Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Where’s the Beef?
Last week contained an unusually high number of visits to Korean-cuisine restaurants because of the conference, and I have come up with a question nobody has yet been able to answer for me. You see, bulgogi and kalbi are both blessed with the flavors of a yummy marinade, which masks (or at least tries to make up for) the fact that both are made from some pretty crummy cuts of meat with a whole lot of excess fat and connective tissue. The pork version of kalbi is, more often than not, literally 60 or 70 percent fat.
In speaking with some of my Korean and American colleagues, it would seem that outside of the American-style steakhouses that are becoming more and more popular, nobody has seen a truly good cut of beef in any Korean restaurant or store. So I ask: since it’s obvious to me that they must be killing the whole cow in order to get the bulgogi or kalbi meat, what in the world are they doing with all of the good cuts of meat?