Wednesday, August 18, 2010

More Pork Tales

I met my friend The Stumbler for dinner last evening in Gangseo-gu cheong, where, after deciding that pork would be good, we happened upon a restaurant named 마포 갈매기 Mapo Galmaegi.

The place was busy, always a good sign; we were seated at an impeccably clean stainless steel table, with (of course) a grilling apparatus in the middle. The top item on the menu--at 7,000 W per serving--was 갈매기살 galmaegisal. Here are a few delicious pieces just beginning to grill up:

The staff were a little unclear on which part of the pig the galmaegisal is from--one said shoulder, another pointed along his ribs. Zenkimchi calls it "diaphragm", meaning I suppose the area near the diaphragm, not actual diaphragm itself, which would be a tough, rubbery membrane. A couple other sources called it "pork skirt"; this fits with Zenkimchi's diagramdrawing, but in America we would call that something like spare rib. Call it what you like, but call me next time you eat some, because it is very good.

Around the grill-ring, there is a trough, which I thought at first was for catching the grease--in fact, this was a fairly lean cut, though flavorful and not tough. But as you can see, it got filled in with an egg mixture containing spicy bean sprouts and green peppers. An added treat, and a definite selling point for this restaurant.

The panchan (side dishes, seen above) were also distinctive. In addition to the pickled turnip (bottom right) and the veggies that were added to the egg (top right), they offered an amazing kimchi bokum (fried Napa kimchi, served cold, bottom left, obscured by the tongs) and thin-sliced white onion--양파 or yang-pa, Western spring onion. Usually, you get yang-pa for grilling and it's 1 cm thick rings; I prefer the flavor of thinly-sliced onion. They also provide cold soup and a bowl of greens, not pictured.

갈매기살 - Another Korean pork dish I enjoy as much as or more than samgyupsal--thanks, Stumbler, for continuing to introduce me to Korean cuisine!

1 comment:

Chris said...

Let me second the comment about the interesting egg mixture - it was great, and went well with the meat. Our only problem was that we talked too much, and about 1/3 of it was ruined because we weren't eating fast enough. Until that night, I would have never imagined that I would talk more than I ate. Oh no, I'm turning into my Dad!!! Tuttle, please kick me next time if I start talking too much.

If you like the thinly sliced onions, on any given day you can join the 500 other Koreans lined up in front of the thin onion- slicing dispenser at the Costco cafeteria. As others have noted, the Korean diners pile up large plates overflowing with onions. They eat them just like a vegetable with their meal, not simply a garnish on their hot dogs.