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the dirty dirty about the secret love sauce: linus exposed

The amazing pulled pork sandwich (photograph by Alec Kim)


Before you even start reading this, your curiosity may have peaked just at the title of the post.  So what's this 'dirty dirty' about Linus Kim? Well, the story starts from Alabama where he grew up in the 70's-80's.  This guy probably loves barbeque more than anyone I know.  We've been friends since 1997. Ok, that sounds so ancient. I've seen Linus through thick and thin, we drove each other crazy over the years, but maintained our strong friendship. I think it was our jjimjilbang moments that saved our friendship as it was the 'neutral zone', where we would pig out on Korean snacks and watch Korean dramas.  A man of many talents, but one thing that stands out with the most gusto: his skills and knowledge about pork. He really does have a refined palate that you can't even be sneaky when you cook, because he'll call you out on all your secrets! haha.

Our food relationship:

Years ago, Linus came out to Chicago to help me with a catering gig.  The one main task I assigned him was to make the barbeque sauce for pork ribs.  When he spent like uh, 3-4 hours trying to create the 'perfect sauce', and drove me crazy because we didn't have a whole lot of time, that's when I knew this guy was crazy. Crazy about anything barbeque! Then I helped him make bacon ice cream for a bacon cook off event (see LA post 'bacon cook off' for details), and I can't remember how many batches of burnt bacon we made to get that perfect crispiness. His sister Joann and I were about to break his neck at that point.  I was so baconed out after that too! Ok, it didn't stop there.  That was just the beginning...

He arrived in Seoul spring of 2011.  Soon thereafter, through one of our events that we did while consulting a restaurant, he had his unofficial debut of his freakin' amazing pulled pork sandwiches! I only heard rumors about his bbq parties in LA...never did I taste his finger-lickin goods until Seoul.  Yes, I have waited too long. Since 1997 that is.  He was caught up with multiple projects his first year here, but after contemplation and serious conviction from all of us, he decided to share his obsession.  With us hungry folks in Seoul.  Even though he started to share this passion with so many close ones back in the states, Seoul is too lucky to have his talents grounded here now!

The process:

He smokes his pork for 12-15 hours on top of his roof. Yes! literally on top of his roof.  Has he hurt himself? Probably.  Is he nutty? absolutely.  But this is the way to do it, or the only way at the moment.  You can taste all the love that he puts into each bite of his sandwich.  Especially the sweat and tears that he has invested. Well, maybe there's a splash of rain drops here and there on his face when he smokes, that may look like a mix of sweat and tears, haha.  If you guys want to see the man in action, here is an amazing clip by Pudding Pop Media & Minimize Productions that recently filmed Linus on the roof. I heard that their tall british assitant nearly fell and hurt himself too. No commerical kitchen, no massive smoker involved. Just him, his spray bottle, a mini grill, and his new balance vibrams.

For the love of bbq (click on this link to check out the clip!)

Where can you find him?

Linus' bama style bbq had 3 pop-ups recently, and definitely more to come! The photos below are from his 2nd pop-up that was held at the 'Ways of Seeing' cafe in Hannam-dong.  I had a little too much fun helping him in the kitchen.  The unlimited free beer for the staff is what made us stick around too, haha. 'Like' his facebook page here 'Linus bama style bbq' to get more detailed updates about his upcoming events! 

*You can also find Linus' yummy pork @ Bloom & Goûté in Sinsa-dong (see my post on Bloom & Goûté)

I've got real hopes for you Linus, it's totally happening~never stop smokin' yo!



The homemade sides: southern style slaw + baked beans!

(photograph by Alec Kim)

Testing the temp...the crispy outside is the best part.


Can it get any more tender? Seriously...


The bbq master himself!

(photograph by Alec Kim)

 The set up...


Sooyon, Keeyeon, Me, Darren, & Linus

(photograph by Alec Kim)


Torching the baked beans before serving...

(photographs by Alec Kim)

Trying to look like we're actually working, haha.

(photographs by Alec Kim)

Jacqui & Mimsie-great food bloggers and friends to the right!

 Who's that dork with the bunny fingers...haha. 

Smiling with the great photographer Alec Kim:)

(photograph by Alec Kim)


The bilingual menu.

Reader Comments (4)

Sarah, this post and pictures make my mouth water. Recently, I went to Hyehwa to interview the Nagomsu podcasters and afterward I went to a place near their revolutionary HQ/coffeehouse that was billed as an American-style barbecue restaurant and even had a sign that said "pulled pork." I got very excited and went in and ordered the "pulled pork." What came out was a slab of ham that may have been canned. So disappointed! I really want to try your friend's sandwich!

September 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEvan Ramstad

evan! yes, you have to go check out linus' next pop up! get on his fb page for details! btw, let's get together with agnes soon:)

September 17, 2012 | Registered Commentersarah lee

just discovered your blog and love that korea has real pulled pork & for such a great deal! making me want to visit the motherland & go on a culinary adventure!

September 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersusan in sunny ca :)

Hi! I actually sent you an email to your Kyotofu email listed in that post, but realized that it might go to your junk mail. Anyhow, I just wanted to say as a fellow foodie how much I love your blog. I'm going to Seoul next week for the first time - I was born there but haven't been back since I was a baby - and I got so many great ideas on where to go during my trip from reading your wonderful blog, so thank you! The photos and all the details about your food journeys are fabulous! Also, I'm totally envious that you got to dine at Alinea! Glad to know that it lived up to it's reputation.

October 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa in Los Angeles
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