How to Host a Korean-Style Barbecue Party

Add some spice to your barbecue party by adding a Korean twist
Korean Barbecue

Photo Modified: Flickr / Guian Bolisay / CC BY-SA 3.0

Spice up your barbecue party with some classic Korean bulgogi.

Grilling season is almost here, and this year it’s definitely time to switch up our standard barbecue repertoire by adding a hint of spicy Korean inspiration to our weekend cookouts. By buying a few staple Korean ingredients, planning ahead of time so you can marinade your meat overnight, and cooking a few authentic side dishes, you’ll be well on your way to hosting the tastiest Korean barbecue party.You don’t have to go to a Korean restaurant to eat delicious Korean food. The flavors may seem complex, and the taste exceptionally unusual, but we promise that it’s easier to recreate this cuisine at home than you would imagine: The secret to most Korean barbecue is in the marinade, rather than any complex cooking technique.

There are a few staple Korean barbecue dishes that you can pick and choose from to be the stars of your party. Bulgogi is perhaps the most famous Korean barbecue dish and is probably the best place to start if you and your friends are Korean-cuisine beginners. Thinly sliced beef is marinated in soy sauce, ginger, chopped Asian pear, garlic, sesame oil, and light brown sugar overnight, before being cooked on the grill for about two minutes, creating a simple, but incredibly flavorful, barbecue dish.

If you want to branch out from the classic beef option, we recommend you try classic, authentic, spicy Korean pork. The pork is definitely an option for the braver eaters: Marinated in Korean chile flakes (gochugaru) and Korean chile paste (gochujang) the fiery spice of this meat combines so well with the smoky barbecue flavors.

Alternatively, you could introduce your friends to the wonderful world of Korean barbecue in a much more American-friendly way: with chicken wings. Coated in a sweet-salty-spicy-sticky sauce, Korean chicken wings are an easy way to get everyone addicted to the flavors of Korean cuisine.

Obviously, you’re going to need some sides to go with all those meats. Start the evening with some simple pan-fried vegetable dumplings, or maybe a spicy kimchi pancake. Alongside the meat, you’re definitely going to want some plain rice, and it wouldn’t be a Korean feast without a few mouthfuls of kimchi for everybody.

Keep the drinks on the Korean theme too by serving some light Korean beer and some exotic Soju cocktails. Clink those bottles, turn the grill on, and a Korean feast will be your new summer-grilling staple.

 

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