Bulgolgi (Korean Marinated Beef Strips) Set Lunch in Anseong, Korea

Backpacking.Travel.TV's picture

Aug. 22, 2013

In today's travel video we decided to eat bulgogi at a traditional Korean sitdown restaurant. Bulgogi literally means "fire meat", and it consists of marinated beef strips cooked at your table. The meat simmers in a sweet sauce with mushrooms, onions, and garlic. You can eat this meal the traditional way by rolling the meat up in a leaf, or you can enjoy it by itself the way we do. Bulgolgi, is one of the most popular dishes for foreigners because it more closely resembles tastes from back home than other Korean dishes which tend to be very spicy. Korean set meals are some of the best value lunches and dinners you can have anywhere in the country. Portions tend to be overly generous and even if you arrive with an enormous appetite, the chances you actually being able to finish all of the main and side dishes is slim to none. On weekends, we've often visited these kinds of set menu restaurants that are typically based around a particular Korean meat and/or fish dish vegetarian options are much harder to come by in Korea. This particular meal came with a side of sweet purple rice infused with dates, as well as an assortment of smaller side dishes including pumpkin and potato mash, kimchi, seaweed, and raw octopus -- which we both refused to try. Normally, we have really adventurous taste-buds but not on this particular day. The total for this two person lunch came to 16,000 won, which is roughly 14 USD. Not a bad price for a feast of lunch! For a meal that offers such great value, we certainly plan on coming back again very soon.
Bulgogi is believed to have originated during the Goguryeo era (37 BC--668 AD) when it was originally called maekjeok, with the beef being grilled on a skewer.4 It was called neobiani , meaning "thinly spread" meat,5 in the Joseon Dynasty and was traditionally prepared especially for the wealthy and the nobility class.6
editPreparation and serving
Bulgogi, Korean grilled beef
Bulgogi is made from thin slices of sirloin or other prime cuts of beef.7 Before cooking, the meat is marinated to enhance its flavour and tenderness with a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, pepper and other ingredients such as scallions, onions or mushrooms, especially white button mushrooms or shiitake. Sometimes, cellophane noodles are added to.