Korean barbecue: More than a meal, it’s a shared experience

PYEONGCHANG (WCMH) — You’ve more than likely heard of Korean barbecue, but until you’ve tried it, you really don’t know what you’re missing.

Korean barbecue is a popular cuisine made from pork belly using a special barbecue tool.

“Koreans like pork belly,” said Daju Choi, a South Korean native. “We cut them in pieces and we have a special barbecue tool. It’s easy to eat and it’s easy to prepare.”

The meal is often served with kimchi (fermented cabbage), another Korean staple.

But Korean barbecue is more than just a meal — it’s a shared experience.

“Some people would be a bit confused about the concept of Korean barbecue,” said United States Air Force captain Ismael Barragan. “Thy serve some raw meat over a grill and everyone just cooks their on meat. Any time I talk to my mom about it she says, ‘Well I don’t know why you’re paying them if they’re not even going to cook the food for you.’ But I think it’s a pretty enjoyable experience.”

The experience of cooking your own meal isn’t the only thing everyone shares during the meal.

“Normally in the middle of the table, we prepare one gear for the barbecue in the middle of it so we can share,” Choi explained. “Sometimes we cross our arms, and we have special chopsticks.”

While some restaurants in the U.S. serve Korean barbecue, there’s nothing quite like having the authentic experience in South Korea.

“You have to have Korean barbecue here. It’s like no other experience,” said Tyneka Howard, a master sergeant with the United States Air Force. “Take a blood pressure pill ‘cause it’s a lot of meat you’re gonna be taking in. But it’s great; it’s absolutely great.”