2.269 Grilled Bulgogi Chicken Thighs

-Cycle 2, Dinner 269-
1 (Sat) October 2011

Grilled Bulgogi Chicken Thighs

* * *

at Mongsanpo Beach (몽산포 해수욕장)

by me

-Mongposan, ChungcheongNam-

with Wife and Dominic

With the sweet-sesame-soy marinade most commonly associated with beef bulgogi (불고기), as well as the similar though slightly different marinade for beef galbi (갈비), chicken would seem to be a no-brainer variation in a country where chicken is the 3rd most consumed type of meat. Back when I lived in the States, about 8 years ago, I encountered many Korean restaurants that offered chicken dishes more-or-less along those lines. But for some reason, chicken in Korea is not cooked in that style. There's a dish called "dak (chicken) galbi," but it's totally different (see generally 1.201 Dak Galbi).

For a spur-of-the-moment camping trip, I tossed a bunch of items that we had in the fridge, including some boneless chicken thighs and a jar of bulgogi marinade. (As I've been tied up at work these days, and my jobless wife who never had to cook until now is at home and left to fend for herself and the kid, she's been taking baby steps with such semi-instant products.) I just cooked the chicken over coals on low heat and brushed on the marinade at the very end to prevent burning. Not too bad for a quick-fix campsite meal.

The campsite, located on a beach along the west coast, was unlike anything that I've ever seen. Before we arrived, I'd been aware that it could accommodate up to 700 parties, but I had no frame of reference for what that would actually entail. In a future post, I'll provide a detailed description on how Koreans do camping, but suffice it to say here that they bring everything with them, including the kitchen sink. 700 sets of kitchen sinks and living room shelters and tents and tarps and tables and chairs and fireplaces and ovens and televisions, along with a couple thousand cars, all crammed into a finite space without any organizational guidelines, made quite the chaotic if luxuriously equipped refugee camp. Arriving late, we had to set up between two cars. Still, it was fun, perhaps because of the chaos of it all.

That string of black dots in the mid-ground is campers digging for clams at low tide.


  1. holy cow, crowded camping! i'm so glad the site you chose the following weekend wasn't like this. did you guys dig for clams??

  2. after an hour or so, we had a couple dozen. white ones about the size of bottleneck clams.

    i was hoping to grill and feature them as the dinner item for the blog.

    as i anticipated, however, they were so full of sand that we couldn't eat them. a lot of other campers seemed to be grilling theirs as well, but i couldn't tell if they were throwing theirs out or they had some technique for quickly getting the sand out. maybe it just takes a couple days.