Korean BBQ is nothing like the BBQ that most of us are familiar with. This unique area of cuisine is very specific to Korean culture and features flavors that are prominent and bold, with a style of communal eating that brings out the best in what a social dining situation should be. Not to mention, it's absolutely delicious and once you try it, you probably won't be making BBQ any other way again.

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Korean BBQ is broken down into ingredients, preparation, and the eating method. It's unique in the sense that each small plate set down prior to the meal has a purpose, each cut of meat has been carefully chosen and prepared for a reason, and eating everything together usually involves a lettuce wrap rather than a potato bun or a tortilla. To make Korean BBQ at home, all you need is a grill, the meats and marinades of your choosing, vegetables and sauce, and side dishes, also known as Buchan. The spices and seasonings, of course, must be specific to Korean BBQ but they're easy enough to make and/or find at the Asian market or online.

The Prep Is A Big Part Of Korean BBQ, But It's Not Hard

Granted, the prep work that goes into making Korean BBQ is somewhat involved but it's all very easy, and can be done the day before which is exactly why this type of BBQ works so well for social gatherings. If you've bought premade marinades then the prep work is automatically reduced by half the time - all you need to do is marinate your meat!

The vegetables and the Buchan can also be prepped and stored in the refrigerator the day before which makes easy work of everything that will be set out to eat once the meats are cooked. You can also make the sauces for the vegetables in advance so, basically, everything can be done well in advance - it's practically a stress-free meal the day of the BBQ.

It's Very Casual And No-Frills

Half the fun of Korean BBQ is having everyone grill their own meat - which can be done around the grill - and eating it as soon as it comes hot off the coals, so to speak.

With lettuce wraps at the ready and sauce just waiting to be dipped into, it's a meal that's casual, fun, and very easy to put together since everyone pretty much takes care of their own meals. All of the sides - the Buchan - are placed out with the meal so even that is very cafeteria-style and guests can help themselves as they wish.

Korean BBQ Hack: Find A Korean Grocery Store Or H-Mart

To make everything even easier (if you can believe it), many Korean grocery stores have meats that have already been marinated. Therefore, all you need to do is purchase enough for a crowd and call it a day. It'll be all ready to rock and roll by the time you're ready to fire up the grill, and the best part? You know it's authentic, done right, and will exude Korea's most beloved flavors.

How To Hack Ribeye From The Grocery Store

This is pretty simple to do, as well. Just as you'd purchase a ribeye steak and freeze it for a cheesesteak, you'd do the same for Korean BBQ. Part of the allure of this type of BBQ is the fact that the meat is sliced thin and when it cooks, it's tender, moist, and flavorful.

A Ribeye will offer the same features and even if you have to do a little of the work yourself by freezing it and slicing it super thin, it'll be well worth it. You can do the same thing with short ribs to offer two types of meat or if you can't find ribeye. You could venture into pork belly and chicken, as well, but it's best to start with beef cuts.

Buchan Is Essential And Part Of What Makes Korean BBQ So Bold And Flavorful

The sauces - usually bulgogi for steak and kalbi for short ribs - add tons of flavor to Korean BBQ meat. However, it's the Buchan that is responsible for cutting through that richness and adding tang, umami, sour, and sharp bites.

The most popular types of Buchan are kimchi, danmuji which is pickled yellow daikon, seaweed also known as gim, gamja which are potato side dishes, soy-marinated eggs known as gyeran jangjorim, and jeon which are savory pancakes. For sauces on the side, anything from ssamjang (wrap sauce) to toasted sesame oil, and even toasted sesame seeds and salt, are fair game.

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