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The Ultimate Korean BBQ At Home

Korean BBQ is the ultimate celebration meal! It's exciting, delicious, and pretty easy to make at home once you know what you're doing.

To host a genuine Korean BBQ night, a visit to your local Korean grocery store, like H-mart, is a must. Here's a quick overview of what you'll need to create an authentic Korean BBQ spread:

Fatty Cuts of Meat: Look for well-marbled cuts of beef. Varieties like brisket, flank, and tri-tip are perfect for the grill. If you feel like ballin out, get something fancy like a ribeye for slicing. Pork belly is a requirement in my opinion.

Banchan (Side Dishes): These small, flavorful dishes are essential to balance the richness of grilled meats. Kimchi is a must, so pick a spice level that works for you, but also explore pickled cucumbers, seaweed salads, marinated fish, and more. The store should have a section for these already prepped.

Sauces for Dipping: Ssamjang, a spicy dipping sauce made from doenjang (similar to miso) and gochujang (fermented pepper paste), is a staple. Don't forget to offer a simple salt and sesame seed dip and individual bowls of sesame oil for dipping.

Fresh Veggies: Select veggies that can withstand the grill's heat, like mushrooms, seasonal vegetables (peppers, onions, squash, go nuts here). Korean green chiles are also really nice. They are a sharp spicy bite that can help reset your palette after too much fatty meat. Grill these as well or just leave them raw. Slice some green onion into long strips and then dunk them into some ice water to get some nice curls. It’s good to have a bunch of these around so you can use them as needed!

Leaves for Wrapping: Boston lettuce and perilla leaves make perfect wraps for your grilled meats.

Rice: Prepare fluffy white rice to accompany all the meats and banchan. Rinse it until the water runs clear, and use a ratio of 1 part rice to 1.5 part water. Let that run in a rice cooker and you’re set with perfect rice.

Drinks: No Korean bbq experience would be complete without the beer and soju. For beers, stick with something light and crisp. Cass and Hite are two korean classics, but Miller Lite works super well in a pinch. For soju, the flavor possibilities are endless. Soju is a Korean distilled liquor that usually hovers around 15-25 alcohol, so stronger than wine, but not as strong as something like sake or vodka. There are a ton of different flavors, so pick a couple of bottles you think sound good. Peach, Lychee, and yogurt are some of my favorites. To really throw down, mix a half shot of soju with about 3/4 a glass of lite beer. Mix that by either covering with a napkin, slapping it on your hand and then throwing it forward; or you drop a spoon or chopstick to the bottom of the glass so it foams up immediately. Drain that and now you’re ready for some kbbq at home.

Butane Burner/ KBBQ Grill Pan: The most important part of this whole experience is the cooking and eating together, so it is key to have a way to do the communal cooking. These butane burners work really well, and they make pan covers for them specifically for barbecuing. Any butane stove like this can run the risk of carbon monoxide getting into your house, so be sure to use them in a well ventilated area, and be sure to have a carbon monoxide monitor working in your home. Also this would be a great time to purchase a fire extinguisher if you don’t have one handy in your kitchen. Be smart and safe with this.

H-Mart Shopping List

Butane stove BBQ grill pan Sliced frozen brisket Large cut of beef for snipping while cooking Any thin sliced beef you'd like (flank, ribeye) Sliced pork belly Doenjang Gochujang Gochugaru Soy Sauce Dark Soy Sauce Seasoned Rice Vinegar Mirin Toasted Sesame Oil Toasted Sesame Seed Korean Radish Mushrooms of your choosing Korean chili peppers Kimchi House-made banchan Soju Beer (Cass or Hite)

Pork belly marinade


Dipping Salt

Pickled Radish

The prep work for this is actually pretty quick. Make your pork marinade by mixing all of your ingredients together in the container that you'll be marinating in. Add in your pork belly slices (if they are too large, cut them into a more bite size piece). Mix that together so that each pork piece is totally covered and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, but longer is better.

For the ssamjang, mix all of the ingredients together in a fridge safe container and let that sit covered until you need it. This can last a really long time, and tastes much better than the storebought version.

If your radish is as large as mine, you'll probably want to only pickle half or you will have an enormous amount. Go with daikon if you want to use less of it. Peel the outside and work that down into bite size pieces. These are going to pickle in the fridge, so don’t make the pieces massive. We can get those into a bowl and season them heavily with salt. The salt will draw out water over the next 30 minutes, we’ll then replace that water with flavorful pickling liquid.

After those 30 minutes, wash the salty water out and place the radish pieces in a bowl that can be sealed and placed in the fridge. To make our pickling liquid, combine 1 part sugar, with 2 parts seasoned rice vinegar, and 3 parts water. For my size container half a cup was the right amount for 1 part. I also added a couple of teaspoons of korean chili flake to the container as well. This just needs enough heat to melt the sugar, and I like the yellow color you get in the packaged versions, so I added a little turmeric to die the pickling liquid. Not a requirement by any means. Once the sugar has dissolved, pour the liquid into the radishes, and store this in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. They need a few hours to get there, and get better with time like any fridge pickle.

Once these steps are completed, you can plate up your meats, veggies, and banchan. Slice and wash any vegetables you plan on grilling so they are ready to go.

Set up your grill in a well-ventilated room, ideally in the center of the table for communal cooking. Arrange your plates of prepared meats, banchan, veggies, and wraps. Each person should have their own dish with ssamjang, dipping salt, and sesame oil. Everyone will want a plate for the cooked food to rest on. Invite some good friends over and let everyone have a turn at the tongs. It's an incredibly fun experience, and everyone ends up having a great time. Oh, and the food is going to be amazing as well. Cheers!



Hey, I'm Cameron, and I'm glad you're here. I post new recipes every week, all intended to build your confidence in the kitchen, each one with video tutorials to help. Craving something specific? Drop me a note in my contact form! 

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