Tag Archives: korean

It’s a grilled night-out

Dining out can be taxing at times. It feels a burden sometimes to think of where to eat, and or what everybody wants to eat. We usually end up in the same restaurant, eating the same food almost all the time. We’re often caught up with the idea of settling with our “favorites” instead of trying out something new. Location is also something that we consider, especially here in Pampanga, where there are but a few restaurants that actually serve good food.

A couple of days ago, we were celebrating two occasions, so we wanted to try something different. We’re tired of eating food that’s peppered with so many ingredients and been sitting in marinated sauce for awhile. Korean Barbecue came into mind.

Korean Barbecue or better known in Korea as Gogigui literally means grilling meat. You order whatever meat you want, including fish and seafood and they serve it to you raw. Your table is equipped with a griller in the middle and you cook your food yourself.

My sister likes to do Gogigui because it makes her feel like she can actually cook. I like it too because I’ve always considered grilling as one of the healthiest forms of cooking. In Korean Barbecue, most meats are given to you as is, not soaking in marinated sauce and or coated with so many herbs and spices.

In the Philippines, Bulgogi is one of the more popular forms of Gogigui. But you should know that there are different forms of Gogigui depending on the meat that you’re grilling. I personally love Galbi and Chaldolbegi. The meats are thinly sliced and are not marinated in any sauce.

But I find that the Japanese raised this form of grilling to a higher level, by way of Teppanyaki and Hibachi. I like going to Hibachi places because there’s a chef in front o f you who will do all the cooking while you watch your food getting cooked. If you’re into Japanese cuisine, they also have their own version of Korean barbecue. Theirs is called Yakiniku. There’s actually an ongoing debate on where grilled meat originated: was it really the Koreans who first introduced it, and then adopted by the Japanese, or the other way around? If you ask me, this is like the issue about the chicken and the egg—a debate that will never end.

If you want, you can try this at home. There are personal-sized grillers that are being sold in the market. Prepping is a little bit tedious, but imagine the fun your family will have at the dining table, cooking your own food and eating it straight off the grill.

This post was written by Rita Salonga.

Pre-Valentine brunch… Korean Style

I’m the kind of girl who thinks that Valentine’s Day is overrated. It just feels like everybody is forced to be sweet and extra generous on this “special” day. I appreciate it more when I receive gifts randomly, just because that person thought of me that day. I don’t need an assurance on the 14th of February that someone loves me or is thinking of me.

Our pre-Valentine brunch

But my family finds this as an excuse to get together and dine outside. Any excuse to be able to dress up and eat in a fancy place is always good on my book. So we decided to eat at our favorite Korean restaurant. Disclaimer: I’m not mocking this special day, because I know a lot of people are really looking forward to this, but my family and I are game on anything so we all wore red that day.

I love Korean food. Actually, I love spicy food, but contrary to popular belief, not all Korean food is spicy. And even if it’s spicy, you can still taste the different ingredients in it. My favorite part in eating Korean food is that they have tofu in almost all their dishes. I love tofu. It literally melts in your mouth.

I like Sundubu-jjigae, which is spicy stew with soft tofu. I love how it’s served in traditional clay pot and it’s really piping hot. I like having it with rice and some kimchi. Of course, Korean food wouldn’t be complete with their array of side dishes, including the famous kimchi.

My mom likes Japchae, but we didn’t order it because we often eat stir-fried noodles. We opted for the clear beef broth with transparent noodles. It’s good in clearing the palate, especially when you’re eating spicy and oily food.

I would’ve loved some Tukbokki but they don’t offer it (I wonder where I can buy my own rice cakes so that I’ll just cook it myself when I feel like having some!). Bulgogi is an all-time favorite of my family. We always order it, as Pansit is always ordered whenever we eat in Chinese restaurants. I know, it’s just four of us in the family, but we love to eat.

And for our protein, grilled pork wrapped in lettuce leaves. I don’t know how much lettuce leaves we consumed that day but it was so delicious. I don’t get it? I grill pork belly all the time, but the taste is different. Maybe because of all the side dishes, and the dipping sauce, but grilled meat is something to look forward to when you crave for Korean food.

We’re too full to even order dessert, so we decided to walk it off and do some grocery shopping. Lunch was not just about the food but also the company that made it so much fun. So, maybe I do celebrate Valentine’s day, if that means spending it with the ones you love.

This post was written by Rita Salonga.