Korean cuisine is exceptional and is going to offer the type of ingredients you might not otherwise consume. This is what allows it to shine and remain a central part of a person’s trip when they are in Korea.
During our trip to South Korea, we learned how to eat Korean BBQ with the locals.
This is one of the best experiences we had when it comes to Korean food. If you do it well, you are going to fall in love with eating Korean barbeque on your trip.
Here are the main tips on how to eat Korean BBQ.
Tips On How To Eat Korean Barbecue
Begin With The Appetizers
A common mistake that’s made is to dig into Korean BBQ right away.
Yes, it will be appealing and you might want to order the meat. However, if you want to elevate the meal, it’s essential to get a plate of appetizers to go along with the barbecue.
What should you be getting?
There are many options to choose from but we often look at potions such as fish or veggies on the side. These are a great way to cleanse the taste buds and then dig into the Korean BBQ that awaits you.
This is a type of meat that is going to be available at a Korean BBQ restaurant.
You will want to ask for it.
Otherwise, they are going to give you a more traditional meat that is going to be served to others too. In general, the reason you are going to want to go with this type of meat is that it is juicier and it’s going to hit the taste profile that you are going for when wanting BBQ.
We love how it tastes and it’s going to allow you to get a better feel for what the local recipes are all about.
Use A “Ssam”
You will get to hear this term when learning how to eat Korean barbecue.
What is a ssam?
A ssam is a wrap that is designed for this type of food. You are going to want to take lettuce and then wrap it around the meat to create a small bite-sized combination. This is going to allow you to dip it into the sauce that is going to be provided to you by the chef.
You will then get this flavorful taste profile that is going to impress instantly. We love eating it this way and it is the best option for those who want to get the most out of each bite.
Drink Korean Alcohol With The BBQ
Some people are going to go with traditional drinks such as Coke or perhaps a glass of water.
Yes, there is nothing wrong with doing this.
However, for those who don’t mind drinking a bit, you are going to want to try out the local alcohol brands. They are world-class and are going to pack a punch as soon as you down them.
A lot of people talk about how good they taste alongside the BBQ meat in Korea. You are going to begin to appreciate that combination and how easily it goes down.
Go With Others
If you are alone, this is not always going to be an option.
However, those who are going with friends and/or family will want to make the most of this reality. You are going to want to head out to a Korean BBQ restaurant and then eat one of these dishes with your loved ones.
Why do you want to do this?
It’s a tradition in South Korea and it’s something they are renowned for doing. You are going to want to share your meal with your loved ones as that is going to elevate your bond and it’s also going to make the experience that much better.
If you are alone, you can even take the time to reach out to expats in South Korea or look at going with a local if you can meet up with them.
Soak In The Ambiance
Depending on where you are going, eating Korean BBQ is not just about the food. It’s about the overall appeal of where you’re going and how it’s going to turn out.
When we were at one of the local restaurants, we took the time to watch as the meat was prepared. It was a stunning sight and something you are going to remember for a long time and will talk about to others.
The way they prepare the meals will blow you away.
Use The Dips
You are going to have dips provided to you alongside the Korean BBQ.
This is done for a reason.
Decades have been spent perfecting the recipe that is being put in front of you. This includes analyzing what the taste buds require to elevate the barbecue’s taste profile. This is why the dips that are provided to you should be put to the test as soon as you begin to eat the meat.
We find this to be one of the best things a person can do to get the desired taste a chef is going for. They will often mention this if you ask them to.
Eat Dumplings With The BBQ
If you are going to be eating Korean barbecue, this does not mean you are just eating a few appetizers and then the meat.
Yes, this is going to be a part of the ema but you will always want to add to it.
What are you going to add to it?
You are going to want to look at getting Korean dumplings. These are delicious and are going to be easy to eat. You can eat them as the last part of your meal after downing the BBQ that was offered to you at the restaurant.
Other people might be looking at getting kimchi with the meat. This is fair and it’s another option for those who don’t want to go with dumplings.
It comes down to what works for your taste buds.
These are the tips on how to eat Korean BBQ the right way.
We have been to a wide array of BBQ restaurants in Korea and it is these tips that are going to make your experience better.
It is best to be patient and make sure you are having a good time while you are there.
Amanda Harper is a travel enthusiast with 10+ years of traveling experience across the planet. Her passion for writing and travel makes her a walking bibliography on modern-day tourism.