The Dos and Don’ts of Eating Korean Barbecue

Michelle No/Thrillist

As a Korean who ‘s consumed her contribution of grill pork barrel belly, I know a matter or two about korean table manners. This was specially highlighted last week when the KBBQ etiquette of a few of my colleagues had me cringing. The meal started with a heaping part of thinly sliced brisket, and over the next two hours I watched as my companion eaters flipped their cuts of kernel no fewer than a twelve times, double-shot soju in between bites, and requested dessert menu at meal ‘s end. If none of this strikes you as irrational, then you ‘ve got some learning to do.

Read on for a steer to how to best enjoy Korea ‘s most democratic non-kimchi export.

Don’t be startled when you’re greeted with unintelligible yelling

In line with Koreans ’ thoroughly host gene, many places will welcome guests with an enthusiastic korean greet … frequently besides unintelligible to eloquent speakers.

Do feel free to ask for wooden chopsticks

Unlike japanese or chinese restaurants, a majority of korean establishments will be furnished with clayey metallic element chopsticks. Don ’ metric ton be embarrassed to ask for wooden ones — their metallic element counterparts are cogent and difficult to wield even for native Koreans .

Michelle No/Thrillist

Do create a chopstick rest

Keep the table unclutter of stains and meat dirt with a DIY chopstick rest. You could besides precisely place it atop your rice bowl, but folding ‘s more fun.

Don’t be scared to eat with your hands

Feel free to grab leaves with your hands, then use your chopsticks to pile them with kernel, rice, paste, and your choice of banchan.

Do eat wraps in one bite

alike to sushi etiquette, wrapped meats should be consumed in a single become. If the wrap is besides bombastic for your mouth, you ’ re credibly overstuffing it or using pieces of boodle that are besides boastful .

Michelle No/Thrillist

Do order extra banchan

Banchan — side dishes served at all korean restaurants — are included in the cost of the meal and include “ free refills. ”

But don’t hoard banchan on your plate 

You ’ re encouraged to pick from these bite-sized portions either before your meal, or with your main kernel or grizzle course.

Do order rice

copulate helpings of meat or spoon of stew with rice for excess chewiness and balanced spirit. Rice is a base, so don ’ metric ton feel the indigence to finish it once you ’ re done with your entree .

Michelle No/Thrillist

Do order soju and makgeolli

South Koreans are some of the world ‘s biggest drinkers, thus do as the Romans ( South Koreans ? ) do and drink with your meal.

Don’t shoot your alcohol

Soju ’ s low alcohol proof makes it palatable as a neat drink, while makgeolli ’ mho sweetness relish will make you understand why South Koreans are some of the world ‘s biggest drinkers.

Do grill kimchi

pair it with a piece of meat for a spicy-and-savory pop of flavor .

Michelle No/Thrillist

Don’t over-flip the BBQ

kernel should be flipped entirely once or else you risk crisping away the fatso relish and bouncing texture of the kernel. If you ’ d like to keep your meat warm but not let it burn, place it to the side of the grillroom.

Do cook meat thoroughly

I might enjoy my steaks pink, but I check all preference for mooing cuts of kernel at the doorway : with Korean BBQ, the reason is that the spirit comes from the combination of dipping sauce, marinade, and kernel fat — and not how well or not well it ‘s cooked.

Don’t forget to change the grill between meat dishes

You don ’ t want to sully your kernel with the remainder bits of BBQ past. Ask for a fresh grillroom and the servers will be happy to change yours out, if they have n’t already .

Michelle No/Thrillist

Do request sesame oil

And be ready to discover the best newly dipping sauce/thing in your life : sesame oil topped with salt.

Don’t order dessert

The restaurant won ’ t have any. Besides, if you have room for dessert, you didn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate do dinner right.

Do check your teeth for red peppers

There ’ s a argue why most korean restaurants offer toothpicks in stead of breath mints at the door. Sign up hera for our daily Thrillist e-mail, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.

Michelle No is a production adjunct for Thrillist. Rice drowned in sesame oil and salt is her secret favored side dish. Follow her on chitter at @ michelle_no and on Instagram at @ michellenope .

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