Most all modern takes on Korean barbecue bring with them a gas-powered grill that cooks marinated cuts of short rib and pork collar, and pork belly or brisket. I love this version and everything it offers, but for me there’s nothing quite like the simple pleasures of charcoal-grilled Korean barbecue.
A fine example of this genre is San Soo Gab San — a Michelin-recommended restaurant in Chicago where I’m meeting up with famed Chicago chef Bill Kim in this episode of K-Town. We get into some old school Korean barbecue which is heavy on charcoal-grilled offal meats like ox tongue, and even more toothsome beef tripe. Dining at San Soo Gab San with Kim feels comfortable and familiar, and reminds me that for Korean Americans, even if you lose your bearings, all you need is some Korean barbecue to get back on track.