Wednesday, August 27, 2003

When You Go Korean Get The BBQ

Even the BBQ squid.

Korea Garden Restaurant
Details: Bulgogi - marinated rib eye bbq: $13.95
Bulgalbi - marinated boneless short ribs bbq: $14.95
Seafood combo - shrimp, scallop, and squid bbq: $14.95
Stir-fried squid: $10.95
Lunch special: $5.75
Where: 9501 Long Point, 713-468-2800.
Hours: daily, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Before the barbecue items arrive, we get the spread of treats. This miniature smorgasbord is one of the best things about eating in Korean restaurants. At Korea Garden, there are eight items, which alternate depending on what's going on in the kitchen. Tonight's complimentary sides are spicy kim chee, crunchy bread and butter pickles with garlic and chile, slices of dense dried tofu marinated in a spicy sauce, some little silver dollar-sized scallion pancakes, chewy seaweed salad, cold seafood omelet, cold grilled sweet potato slices and thin white shreds of pickled daikon. There is also a dish of garlic chile paste to use on the barbecue.

All three barbecue dishes arrive together. The raw red meat is marinated in a spicy sauce. I have a feeling that once we start cooking it, the fish will get neglected. So I throw all the marinated seafood on the hot grill right away. It sizzles and pops and smells like burning seaweed. The scallops are a real pain. They stick to the metal grill elements and end up coming apart in shreds. The shrimp are much easier to deal with. But the squid turns out to be everybody's favorite.

Squid is one of those barbecue meats that Thelma's, Drexler's and Goode Company all seem to have overlooked. Marinated as it is here at Korea Garden in lots of chiles and garlic, it develops a spicy coating in the grilling process. The tangy barbecue sauce along with the blackened edges gives the chewy cephalopod a surprising depth of flavor.

Not that the bulgogi and bulgalbi aren't big hits too. After grilling the thin boneless meat strips, we fold them up in big fresh Romaine leaves with chile garlic sauce and condiments. The lettuce and bulgogi wrap has much in common with a fajita taco, and it's better for the Atkins diet.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your article seem to be running
off the screen in Internet explorer. I'm not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I thought I'd post to let you know.
The style and design look great though! Hope you
get the problem solved soon. Thanks

My web site: a harley
Also see my page > at bike