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Bulgogi & Kalbi – What Is The Difference?

Sometimes people ask what is the difference between the korean beef bar-b-q dishes: bulgogi and kalbi (sometimes spelled galbi).

Before answering that question, first note that there are difference styles of both bul-go-gi and kalbi, and some kalbi is not seasoned at all (which makes it, well, plain barbeque beef).  We’ll write about that in another post.

Bulgogi is beef, usually loin, and kalbi is beef short ribs.  Both can be made marinaded, in similar sauces.  And a side sauce can be served with both.  However, the side dishes (panchan) – things such as potato, or seaweed, and kimchi – are not related to the dish itself.  Panchan will vary from restaurant to restaurant more than they will vary from dish-to-dish within a restaurant.

Both dishes can be grilled at the table, or prepared by a professional korean chef in the kitchen.

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