Korean Barbecue in Annandale, VA

September 5, 2009 § Leave a comment

Last night a bunch of us went to a Korean BBQ place called Honey Pig in Annandale, VA, about an hour’s bus ride away from DC. I never knew this but there’s a really big Korean community in that area; once we got off the bus, almost all the signs I saw had Korean translations as well. When we went inside the restaurant, there was pop music – Korean and American – blaring as loud as possible and tons of little bbq stations set up. The decor wasn’t fancy or pretentious at all. In fact, it reminded of those little hawker stands in China where everyone just crowds around a table on makeshift chairs and just eats to their heart’s content.

One of us pointed out the huge posters advertising their current sales (1 serving of barbecued pork belly for only 12.99!) but it turns out that those posters are always up to make the customers feel like they’re getting a better deal.

We were seated in the back of the restaurant, far away from all the really loud music, and give two grills. Because one of the girls, Yung, had been before, she suggested that we just get pork belly instead of beef, which apparently was only mediocre. And oh. my. god. Well, in all honesty, the plain pork belly wasn’t that great; our lady didn’t get a good first sear and some of it was overcooked, but whatever’s in the spicy sauce of the second round, I LOVE. I’m willing to bet there’s a healthy amount of gochujang in there and if that’s really the case, I’m making some as soon as I get home.

Honey Pig Gooldaegee Korean Grill
7220 C-Columbia Pike
Annandale, VA 22003


Gimme my galbi

April 8, 2009 § Leave a comment

This is the recipe for the Korean galbi that accompanied the dry-fried green beans in the previous post.  Sometimes, you just need a good helping of beef with a little bit of green on the side. These short ribs marinated for about 10 hours in the fridge before I slapped them on the smoking hot grill pan, and the flavor was amazing. Good caramelized crust on the outside and wonderfully tender insides.

Kiwi may seem like a strange ingredient, but other people – who add apple or pear – do add fruit, probably because it acts as a great tenderizer for the beef. Ideally you would puree everything in the marinade, but I don’t have a food processor so I just diced everything and it turned out fine. Everyone loved it, and this is definitely a great thing to eat when you have guests around and want to prepare them. In my experience, Korean bbq is pretty expensive in restaurants, so this is also a good way to eat well and save some money in the comfort of your own home. Just make sure someone else is delegated to do the dishes.

Korean Galbi

6 lbs of Korean-style cut short ribs
2 kiwis, peeled and finely diced
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbspn of ginger, minced
1 1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup dark sesame oil
1 tbspn black pepper

Wash any bits of bone from the ribs and then pat dry with paper towels. Mix/puree the ingredients for the marinade and pour into a pan. Add the ribs and marinate for 8-10 hours, the longer the better. Heat a grill pan until smoking hot and grill for 2-3 minutes. These are thinly cut so you really don’t need that much time to get a medium rare short rib. Eat.

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