The Top Tip For Ordering And Eating Korean BBQ For Beginner Foodies

While Korean barbecue is highly popular all over the world, not everyone has been lucky enough to experience this delicious cuisine. If you're interested in visiting a Korean barbecue restaurant but are worried about making a faux pas, here's a smart tip to remember. When making a ssam, which involves taking a piece of lettuce and filling it with meat, rice, and other ingredients, make sure the finished wrap can be eaten in one bite. Adding too many items to a ssam will make for a messy experience and will expose your dining naiveté to other guests.

Ssams are also a great way to express affection for your loved ones when sharing a meal. By carefully crafting a ssam with delectable ingredients, then passing on the tasty morsel to a friend or family member, you'll be showing the person just how much you care. You can then make your own ssam to share in the deliciousness right alongside them. Of course, there are other ways you can ensure a fun and fulfilling experience when enjoying Korean barbecue for the first time.

Pair your feast with authentic Korean beverages

If you imbibe alcoholic beverages, there are lots of great options to accompany your meal when visiting a Korean barbecue restaurant. Beer lovers might enjoy Cass, a Korean lager that offers a pleasing, slightly hoppy flavor. There's also Jeju Wit Ale, which features herbal notes that are sure to entice lovers of craft brews. You can even experiment with a malt lager, such as Jin, which is fizzy and bursting with bold flavors.

Soju is a nice alternative to beer, as this beverage is a spirit made with fermented white rice. It has a flavor similar to vodka and is usually enjoyed chilled on its own. However, you can also take a few pours of soju and incorporate them with a beer, making a concoction called somaek, such as Cass. The lightness of soju makes it a perfect pairing for things like brisket and pork belly, as it nicely offsets the rich, fatty flavors found in these dishes.

Be mindful when eating banchan

Banchan are smaller dishes that typically accompany Korean barbecue, and they're a highly pleasurable aspect of the culinary experience. Kimchi, a fermented dish typically featuring cabbage is a common part of the banchan spread. Diners can also enjoy marinated cucumbers with a touch of spice, saucy bean sprouts, and a palate cleansing salad made with seaweed. While banchan selections are quite tasty, diners should be mindful of eating too many side dishes too quickly before the actual meal.

It's customary to sample banchan dishes as soon as they're brought out. However, pairing different types of banchan with barbecue beef and pork will elevate the flavorful dishes even further, so be sure to reserve some for when the main course is prepared. And no matter how you're enjoying banchan, never eat directly from the serving dish or bowl. Instead, use a spoon or chopsticks to transfer some of the food to your own plate. With these tips, your first Korean barbecue experience is sure to be one to remember.