Meat Types

Meat is the core of most Korean dinners.  Chances are if you go to a Korean restaurant, especially a table-BBQ one, they will specialize in a certain animal, if not a specific cut of meat or style.  (Sorry vegetarians, but you can always nibble on some side dishes, or try these places).  So it helps to know what to expect before setting out to devour the flesh of slaughtered animals.  Just be sure to bring a hunting party, because restaurants usually have a 2-serving minimum.

If you ever have a question or need a translation, feel free to post a comment below.  Or post a pic to the ROKin Daegu facebook page.  For tips on ordering and speaking Korean in a restaurant see this guide.

I. Common Menu Words

II. Pork
III. Beef

V. Seafood

(saeng) - Claims it's "fresh," or has never been frozen.  It can also mean "raw" in some contexts.  Commonly precedes a meat type on the menu.

양념 (yang-nyum) - Means "marinated," usually with either spicy pepper sauce or soy sauce.  Also precedes a menu item.  (Meat may still be marinated without saying so)

(sal) - Means "flesh," or the muscle and fat of an animal (or person).  Follows a cut type on menu, such as samgyupsal.

고기 (gogi) - Means "meat," specifically for eating.  Used the same as 살, so doesn't appear in the same word.

갈비 (galbi) - Means "rib meat."  Depending on the place, it can be either pork or beef (돼지 or 소), marinated or unmarinated, and served with or without the bones.  Often times none of this is specified on the menu.  (Note: Dalk-Galbi also uses the word but has nothing to do with "rib meat")

구이 (gooey) - Means "grilled."  It sometimes follows a menu item, but is usually obvious and left out.

매운 (mae-oon) - Means it's "spicy."  Also precedes meat type, although certain dishes are known to be spicy so this is usually left off.

무뼈, 뼈없는, 순살 (moo-bbyuh, bbyuh up-neun, soon-sal) - Are three ways of saying the same thing: literally "without bones," "doesn't have bones," and "pure meat."  Each term is usually used for a specific type of meat, such as 무뼈 for chicken feet and 순살 for jjimdalk.

국내산 (gook-nay-san) - Literally means "made in the country."  Menus proudly claim this in parentheses that their meats, rice or veggies are homegrown Korean.  한우 (han-oo) is a term specifically meaning "Korean beef."  It's not just about national pride; ideally domestics are fresher, as opposed to foreign goods that are frozen during importation.

돼지 (dwae-ji) - Pork
삼겹살 (sam-gyup-sal) is the common meat at pork BBQ restaurants.  The name literally means "three-layer flesh," because "four" is an unlucky word in Korean.  So it's actually the four layers (fat, muscle, fat, muscle) just below the skin around the pig's belly. [Eat downtown across from the fire station here or here, or on Samgyupsal Street here or here]
목살 (mok-sal) is an alternative cut at most pork BBQ places.  It's the pig's shoulders, or literally "neck meat," and is usually less fatty than samgyupsal, although sometimes it still has the same fatty outer layers. [Eat downtown herehere or the thick-style.]

오겹살 (oh-gyup-sal)  literally means "five layer meat."  It's the same cut as samgyupsal, only it contains an additional layer.  This is the top layer, or skin, with hairs sometimes still visible.  [Eat downtown]
가브리살 (ga-buh-li-sal) is a cut from a small
area between the  (neck) and  (back).  It's a tougher muscle with a more solid texture.  But it's still tender and delicious.  
[Eat downtown]

갈매기살 (gal-mae-gi-sal), is a leaner cut of pork.  It's not "seagull meat" as the name means, but skirt-meat, or the pig's diaphragm.  [Eat downtown]

항정살 (hang-jeong-sal) is also from between the  (neck) and  (back), just above the gabulisal.  It's very marbled and fatty, giving it a hotdog texture and a bacon flavor. [Eat downtown]

Ggeop Dae Gi
껍데기 (ggeop-dae-gi), as well as 껍질 (ggeop jil) both mean pig skin.  It's soft, chewy, and sometimes hairy.  It contains gelatin, which apparently helps maintain youthfulness.  Cook it well-done, and dip it the bean-powder sauce. [Eat all around Daegu]
불고기 (bul-go-gi) is pork marinated in soy sauce and spices, and then fried.  It is often served as a prepared dish, and not always grilled on your table like the meats above.  [Eat near downtown or near Kyungpook Uni.]
보쌈 (bo-ssam) is steamed or boiled pork.  The word means "blanket wrap," and also refers to kidnapping a bride.  In the case of meat it's usually wrapped in lettuce with fresh kimchi, bean paste, and salty shrimp sauce.  [Eat downtown or in Su-seong Gu]
족발 (jok-bal) is a half Chinese and half Korean term that means "foot foot."  It's the lower leg of a pig, boiled in spices.  It contains a thick outer layer of gelatin, or skin, that is traditionally eaten to prevent aging. [Eat in Seonam Market here or here]
곱창 (gop-chang) refers to a portion of the digestive tract.  In the case of pork it's small intestine.  It's usually boiled for hours prior to serving, then grilled on your table.  [Pictured here is the marinated Gopchang of the famous Anjirang Alley.]

