Pages Menu
TwitterRssFacebook
Categories Menu

Posted by on May 18, 2011 in Korean Food, Recipes | 13 comments

Recipe: Gwangju tteokgalbi (광주떡갈비)

Recipe: Gwangju tteokgalbi (광주떡갈비)

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Buffer
  • Pinterest
  • Gmail
Gwangju tteokgalbi doesn’t have any rice cake. Its small profile makes it child-friendly and easy to pick up with chopsticks. (Tammy Quackenbush photos)

Many consider Seoul, the capital of Korea for more than 600 years, to be the culinary hub of Korea. However, South Korea’s sixth-largest city, Gwangju, also has ample cuisine cred.

Located in the middle of Jeolla-nam province near the southwestern tip of the Korean peninsula, Gwangju has a 2,000-year history traced to the Three Kingdom period. More recently, the city become internationally known due to events of May 18, 1980

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Buffer
  • Pinterest
  • Gmail
, known as the Gwangju Democratization Movement
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Buffer
  • Pinterest
  • Gmail
.

While Americans in the Pacific Northwest were fleeing the eruption of Mt. St. Helens, hundreds, even thousands of South Koreans half a world away were standing up to a military dictatorship. The government response was swift and brutal. Korean special forces soldiers shot unarmed civilians with automatic weapons. The people of Gwangju fought back, but the bad guys won — for a while.

Gwangju is also known for a dish called 떡갈비 tteokgalbi (Korean “hamburger” beef patties). There’s an entire street of restaurants dedicated to this fun, easy dish. Don’t let the name fool you, there’s no 떡 tteok (rice cake) in this recipe. And the dish isn’t the similarly sounding 닭갈비 dakgalbi, a spicy chicken dish that’s a specialty of Chuncheon.

Tteokgalbi is low-carb and kid-friendly.

Gwangju tteokgalbi

Patties

1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup pear (European or Asian), mince
1 carrot, grated
3 green onions, finely diced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 pound ground beef, preferably from the ribs (or 1/2 pound beef, 1/2 pound pork)

Patty marinade

1/4 cup soy sauce
11/2 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soju
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon mirin

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Buffer
  • Pinterest
  • Gmail

  1. Put the first four ingredients (onion, pear, carrot and green onion) in a food processor and grind them to a paste. Mix the paste, minced garlic and minced ginger with the ground beef.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine all the marinade ingredients, and mix half of it with the ground beef.
  3. Once the marinade is mixed into the beef, allow the mixture to sit and mingle, covered in your refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  4. Form the mixture into golf ball-sized portions, and shape them into square or sausage shapes (like tteok). 
  5. Pour 1 tablespoon of grapeseed or other high-temperature oil into a skillet. Fry the tteokgalbi on medium heat until they are completely cooked. Brush the reserved marinade on the tteokgalbi as it cooks.

You can stick the patties into pita pockets with a little ssamjang-spiked mayo and kimchi

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Buffer
  • Pinterest
  • Gmail
for a fusion sandwich treat, or eat them Korean-style with rice, lettuce and side dishes.

13 Comments

  1. Most Koreans will admit that the south has the best food, much better than the north. And Gwangju is not really known for tteokgalbi, not sure where you heard that, but I&#39;m guessing &quot;one fork one spoon.&quot; The food there is generally the best in the country, with plenty of dishes better than this one.<br /><br />Also, that Mama Eun kimchi you&#39;re flogging on Amazon is not very good.

  2. I agree that there&#39;s a lot more to the cuisine of the far south of Korea than tteokgalbi but to say that Gwangju is not known for tteokgalbi, considering the fact there&#39;s an entire street of restaurants dedicated to the dish, defies the laws of logic. <br />As for the issue of what kind of kimchi to buy, it&#39;s all somewhat subjective because no one&#39;s kimchi is as good as the kimchi

  3. How delicious that sounds. I like this classic Korean flavouring using pears.

  4. Actually Tamyang is more well known for tteokgalbi than Gwangju is. I know because I lived there for years. Reading this, I can tell that you&#39;ve never been to &quot;tteokgalbi street&quot; and are probably not even sure where it is. There&#39;s a whole street dedicated to doors in Gwangju, yet it&#39;s not considered &quot;famous for doors.&quot;<br /><br />As for kimchi, not all kimchi made

  5. This looks tasty and easy — add another to my list of street food dishes — I&#39;m trying this one next! Thanks…Theresa

  6. @ anonymous: So, is the tteokgalbi street that&#39;s within a short distance from the Gwangju·Songjeong KTX Station/Gwangju subway station not in Gwangju? Is that actually in Damyang? <br />@ Island Vittles, Gwangju tteokgalbi isn&#39;t street food the way we in the USA think of street food (served in a taco truck or on a food cart). There is a streeet of restaurants on the outskirts of Gwangju

  7. No, it&#39;s the opposite direction of Tamyang.<br /><br />Where did this recipe come from, if you haven&#39;t been to either place, and never tasted &quot;Gwangju tteokgalbi?&quot; Did you get it from a cookbook?

  8. Whoa! That is one spirited exchange! Tammy you have much more patience than I. <br /><br />This recipe will be a bit hit around here. Thanks :)<br />LL

  9. Simply delicious!! Thanks for sharing!

  10. @ LL, for every person who asks a question, there are other people who have the same question in their head. This &quot;anonymous&quot; person&#39;s comments/questions were mild compared to an incident last year where a blogger accused me of plagiarizing her recipe. That woman was just plain delusional, but at least she used her real name.<br />@ Eftychia, thanks for coming over and checking this

  11. we made these a couple of weeks ago and cooked them on the barbecue. Delicious! My husband just asked me when we were having them again — I thought you should know. Thanks for the great recipe! Theresa

  12. Island Vittles, Thanks for the letting me know how it turned out. I &lt;3 that kind of feedback.

Leave a Reply

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This