WILK (Why I Love Korea): Reason 3: Delicious barbecue buffets

1 10 2013

I live in Cheonan. Here are two meat buffets that I have been to. I also ate at a meat buffet in Seoul, but I don’t remember the name or directions. Out of all three, Mammoth Meat is by far the best one I’ve been too (ambiance, price, taste and service).

1) Dino Meat
Directions from Ssangyong-dong Yongam Mall (쌍용동 용암마울): Take bus 12 heading towards Shinsaegae. It is about 3-5 stops away. You will see it directly across from the bus stop where you get off. There are around 8-11 meats to choose from. You sit on the floor, but they honestly have the most comfortable butt cushions that I’ve ever sat on. It felt like Tempur-Pedic! Price is 16,000 won a person.

2) Mammoth Meat
Directions: Near the Lotte Mart that is by the Post Office, McDonalds, Baskin Robins, and Holic Cafe: Face out the door of Lotte Mart (looking across the street you will see the Holic Cafe in the building across the street on the 2F). Walk across the street and weave in and out of the side streets. You will find it.

It has a great ambiance, service and the food is wonderful. You can select from around 7-10 different meats. Unlike Dino Meat, there is also a large selection of delicious side–including steamed, skewered fish cake, potato salad, mandoo, ddeokbokki, and other salads. Price is only a measly 11,900 won per person! Unbelievable!

Mammoth meat

Thank you Kari Killion Stiles for these pictures.


Korean Dish 1: Samgyeopsal (삼겹살)

20 01 2013

I had another night of mouth watering food and an aching stomach.

First, Rosa and I hit up a samgyeopsal restaurant in Cheonan. Many restaurants carry samgyeopsal. If you like bacon, you’re sure to love this dish. Samgyeopsal is quarter-inch sliced strips of pork meat. It’s a popular late-night meal that goes perfect with soju. But bacon fan or not, if you get the chance to order this dish, do it!

Did you know? While pork is an extremely popular meat in Korea, and many Korean meals have meat, Korea’s pork consumption per capita in 2010 was 42.5 pounds (KREI). The USA’s pork consumption per capita in in 2009 was 49.6 pounds (USDA).

1. What It Is
It’s such a complex, yet simple, dish. The meat isn’t seasoned or marinated, but it’s accompanied by an array of Korean side dishes, such as different kinds of kimchi or bean sprouts. Samgyeopsal always comes with some staple sides: raw garlic (that you can cook on the grill), sliced, green hot pepper, ssangjang and lettuce.

wpid-IMG085.jpg2. Preparation
The meat cooks as strips. Make sure it’s cooked all the way since it’s pork. Once it’s cooked good enough, cut it into bit-sized pieces.



 3. How to Eat
Now it’s finally time to eat. Carefully wrap the meat in lettuce with ssamgjang and any other sides. There’s an art to wrapping the lettuce. I use to try and fold each side over the other (like I was wrapping a present), but the lettuce snaps, and you’re left with food falling in your lap. It’s much easier to pinch all the sides together at the top and shove it your mouth. Wash it down with soju, and that’s it. It’ll be gone before you know it.


Korean food in a nutshell:
삼겹살            Sam-gyeop-sal (a Korean dish made with thick cuts of Korean pork)
소주                 So-ju (a popular Korean alcohol)
고추장            Go-chu-jang (hot, red chili pepper paste)
된장                 Dwen-jang (fermented soy bean paste)
쌈장                 Ssam-jang (mixture of gojjujang and dwenjang)

Korea Rural Economic Institute (KREI)
United States Department of Agriculture (USDS)

내 배를 아파요 … (My Stomach Hurts …)

5 01 2013

This is the meal that Rosa’s mom cooked for us. I wish I could cook like her!

I thought I would lose wait moving to Korea–with its healthy cuisine of radishes, onions, tofu, spinach, sprouts, soups, cabbage and more cabbage, all covered in a heavy amount of spicy-red Korean pepper. But while I’m eating more healthy foods, I’m canceling it out with the amount I scarf down.

Rosa’s mom owns a small shop in Cheonan. She sells side dishes such as cubed radish kimchi, seasoned / dried / shredded squid,  soybean sprouts, steamed / seasoned spinach, and seasoned / dried anchovies  to name a few. Everything is tasty, and nothing fails to excite my taste buds.

Rosa and I went to her shop to eat dinner. Two of her mom’s friends were already there chatting and drinking beer. We ate bulgogi and a soybean paste-based. Her mom is so sweet–this is the second time she’s let me eat food at her shop.

Now it’s almost 5 hours later, and I feel like I just ate two meals.

Here is a list of some of the side dishes that Rosa’s mom makes at her shop:

Cubed radish kimchi

Cooked radish side dish
무우나물, 무나물

Fermented squid side dish

Potato side dishes
gamjachae bokkeum
감자채 볶음

Radish salad

Seasoned dried shredded squid
Ojingeochae muchim
오징어채 무침

Soybean sprout side dish
kongnamul muchim
콩나물 무침

Spinach side dish
Sigeumchi namul

Stirfried dried anchovy side dish

Korean side dish recipes and names thanks to Maangchi.com