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Meal Planning

Do It Yourself Korean BBQ

Hot dogs? Yawn. Hamburgers? Bo-ring.

Why not mix it up this July 4th with a Korean style BBQ? We've laid out what it takes to create your own Korean food extravaganza, even down to the side dishes (critical), appetizers and soup.

Banchan, or side dishes, make a Korean meal. In fact, a simple Korean meal could consist simply of rice and banchan. But that's not all. A soup or stew could be a nice accompaniment. As is a bit of fresh greenery - whether in the form of lettuce or another side -- to eat along with your freshly grilled meat.

Sounds like a production? It is! But it's lots of fun, too. So before proceeding, the best thing to do is be ready for a bit of an investment with your time. Don't try to handle all of this the day-of -- make the side dishes and marinate the meat ahead of time.

STEP ONE: MARINATE THE BBQ

Kalbi - BBQ Short Ribs
A crowd-pleaser, for sure. For help picking out the right cut of meat, see this guide.

Bulgogi - Thinly Sliced Marinated Beef
If you don't have a grill, but you still want that Korean BBQ flavor, you can try making Bulgogi on a cooktop.

Korean Pork BBQ (Daeji Galbi)
If you've already mastered beef short ribs, try moving on to this variant using pork.

Lettuce Wrap (Sangchu Ssam)
This part is easy -- just make sure you have some fresh red leaf lettuce on hand, and mix up a little red bean paste + fermented bean paste to accompany your little lettuce wraps.

STEP TWO: MAKE THE SIDE DISHES (BANCHAN) AHEAD OF TIME

Korean-Style Potato Salad
Yep - somehow Western style potato salad has made it into Korean cuisine as a banchan (side dish). The Korean version is slightly sweet, tangy and as you can imagine, goes PERFECTLY with kimchi and BBQ.

Cabbage Kimchi (Yangbaechu Kimchi)
This kimchi is fairly quick to make and uses regular "Western" cabbage instead of Napa cabbage. Crunchier, easy to make and nice to enjoy fresh.

Napa Kimchi (Baechu Kimchi)
Yep ... this is the real deal. Making this is an adventure unto itself, and it should have time to ferment, so if you want to have this as part of your BBQ, you should definitely do it beforehand.

STEP THREE: MAKE SOME RICE! {We assume you've got this one under control}

STEP FOUR: MAKE A LITTLE SOMETHING TO WHET THE APPETITE

Seafood Pancake (Haemul Pajeon)
Haemul pajeon, or seafood pancakes, are a popular item to start off the meal. Make sure to eat them fresh off the griddle!

Korean Glass Noodles (Japchae)
You'll spot these at many a Korean party -- easy to make in vast quantities, and they keep quite well. Tasty and much loved...


STEP FIVE: WHIP UP A SOUP & STEWS (GUKS OR JJIGAES)

Bean Paste Stew (Doenjang Jjigae)
Fermented bean paste stew ... sounds appetizing, right? Think: a stronger, more intense miso, with all sorts of yummy things inside. Serve in a big bowl for shared eating, or you can scoop into smaller serving bowls as well.

STEP SIX: PUT IT ALL TOGETHER & ENJOY!
When it comes time to serve, assign someone else to grill the meat and put the rice in the cooker, while you finish up the starters and soup. Then it's just a matter of assembly and timing.

 

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