Ori Bulgogi (Marinated Duck)

Awarded by Bee Keng Koh
Ori bulgogi or duck bulgogi is a popular style of barbecue in North Korea. So after I first had it at the border between North and South Korea in 2018, I never thought I'd get a chance to experience it again. But I'm so thrilled that there is this one and only place in New Zealand - Mr K BBQ in Albany that does it. The restaurant is run by Jeongah Go, who moved here from Jeju Island in South Korea. An ori bulgogi meal offers a truly unique Korean culinary experience. You get a choice of either spicy meat with a home-made gochujang marinate or a non-spicy soy marinated option. Pink and fatty sliced duck comes piled with crisp and leafy minari are poured onto the sizzling hot plate and charred. They are then eaten with lettuce, chilli and soybean paste with Korean side dishes. The cooked meat is eaten wrapped in lettuce with a little bit of chilli and soybean paste before popping it into the mouth. After the meal, a bowl of rice arrives and the bowl gets emptied onto the hot plate and is cooked with the fatty juices from the duck. Few will ever get a chance to go to North Korea, but they can go to Albany. It is so iconic and special for us to be able to experience this here.