막창 (mak-chang) became my personal favorite while mistakenly believing it was appendix [edited].  Turns out it's actually rectum!  If its natural chewiness or smell bothers you, counteract this by cutting it thin, cooking it crispy, and dipping it in the bean sauce.  [Eat all around Daegu or in Sincheon(spicy)] 
갈비찜 (gal-bi-jjim) is rib meat stewed with veggies.  It is usually pork, especially if it's cheap and when it says 돼지 in the name.  However, this dish may sometimes be made with beef, in which case it'd belong in the next category.  [Eat downtown]
탕수육 (tang-su-yuk) is breaded and deep-fried strips of pork.  It's usually crispy and served with a sweet and sour sauce.  [Eat at Chinese restaurants, like this one in Mancheon.]

 (Soh) - Beef
Soh Galbisal
소갈비살 (soh-gal-bi-sal) is your common serving of beef. "Galbi" is the meat between the ribs, and "sal" implies only meat (boneless).  Beef galbi is usually more expensive than pork, especially if it's 한우 (hanoo), or "Korean beef."  [Eat downtown here or here]

찜갈비 (Jjim-gal-bi) is Daegu's famous dish.  It's beef chunks in a bowl with a spicy pepper paste.  The name has been rearranged to distinguish it from 갈비찜, a nation-wide dish that's similar except not spicy, and is sometimes pork instead of beef.  [near Kyungpook Hospital]

 Saeng Gogi
생고기 (Saeng-go-gi) is raw beef, literally meaning "raw meat."  It must be slaughtered, delivered and served on the same day to ensure freshness.  So be sure to eat it at a reputable restaurant with its credentials on the wall.  [Eat downtown or near Daegu Station]
육회 ("yook-hway") is another type of raw beef, literally meaning "meat raw." It's usually frozen for a day to soften it, marinated, and served with an egg yolk and pear slices.  [Eat downtown here or here, or near Daegu Station]

Saeng Gan
생간 (saeng-gan) is raw cow liver.  It's a delicacy served at raw beef restaurants alongside cheon-yup.  They taste like blood and have the texture of jelly.  [Eat downtown]

Cheon Yeop
천엽 (cheon-yeop) is a cow's 3rd (out of 4) stomach, sliced and served raw.  It's like chewing on an old rubber band, so dip it in salt for some flavor.   [Eat downtown]
Yangji Meolli
양지머리 (yang-ji meo-li) is a cut of tough chest muscle.  It is boiled and then pressed under weights to tenderize it.  It is chewy and has a very robust beefy flavor.  [Eat near Daegu Station]

Cow Intestines
The suffix (chang) refers to a part of the digestive system.  In the case of beef, edible parts include 대창 (large intestine), 곱창 (small intestine) and 막창 (4th stomach). [Eat stone-grilled in Namgu or spicy near Daegu Station]

 (dalk) - Chicken
 Jjim Dalk
찜닭 (jjim-dalk) is chicken stewed with vegetables in a spicy sauce.   Andong style, the origin of Jjimdalk, is brown from using Coca Cola instead of sugar.  It usually contains lots of bones, unless they offer it 순살 (soon-sal), or "pure meat." [Eat downtown]

Dalk Galbi
닭갈비 (Dalk-gal-bi) is chicken and vegetables stir fried in a spicy pepper sauce.  In originates in the northern city of Chuncheon where it was popular among soldiers and university students due to its low price.  It's usually fried on your table with the help of a waiter.  [Eat downtown here, or better yet, here]

닭발 (dalk-bal) is "chicken feet," usually marinated in a very spicy sauce.  If the bones and toenails are too crunchy and chewy for you, order it 무뼈 or 뼈없는, meaning "boneless." [Eat downtown or in Sincheon]

Dalk Ddong-Jeep
닭똥집 (dalk ddong-jeep), is chicken gizzard, or literally "chicken poop house."  Stomachs with strong muscular walls for grinding food, they can be quite tough.  There's a whole alley devoted to chicken gizzards near Dongdaegu.  [Eat near Dongdaegu Station]
Fried Chicken
닭튀김 (dalk tuee-gim), is the general term for "fried chicken."  Some restaurants use the part name instead, such as 닭날개 (chicken wing) or 닭가슴살 (chicken breast), or just the English word 치킨 ("chee-keen").  Pictured here is 양념 (marinated).  [Eat downtown]

해물 (hae-mul) - Seafood
조개 (jo-gae) refers to clams.  Enjoy a wide variety of these crustaceans at a Clam BBQ restaurant.  [Eat downtown]
Live Octopus
산낙지 (san-nak-ji) is a medium sized octopus sliced and served while still moving.  Dip it in sesame oil so it doesn't suction to your mouth.  [Eat at Chilseong Market] 
곰장어 (gom-jang-uh) is a variety of eel.  It's often tough and chewy in some parts, and usually marinated in spicy sauce.  Eel is considered a delicacy, providing men with stamina and serving as a popular Anju. [Try it in Sincheon]
오징어 (o-jing-uh) is a popular dish either grilled or briefly boiled.  [Eat at most seafood markets such as ChilseongMyeongdeok, or Seongdangmot.  Or at various restaurants such as this spicy BBQ place or this makgeolli house.]
새우 (sae-oo) is shrimp.  [Eat it downtown, either grilled at this BBQ place or raw at this sushi place.]

