Looking to add international cuisine to your child’s culinary palette? Consider Korean BBQ! Korean dishes are full of flavor, texture, spice and tradition. Typically young children can’t stomach spicy foods but there are kid-friendly Korean appetizers and dishes that are ready for sampling.
Korean BBQ is a fun experience for families. Most spots have grills in the table which allow guests to cook their own meats. Your table will also be filled with colorful, tasty “banchan” which is an array of small side dishes. Usually the side dishes are filled with vegetables, bean sprouts, radishes and Korean-style potato salads (banchan varies from restaurant to restaurant).
A colorful, sweet and popular Korean dish whose name means “a mixture of vegetables.” It’s made with glass noodles, thinly-sliced carrots, spinach and beef. You’ll often find this dish at different Korean festivities. Full of flavor, not spicy and simple to make at home! Definitely kid-friendly!
Thinly-sliced beef rib eye (or request chicken) in a sweet soy marinade is a favorite choice at the grill. This meat is leaner and a good option for children. Grab a lettuce leaf or rice cake wrap, add bulgogi and you have a “taco!”
Korean Scallion Pancakes
Simple and satisfying! Called “Pajeon” in Korean, the pancakes are crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. They are typically filled with green onions but other ingredients can be added as well. They are mouthwatering as a side dish or appetizer and you have a choice to have them with dipping sauce or not. Parents can try kimchi pancakes if they are looking for some heat.
Also known as dumplings or pot stickers, mandu is versatile and can be stuffed with just about any type of meat — pork, beef, seafood or go vegetarian. They are superbly delicious and another yummy food to dip! Grab a bag from the Korean grocery store and make these at home, just add some sticky rice.
The Korean name is ttukbaegi gyeranjjim but don’t let that scare you! Basically, it’s steamed egg cooked in an earthenware bowl. It can be served as a stew or soup. Either way it is soft, fluffy and delicious and a great side dish.
Where To Eat
Hae Jang Chon
3821 W 6th St
Located in Serrano Marketplace Plaza, this all you can eat BBQ restaurant serves lunch and dinner. Their heavenly aromas greet you at the door. The menu offers 19 different items. The bulgogi is delicious and tender. Make sure to order the steamed rice for the kids and hot dogs are among your choices for meat. Parents, save room for the communal kimchee fried rice at the end of the meal. Best I’ve had! Plus they have special kid prices.
Seoul Korean BBQ
122 N. San Fernando Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91502
This restaurant is perfect for beginners! Seoul Korean’s menu has 10 items. Choose one or a few of Korean staples and enjoy it family style! The entrees are cooked for you if you’d prefer to sit back and relax. Prices are reasonable and the staff is attentive. Seoul Korean BBQ is family run and the only Korean BBQ in Burbank! Their fried mandoo is delish. Seoul Korean BBQ is closed on Sundays.
Soot Bull Jeep
3136 W 8th St
Los Angeles, CA 90005
Soot Bull Jeep is one of the few, possibly the only, non-all you can eat Korean BBQ restaurants to use charcoal pits. Soot Bull Jeep has more of an authentic feel and you can taste the difference in their smoked meats. The meat is high quality and melts in your mouth. The marinated short rib is a favorite. We love how the charcoal pit puts on its own little fireworks display! There is nothing fancy about their decor and expect a smoky atmosphere. Do not wear your Sunday’s best as you will smell like your dinner in a flash. This noisy spot offers free parking and high quality foods.
Tee grew up eating delicious homemade Korean fare. She is now introducing her 5.5 year old to Korean dishes! Her daughter’s favorites are bulgogi, bibimpop, and steamed egg. She will even eat kimchee if it’s rinsed. Tee blogs about family fun at www.thatsitmommy.com.