Take home Korean BBQ

Tom HanchettMing_Tsui_Korean-BBQ
With all the different cultures bringing their foods to Charlotte, it’s inevitable that traditions will start to mingle and mutate. Case in point, the take-home-and-cook Korean barbecue available on weekends at Super G-Mart on Independence Boulevard.
I heard about this from my friend Kate, herself an example of Charlotte’s mingling. She’s from England, and met her Botswana-born husband Fred here, attracted in a part by a mutual love of food exploring.

“Try the Korean BBQ at Super G-Mart,” Kate said recently. “A marvelous little lady has it on weekends. Take it home, cook ten minutes in a non-stick pan, maybe boil up rice to go with, and you’ve got a quick, delicious dinner.”

So Saturday morning I was at Super G-Mart, where half a dozen women were handing out fresh-cooked samples of goodies, sort of an Asian mini-Costco. Near the meat counter I found Ming Tsui juggling three hot skillets of barbecue samples. “We started with beef, then added pork,” she said. “Two weeks ago chicken, and it sold out in three hours.”

Korean-born store manager Clifford Lee explains that Super G-Mart has adapted Korea’s traditional barbecue, bulgogi, for today’s busy lives. The store thin-slices strips of meat, marinates them in a mixture that includes soy sauce, ginger, garlic, scallions and fruit. In Korea, bulgogi is cooked over a charcoal flame. But here, just sauté in a pan.

Who buys it? “Koreans still make bulgogi at home. Vietnamese, Chinese, Americans, they buy our bulgogi, says Ming Tsui. “Latinos, too.”

Super G-Mart
HOURS: 8:30am – 10pm Monday-Saturday
8:30am – 9pm Sunday
(Ming Tsui is usually on-hand 10am – 5pm Saturdays and Sundays)

7323 East Independence Boulevard
Charlotte, NC 28227-9401
(980) 321-4048

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