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Buying Galbi (or some other meat appetizer) for a large party?

My family is having a fundraiser this Saturday (about 50 people, appetizers only served at about 5 pm) and is thinking of serving galbi as an appetizer.

Is it worth it to buy "pre-marinaded" rib meat at a Korean market (I've heard they do this but have never tried it), and if so, what Korean market (must be no further than Ktown)?

Or, is it just as easy to buy a galbi marinade and some flanken rib meat? Suggestions on what marinade from which market?

Or, buy it already made (the galbi from Tofu-Ya is so delicious that's what gave us the idea, but at $14 per order this may be cost prohibitive), from where? (again no further than Ktown.)

And, any thoughts or suggestions on how to serve it? Trying to decide between serving it with the bone in (I'm wondering if this is a little un-classy for a $250 per person fundraiser), or with a toothpick or skewer or something? Any other ideas?

Any other ideas for a meat appetizer? Meatballs, maybe?


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  1. Whenever I eat galbi, I'm thinking rice and panchan. How about a small nigiri topped with galbi and some panchan as garnish? As for sourcing, I'm a rookie - I would have gone straight to Freshia in Torrance...

    1. Choice Meats has great marinated Kalbi, though a bit pricey. They have two branches that I know of: Third and Western and Olympic around Vermont.

      1. Let me know how this turns out. It sounds like a great idea. Meatballs sound great too, although the only place I know to get them is Pizzeria Mozza, which would be a tad expensive.

        1. You can buy pre-marinated galbi at the Koreatown Galleria supermarket (Olympic and Western). I never tried it, but my landlord did and reported it was very good. Can't tell you about prices, but the meat there is generally good quality and not too expensive.
          I'd served it deboned, on toothpicks.

          2 Replies
          1. re: bad nono

            Great sugestion! Galleria is a dependable place to get Korean stuff.
            (Serving them hot as a mini skewer deboned with mushrooms and/or bell peppers and/or onions will be an idea.)

            1. re: bad nono

              Hey bad nono.... sorry to hijack this thread, but I'm wondering if you ever got to pain du jour in Santa Monica (Please reply to this thread... http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/66818


              Mr Taster
              (formerly Mr. Taster, avec un ".")

            2. Might want to check out Costco. They recently started carrying pre-marinated Galbi in vacpaks. It's usually found over where the marinated tri-tips are located.... I think it was on the expensive side though!

              1. I've been really happy with Freshia. I bought some Kalbi there a couple weeks ago for 2.99/lb and it was excellent.

                1. Trader Joe's has very tasty premarinated Korean steak strips. You could skewer them and then grill them up. Yummy They cook reaally quickly because if there size.

                  1. Most good Korean supermarkets will have good Kalbi (I use a K instead of G, I don't know why). Freshia and the Koreatown Galleria are good examples of such. Prices are generally very reasonable. Usually between $3 to $5 per pound for pre marinated good stuff. I've done this on a number occasions and it has turned out quite well. I would recommend after grilling that you cut the kalbi into small "single bone" pieces so they can easily be eaten as appetizer finger foods. Only trick will be what people will do with the bones. Kind of like shrimp tails or other appetizer remnants.

                    1. Farm Boy, in Sherman oaks has some pre marinated Galbi/Kalbi that is out of this world! I don't know if the other branch does, but I bet they do!

                      Me, I'd serve it bone in right off the grill, accompanied with bowls of warm rice, the lovely Korean hot sauce and maybe some stir fried veggies and kim chee. Other panchan would be good, too, and I think Farm Bow has a little of that. Bone in is not unclassy-think of it as "authentic" and user freindly. Or, you can get the other prepared Korean BBQ meats that Farm Boy has to offer.

                      Also, if I were you, I'd look into providing a non-red meat option, like shrimp in kalbi sauce on skewers or platters of Korean Sushi ( sushi is also available made to order at Farm Boy, and it's dang good, too!)

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Diana

                        Farm Boy? What is Farm Boy? - this is new to me.

                        1. re: omotosando

                          Where do you live? In the SFV, Farm Boy is on Riverside, across from the fashion square (kitty corner) and in the same center as Washington Mutual and TJ's

                          Use the board "search" function and look up Farm Boy. You won't be disappointed!

                      2. DEFINITELY serve it with bone in -- that's the best. I personally don't think it's worth it to buy premarinated kalbi -- most marinades are really simple. Do a search on-line and you'll see.

                        1. Thanks for your suggestions, everyone -- unfortunately was out of the country last week and I didn't have internet access so I wasn't able to convey all these wonderful suggestions to my family for the fundraiser. They ended up getting $100 in galbi on the bone from Tofu-Ya and were happy with it. Cost them more than they needed to pay but it was easy, already cooked and delicious. $100 went a long way too -- even though it was a hit there were leftovers.

                          Omotosando, there's also a Farm Boy on Overland across from the 10 east onramp if you're interested,although it doesn't sound as extensive as the other Farm Boy.

                          Oh and if you want REALLY inexpensive meatballs you can get the frozen ones from Ikea. They's actually pretty good with the gravy and lingonberry sauce.