Prime Korean Barbecue: Hanwoo Beef Sirloin Steak

Eating out with my parents can be amusing and stressful at the same time.  It all depends on everyone’s mood that day – if something fell through at dad’s work or mom didn’t do so well at her golf practice then might as well just stay home for dinner.  But regardless of the atmosphere there is something about Korean BBQ that brings everyone closer.  Maybe it’s because the small, built-in grill is right in the middle of the table so literally everyone needs to gather around tighter.  Nonetheless, grilling some Korean-style barbecue meat is almost like a family tradition and it makes the whole occasion extra special if the meat on the fire is none other than premium Hanwoo beef.

Table setting. Lots of veggie side dishes so you won’t go complete carnivore.


We got a mix of some ribs meat and beef skirts with a decently sized sirloin steak.  No seasoning, no marinade.  They give you small dippers with salt and some soy-based sauce.  You just place the meat on the grill and pick the dipping of your choice.

This prime steak in the picture is full of marblings showing that it is a highly-graded meat.  So Korean beef has this grading system that is quite unlike that of the west.  The rule is: more of so-called “marbling” higher the quality of the beef.  Marbling is the web of white fat that you see when you cut into the meat and I am not too sure why this is considered good in Korea.  Beef fat is the worst thing you can have as the fat will be stored and won’t be broken down.  But of course, the thin strips of fat on the meat make it taste a lot better.



Yes, medium rare!  The fat hanging loose kind of scares me but what the heck, it’s not everyday that I’m having grilled Hanwoo.


Free “service” or complimentary sidekick of dwenjang-guk is served along with the order of beef.  This is one of my favorite soups in Daejeon as it includes lots of radish leaves and seonji – clotted blood.  So good and hearty.


4 thoughts on “Prime Korean Barbecue: Hanwoo Beef Sirloin Steak

  1. Marcus August 22, 2015 / 6:23 PM

    I wonder if the Korean beef grading system also takes into account how quickly and easily it cooks on a grill. In a country (almost) without ovens this would be important, I think. And, as you say, it tastes very nice.
    I haven’t seen seonji deonjang soup in Gangneung. It’s amazing how much regional variety there is in basic Korean foods.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yMoon September 7, 2015 / 7:30 PM

      I once watched this documentary on how Korean beef grading system evolved on lack of understanding that had driven the general public to believe that beef with more marbling is better. I think that is slowly changing, though.


  2. Yuna August 23, 2015 / 4:24 PM

    Seriuosly, I’m drooling reading this. As far as I remember, on variety show, that Korean Beaf is quite costly, as the grade is getting higher. I really wonder, how its taste, even though I’m not a fan of beef, but pork. 😀


    • yMoon September 7, 2015 / 7:32 PM

      I’m not a huge fan of beef, either. I prefer pork or chicken. Yes, Korean beef is quite pricey but personally I’m not sure if the quality is worth the money.


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