Sunday, May 31, 2009

The appeal of Korean BBQ at home

We love having so many Korean barbecue restaurants to choose from, but few places tell you much about the quality of the meat they serve. Preparing the meal at home solves that and other problems.

Today, I stovetop grilled strips of organic, grass-fed ribeye steak (Fairway) that had spent the night in the fridge in bulgogi marinade. I steamed two kinds of dumplings (Mandoo Inc.) I also had in the freezer: kimchi and chicken. I cooked white rice in our rice cooker and put out bowls of kimchi and spicy bean paste and a plate with red-leaf lettuce leaves. Luckily, I found a bottle of Asahi black beer in the back of the refrigerator.

Eating at home also allows my son to fill his lettuce leaf with as much meat, rice, bean paste and kimchi as he wants, then try the impossible and stuff it all into his mouth. And at most restaurants, you would have to buy two portions of meat ($50 and up) if you want to cook it on the table. Madangsui in Fort Lee offers prime beef for an extra charge, but few places tell you anything about the bulgogi and short ribs they offer.

We won't stop going to barbecue restaurants once in a whle, but we'll continue to refine the meal we prepare at home. For example, I plan to buy an electric grill for the table so we can cook our meat there. And next time, I'll remember to serve sliced garlic and a shredded scallion salad to include in the lettuce packages.

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