Say No To Gangnam Myun Oak’s Galbi Jjim (강남면옥 갈비찜)? Not In A Million Years!

Galbijjim 갈비찜 – galbi 갈비 (short ribs) and jjim (steamed dish). In Korean, gari 가리 is beef but generally, Galbijjim is accepted as beef short ribs. To order pork (dweji) short ribs, one has to indicate to the shopkeeper that it is dweji galbijjim 돼지갈비찜 that they want. And we wanted…

Galbi jjim!

My children have been dreaming about it as the days drew nearer for our trip. They remembered vividly how tender, juicy and flavoursome the meaty bones were from their year-end trip in 2013. Thus, it was not surprising that our first meal in Seoul was Spicy Galbijjim!

Seoul Korea Day 1

Kimchi

Seoul Korea Day 1

Shredded Pickles.

Seoul Korea Day 1

Chunky crisp Pickles.

Seoul Korea Day 1

Beefy broth that was served the minute we were seated.
This was to get your beef up before the Galbijjim arrived.

Seoul Korea Day 1

Savoury tasty clear vegetable broth that I ate with the Mandu instead of dipping sauce.

Seoul Korea Day 1

만두, pronounced as Marn-doo, are dumplings in Korean cuisine.
Mandu is Korea’s variation to Chinese’Jiazi and Japanese Gyoza.
If the dumplings are grilled or fried, they are called gunmandu (군만두); when steamed, jjinmandu (찐만두); and when boiled, mulmandu (물만두).

Seoul Korea Day 1

Mandu are believed to have been first brought to Korea by Mongolians in the 14th century during the Goryeo Dynasty.
They are commonly served with kimchi and a dipping sauce made of soy sauce, vinegar and chilli.
Mandu are usually filled with minced meat, tofu, chopped scallions, garlic and ginger.

Seoul Korea Day 1

Naengmyeon 냉면 is long and thin handmade noodles made from the flour and starch of various ingredients: buckwheat (메밀, memil), potatoes, sweet potatoes, 칡냉면.
It has been introduced since the Joseon Dynasty.
There are two types of cold noodles,  1) Mul naengmyeon (물 냉면) which is served with the noodles contained in cold broth made from beef, chicken or dongchimi and the dry version explained below.

Seoul Korea Day 1

2) Bibim naengmyeon 비빔 냉면 like the one in this photo is served with a spicy dressing made primarily from gochujang, a type of red chilli paste, and usually cut with a scissors in to 4 parts before mixing all up and eaten.

Traditionally, Galbijjim is eaten during Chuseok (Korea’s version of Mid-Autumn Festival equivalent to our Mooncake Festival). Galbijjim is usually made from only the center part of ribs of a calf thus galbi is more expensive than other cuts of beef in South Korea and is regarded as a high-class dish.

The Short Ribs are cut to certain size with excess blood removed. Knife is inserted into a few places of the meat until it reached the bone to allow seasoning to seep in. Visible fats is removed from the ribs after parboiling. The meaty ribs are marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, scallions, minced garlic, pepper, ground sesame with salt (깨소금), ginger juice, and sugar before they are simmered slowly in a huge cauldron on a medium heat, occasionally stirring from time to time. When the meat is almost cooked additional ingredients like jujube, ginkgo nuts, carrots and pine nuts are added, and continued to stewed. Chestnuts, shiitake, and seogi mushrooms are added near the end of the cooking. Traditionally, Galbijjim is served in a Hap (합, bowl with cover). These days, they are usually served in a bowl rather than on a plate.

Seoul Korea Day 1

Gari (beef) jjim 가리찜, also accepted as Galbijjim 갈비찜.

Seoul Korea Day 1

The Galbijjim were so tender, meat literally fall off the bones.

Banchan or appetisers, pickled or otherwise, are usually given gratis when you visit a Korean eatery or restaurant. They serve to perk up one’s appetite while waiting for the mains.

When Ryan told me that Mandu were something like the Chinese dumplings or Japanese gyozas, I had no idea they were so huge! I mean seriously, they were monstrously big, juicy and meaty. I loved them but after a couple of hefty balls, I had to give up since I wanted to eat Galbijjim, too! These Mandu were a meal by itself.

The cold noodles had a very refreshing taste especially on a hot day! I like the QQ-ness of this noodle and that must have been due to the mixture of the different grains used.

The Galbijjim served here was definitely a winner even though there weren’t any jujubes or the secondary ingredients listed above. The only visible ingredients I saw were the green and red chilli peppers. The meat did not disintegrate. They were just fall-off-the-bone tender retaining textures that with enough mastication, extract sweet and savoury meaty juices. The spicy flavours is guaranteed to satiate even the most critical gourmet’s tongue!

If I had 4 thumbs, they’re all up 😉

This meal would have cost us a bomb in Singapore but dining out (exclude fine dining) is generally cheaper in South Korea.

The place is very clean. The staff was efficient and food came quickly. Unfortunately, very little English is spoken but we’re lucky to have Ryan and Valerie placing the orders.

This is a restaurant I would rate as finger licking good as well as value-for-money.

Say No To Gangnam Myun Oak’s Galbi Jjim (강남면옥 갈비찜)? Not In A Million Years!

Gangnam Myun Oak (강남면옥)
Address: 588-9 Sinsa-dong.
Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea.

Tel: (+82) 2-3446-5539

Operating hours: 11am – 10pm

Map to best galbijjim in Korea according to TBT.

Click on this photo to get directions to Gangnam Myun Oak.

Happy eating 🙂

P.S. I had chucked away all the receipts. They were in Korean and after trying to decipher which receipt belonged to which eatery, I gave up. Assuming if I find them and get them sorted out, I will update the posts. Street foods do not have receipts.

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Comments
2 Responses to “Say No To Gangnam Myun Oak’s Galbi Jjim (강남면옥 갈비찜)? Not In A Million Years!”
  1. Lignum Draco says:

    Never had it. 😦 I’ll look out for it next time I go Korean.

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