March 08, 2011

dieses ist Galbi...

Of all the Korean foods Galbi is the most popular. While there are many varieties of Galbi I have found two in particular that I enjoy more than any other, gal megi sal, and dak galbi.       

When it comes to traditional galbi, samgyeopsal, is the most popular amongst Koreans, personally I'm not the biggest fan. I prefer galmegisal, and there was a place by my old house that consistantly served great meat. I would frequent this place monthly, and last time around I finally remembered to snap a few photos.

First up, the uncooked meat, which is brought to the table (above left). along with the sides. At this place they bring Kadan Mari (egg souffle, pictured left), and lettuce, for wraps (below right). The peppers can be eaten raw, or they can be grilled on the BBQ alongside the meat (below left). Another popular item to girll is slices of garlic (not pictured).

Once you are given the heating element to the BBQ in the center of the table, you thrown the meat on and cook it.  The meat takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes to cook. A simple trick in flipping the meat is not to pick up the pieces one at a time. Simply roll the meat with the tongs along the grate, and you will look like a pro!

Dak Galbi is my favourite galbi to eat. Even moreso than galmegisal, I think the reason is because it is a great blend of flavours and textures. There are several components of Dak Galbi, and you can see several of them pictured (left). There are mushrooms, rice cake (chewy rice noodles), perilla leaves, sliced cabbage, scallions, chicken, and of course red pepper paste. All of these photos were taken at my favourite dak galbi place, which also happens to be near my old apartment. 
Once the ingredients are cut up and mixed together the whole dish is stir fried together. Dak galbi takes a while longer to make than regular old galbi. This is for several reasons, first and most importantly you don't want to eat undercooked chicken (pretty common sense). Secondly the whole dish cooks down quite a bit and the vegetables and rice cake soften up substantially.

Sitting and waiting for dak galbi can get frustrating if you are hungry right away (above right & left). However, the first thing to finish cooking are the rice cakes (pictured below left). The red pepper paste in the dish heavily seasons the cakes, and makes them quite spicy. 

A minute or so after the rice cakes have finished cooking the chicken, and rest of the meal is ready to be devoured. At this point of the meal you focus very little on the side dishes, and mostly gourge on the main dish.  Little warning though, dak galbi can be supremely spicy, and it is a spice that often times builds as you eat it.

I recently read a magazine article in which dak galbi was voted as the top Korean food by voters (see the whole list here). Considering my experience with the food, I whole heartedly agree. As does Corwin (below left).

No comments:

Post a Comment