How to buy meat in Korea.

Yay! people read my blog! Here is a question I recently got from a reader and my answer is below. If anyone has any other questions, feel free to send them to me.


I’ve been reading your blogs and articles for the past 6 months. They were helpful for my first trip to Seoul. I mostly used your site for restaurants and culture research. But now I’m going back to Seoul at the end of January and want to spend my days cooking. (After all, it is freezing now and wandering about isn’t going to be as fun as it was in the fall.) I couldn’t find any butchers on my last trip. Can you suggest a couple places? I’m staying just south of the river in kang-nam-gu and only get around by subway.

Thank you!

It’s best to find a local butcher. You’ll find them around in each neighborhood, but it really depends on the kind of meat that you would want and the cut. You would go to the chicken guy to get chicken. Most of the fish you can get fairly fresh at a market or you can go to noryrangjin: the fish market. For pork and beef, you’ll find a separate shop and it’s just important you know what cut you are looking for. Here’s a list of cuts of beef and they are applicable to pork as well.

갈비 Short Rib/Plate
갈비본살 Boneless Chuck Short Rib
갈비심 Rib Eye Roll
곱창 Small Intestine
긴 혀 Tongue Long Cut
꼬리 Ox Tail
꾸리살(전각살) Chuck Tender
대창 Large Intestine
도가니 Leg Cartiledge
뒷사태 Hind Shank
등갈비 Back Rib
목갈비 Chuck Short Rib
목심 Chuck Roll
보섭살 Rump Round
볼살 Cheek Meat
부채살(서대살) Top Blade(Flat Iron)
뼈사태 Bone-in Shin Shank
사분도체 Quarter
사태 Shin Shank
살치살 Chuck Flap
설깃 Outside Round
설도상 Top Sirloin Butt
설도하(도가니살) Knuckle
소간 Liver
스지 Tendon
안심 Tenderloin
안창살 Outside Skirt, Thin Skirt, Diaphragm
알목심 Chuck Eye Roll
앞다리(대분할) Chuck
앞다리(소분할) Shoulder Clod
앞사태 Fore Shank
양(1위) Tride Intestine
우둔상 Round Top, Inside
우둔하 Round Bottom
우설 Beef Tongue
우족 Beef Feet
이분도체 Side (Half Carcass)
잡육 Trimming
정선 혀 Tongue Swiss Cut
제비추리 Neck Chain(Rope Meat)
중간 혀 Tongue Square Cut
짧은 혀 Tongue Short Cut
차돌백이 Brisket,,Deckle off
차돌양지 Brisket,Flank
채끝(채끝등심) Striploin (Striploin)
치마살 Thin Flank
토시살 Hanging Tender, Thick Skirt
홍두깨살 Eye of Round

In Korea, the cuts near the bone are more expensive. Galbi is quite expensive, but other cuts such as brisket and flank are not. Also the bones are expensive because they are used for soup.

There are kosher butchers in Itaewon as well.

Thank you so much for reading! And I hope this helps!


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  • Dan

    Thanks for posting this Dan. I’ve been struggling with cuts for years. I’ve reach a happy medium (comfort zone), but there are some cuts that I’ve only been able to guess at. Maybe you can help out. This is, of course, when I’m looking for steaks.

    (1) Ribeye (is that the same as ribeye roll above–just thicker cut?)
    (2) Porterhouse
    (3) New York Strip
    (4) T-bone

    It’s always just a guess when I go to the butcher, even with my Korean-speaking wife to help out.


  • Daniel Gray


    To answer your question about the meat, it would make more sense to go to a westernized butcher to get those cuts of meat. Most Koreans like the meat closest to the bone. I think you can get a lot of those cuts at Costco or E-mart, but you won’t get them at the little local meat shop.

  • Colleen

    Wow, this is great, I just bought random meat at the store, and now I know what it is.

    One thing I rarely see in the store though is ground beef. I like to make meatballs and tacos, but I can never find it. Can I get this from a deli?

  • Anonymous

    Our local supermarket sells minced (ground) beef and pork – nothing special about it – maybe you just have to shop around.

  • anthony mould

    I would like to know do Korean people like to buy meat at open shop and be served or do they like to buy already packed, ready to go. Which do most prefer for choice.

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