4.041 Beef Guk Bap

-Cycle 4, Item 41-
15 (Fri) February 2013

Beef Guk Bap


by Mom

at my parents' home

-Bundang, Gyeonggi-


Rather than a dish per se, guk bap (국밥) is simply a Korean method of serving soup and rice together in the same bowl.  In fact, the term literally means "soup (guk) rice (bap)" and can apply to anything fitting the general description, although merely dumping a bowl of rice into any soup wouldn't qualify.  The composition of the soup varies widely, consisting of whatever happens to be on hand--often bits of beef or pork and random vegetables--everything tossed in the pot and heavily seasoned to give the less-than-glamorous ingredients some kick.  As such, guk bap is regarded as a rough/ready meal of humble origins, something to be cheaply/quickly/conveniently consumed, say, for breakfast in a marketplace or in a cafeteria.  Hearty stuff.

The somewhat gentrified version here by my mother looked more like galbi tang (see most recently 4.038 Galbi Tang) than a typical guk bap, which usually looks more rustic (see for illustrative purposes 3.214 Ugeoji Tang).  I wouldn't even really consider it guk bap, but that's what she called it as she plunked the bowl on the table (late at night, when I'd stopped by after work to help her set up some computer equipment, not yet having eaten dinner); then again, the rough/ready service was in line with tradition.  

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