Unique BBQ Food Ideas, Inspiration from the Far East – UK National BBQ Week

Unique BBQ Food Ideas, Inspiration from the Far East – UK National BBQ Week

The weeks are getting hotter and all the better to do some barbecuing with friends and family. These barbecues are popular all over the world where friends and family will often come together and enjoy food with each other from various meats like burgers, sausages, chicken and steak with vegetables like corn on the cob, peppers, mushrooms and halloumi cheese. The meats are often either marinated with marinades, rubs or sauces to add some flavour into the foods. Below we explore how different ountries in the far east carry out a BBQ

Barbecuing in the UK

Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or a weekend warrior, there are so many different ways that you can BBQ. Using different fuels from charcoal, wood or gas. Barbecue sauces often include ingredients like tomato, vinegar, molasses, honey and spices that will make it rich and flavourful on the meats and vegetables. Selecting seasonings and marinades such as salt, pepper, garlic, paprika and other herbs and spices to create a bursting flavour.

Barbecuing remains a hugely popular cooking method in the UK and around the world. Each country showcases its unique style and signature dishes, especially in Asia, specifically the Far East.

Barbecuing in China

There are popular ways of cooking up barbecue in China with a popular dish being Char Siu, which is a Chinese BBQ pork that has been marinated in a deep red, savoury and sweet marinade and is cooked on a charcoal grill or oven which creates a nice sticky coating on the port. This pork is cut into slices or chunks that can then be eaten with rice, vegetables or skewered. The ingredients within the barbecue sauce are different to how ones are made in the UK and the ingredients used include soy sauce for the salty taste and the perfect liquid seasoning to include in the barbecue sauce or marinade. Honey, ketchup and brown sugar are also included to create the sweetness that is in the marinade while the hoisin sauce and red bean curd add depth.

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Barbecuing in Korea

Within Korea, it is common for meats (beef, pork or lamb) to be ready-cut and other meats can include gopchang (beef/pork intestines), gyutan (beef tongue, and makchang (beef stomach). This is because the people who will be eating will be the ones to cook the meat themselves often using an electric gas grill to cook the meats or vegetables. These sliced meats are uncommonly seasoned with salt or pepper and such but after being cooked on the grill they are placed in a lettuce leaf adding texture and leafy taste and usually scooped/dipped in some soy sauce and wasabi sauce, ssamjang (a mixture of soybean paste, chilli paste, minced garlic, minced onion, chopped green onion and sesame oil) and a sesame oil, salt and pepper sauce. Korea also has their own way of marinated beef called bulgogi, this uses a thinly sliced sirloin steak sweet, savoury marinated beef that is then fried and served with rice and/or vegetables.

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Barbecuing in Japan

Yakiniku, is the word for barbecue in Japan. Having bite-sized sliced juicy beef and pork grilled on a table with a grill in the middle, usually gas-powered. Their way of BBQ is similar to that of Korean barbecues but slightly changed in what ingredients are used and how they eat. There are other ways and types of ‘grilling’ in Japan such as teppanyaki where meat and vegetables are cooked on an open-iron cooktop which is similar to an American-style steakhouse which was later evolved by skilful chefs cooking the food with flair and fancy cooking. Most Japanese sauces create a umami flavour, a taste of sweet and salty. From the use of ginger, green onion, sesame oil, mirin (sweet cooking wine), rice vinegar and soy sauce. These sauces are usually thin to use as a drizzle or a dip and yakiniku can also be a dipping sauce for the meat.

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Barbecuing in the Philippines?

Filipino barbecue is mainly meat, usually pork, that is grilled over a fire. The meat used is often pork shoulder but others include chicken, chicken hearts and hotdogs. This meat is often marinated in a sauce of soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and garlic. The pork is usually sliced into pieces before being put into the marinade or after it is cooked. Sometimes when it is a big party a whole pig will be spit-roasted on an fire slowly turned and when it is cooked the taste of a crunchy, savoury, fatty skin to the meat of the pork will make you come back for more. These foods are usually dipped in sauces including a vinegar, garlic and chilli sauce or a sauce called Mang Tomas a savoury sauce that makes grilled meat even more tasty.

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Barbecuing in Thailand?

Thai barbecue is an iteration of Korean barbecue where you can gather up friends and family and have a big feast with all sorts of meats and vegetables. Thai barbecue can sometimes include a hotpot and grill combo allowing for more foods to eat. Some popular barbecue foods include BBQ chicken (gai yang) and skewered pork barbecue (moo ping). The Gai Yang is a grilled chicken with a marinade that includes an umami fish sauce, soy sauce and a subtle infusion of lemongrass and coriander seeds. The chicken is then often served/eaten with sticky rice and a green papaya salad (som tam). Meanwhile, the skewered pork (moo ping) is a savoury sweet grilled pork which was placed into a savoury-sweet marinade that uses Thai fish sauce, soy sauce and oyster sauce with a sweetness of palm sugar, and a garlic paste with white pepper for a small flavour kick. Optionally a pinch of MSG powder can make the marinade a powerful boost of taste.

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