(gool) is oysters. [Eat both grilled and raw at this downtown place.]

게 (gae) is the Korean word for crab.  Pictured here is (dae-gae), or King crab. [This was taken in Yeongduk, a coastal city famous for King Crabs.  They're cheaper here than elsewhere, but still range from 50-300 each!]
 (pronounced "hway" but usually romanized as 'hoe' for some reason) is the Korean word for raw meat, similar to Japanese Sashimi.  Used alone, the word usually implies raw fish.  [Eat in Myeong-deok or near Seongdangmot]

생선 (saeng-seon) refers to fish as foods, not to be confused with 물고기 (mool-go-gi) which refers to fish as animals, similar to the English distinction between beef and cow.

생선구이 (saeng-seon-gui) means fried fish.

Here's a translated list of fishes you may find in Korean restaurants [please leave a comment if I forgot any]:

참치 (tuna)
참다랑어 (bluefin tuna)
연어 (salmon)
광어 (plaice/flounder)
고등어 (mackerel)
송어 (rainbow trout)
밀치 (mullet)
참돔 (red seabream)
도다리 (flounder)
우럭 (smallmouth bass)
쥐치 (threadsail filefish)
농어 (Japanese sea bass)
게르치 (Japanese bluefish)
방어 (Japanese amberjack)
꽁치 (saury)
동태 (pollack)
칼치 (beltfish)

Mediocre Fish
도루묵 (doh-loo-moog) are bland, bony and offer very little meat.  The were once declared "Silverfish" by a grateful, starving king.  Today they are served as a free side dish at a cheap makgeolli place.  [Learn their story and where to find them at this place south of Banwoldang.]
Puffer Fish
복어 (boke-uh) is the poisonous delicacy that almost killed Homer Simpson.  Its delicious tenderness tastes more like chicken than seafood.  In Daegu, this reputable restaurant imports less harmful varieties and has fully licensed chefs.  So your odds of death are slim.
[Eat in Suseong-Gu]
고갈비 (go-gal-bi) is fried mackerel, often served with spicy marinade.  It's meaty with a strong fishy flavor.  Just be sure to pick out the bones.  [Eat downtown]
Fish Steak
메로 (Mae-lo) is my favorite seafood ever.  Learn the secrets of this fish steak (and all the other meats listed here)  by reading the linked article.  [Eat downtown]


  1. Whoever told you that makchang is appendix is screwing with you. Pigs do not have an appendix.

    If makchang is appendix, what is gopchang? Small appendix?

    1. Not screwing with me, just a mistranslation. Makchang is also maengjang, which means cecum or the shortened word for appendix. It's also separated from the small intestine (gopchang) and large intestine (daechang) by butchers.

      But thanks for your feedback mr anonymous. After further reasearch it seems most people say pork makchang is either cecum or rectum. According to the Korean Institute for Animal Product Quality Evaluation it's rectum.

    2. The cecum is not the shortened word for appendix, it's the part of the large intestine that connects to the small intestine. So either way, the cecum is still part of the intestinal track, and still receives fecal matter. If that is what turned you off to makchang initially, this isn't more appetizing.

      But at the end of the day it's delicious, so who cares?

    3. Err i meant in korean it is. Maengjang is cecum, and maengjang ggoli is appendix. But either way youre right, it's not pig appendix.

      It's confusing cuz makchang means "end of intestine" so some interpret that as the dead end cecum, or the end end rectum. In cows the term refers to the fourth and final stomach. In korean many labels are misused terms, not the literal meaning.

      But yea, thanks again, ill change the description. And it's still my favorite hehe

  2. nice... regardless of particularities(why do people have to be rude know-it-alls?)... this is a very nice list ... thanks for the time!!!

  3. a lot of the your links are not working correctly.... (ex- Contents
    I. Common Menu Words
    II. Pork
    III. Beef
    V. Seafood)

    these are pointed to a blogger site instead of

  4. AMAZING post. Back in march when i just arrived and was struggling with reading korean this really helped me out. I used to hate going to galbi restaurants because i didnt know what to order or how to. Took all your pics saved them on evernote with the korean. Lifesaver. Thanks a mill

  5. This is a great list and the know it all ass can toss themselves.