dwenjang Chigae" (Korean fermented bean paste stew) or a cold noodle in beef broth "Naeng Myun" is served.

Dessert follows, which is ususally fresh fruit. Sometimes the restaurant will also serve Korean style fermented sweet rice punch called "Shik Hae".

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Welcome, thdad, and great post! What is "water kimchi"?

Water kimchi or "Mool Kimchi" (Mool is water in Korean) is kimchi that is fermented and served submerged in ample fermented liquid. Regular kimchi is sort of a "dry rub" marination method and the only liquid that comes out is the naturally fermented juice drawn out from the heavily salted and seasoned cabbage.

In the case of mool kimchi, water is added to the kimchi so that it ferments while completely submerged. The fermentation process will also ferment the liquid as well, imparting it with a refreshing tartness and slight spritz.

Mool kimchi in general are not overly spicy as a result of adding less red pepper flakes (and/or ground fresh red pepper) for the marinade. As a result, it is a more delicate form of kimchi in terms of flavor. The liquid is the most important component of this kimchi, as it is eaten with a spoon to get a mouthful of liquid and contents. Some people will only drink the liquid of mool kimchi. Also, the liquid is supposed to be a cure-all for bad hangovers (although I haven't tried it).

The most popular mool kimchi eaten in Korea are "Dong chee mee" made with Korean white turnip and "Nabak Kimchi" made with small cut cabbage as main ingredients. The liquid from "Dong chee mee" is a major flavoring component for the cold beef broth used in Korean "Naeng Myun" (or cold noodle soup).

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