Okra, Mushroom, Tomato, Onion, Kashmiri Masala

The inspiration for this dish was Indian — but having come home from surgery earlier that day, I didn’t have the stamina to go whole-barrel on this one.  In fact, I’d prepped the okra the day before.  Kashmiri paste /masala more often goes with mutton or goat, but as noted, I’d just gotten out of surgery and wasn’t in the mood to finagle the finer points.  It tasted quite good and is worth a repeat, anyways.

recipe, Basmati rice, Kashmiri masala, okra, vegetarian, tomato, mushroom, onion

An Indian-inspired dish over Basmati rice

I get great fresh okra from either the farmer’s market, or from an Asian (Indochinese) grocery near me.  The stuff in my supermarket always looks like it has been sitting around in a dungeon for several unhappy weeks.  In a pinch, frozen will do.  (Thaw it first.)

Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes
Rest time: none
Serves:  three servings; makes great leftovers.

Okra, Mushroom, Tomato, Onion, Kashmiri Masala

  • 1/2 pound okra. 
  • 1/2 large onion — I’d do the whole onion next time
  • 4 ounces sliced button mushrooms.
  • 2 teaspoons garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri Masala paste (add more for more heat if you choose).
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • grapeseed or other cooking oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Remove stems from the okra.  Remove bottom tips if they are brown, otherwise let them remain.  Chop the okra into one inch length segments or less.

Coarsely dice the onion and slice the mushrooms.

Put a good cooking oil into a skillet — probably a tablespoon since mushrooms absorb it readily.  Turn heat to medium/medium high.

When the pan sizzles upon the addition of a drop of water, add the onion.

Let it saute for about 3-5 minutes, until just translucent.

Add okra, mushrooms and garlic paste.  Stir fry for another 5-10 minutes, until the okra is soft, and the mushrooms are cooked.

Toss in all the other ingredients, and continue stirring until the tomato is hot and begins to break apart.

Serve over a bed of hot Basmati rice.

This recipe has hooked up with the Link Parties at:
Real Food Fridays, and also
Fiesta Friday, with special hosts Su and Laura
and Saucy Saturdays (hosted by Swayam, Christine, Jennifer & Dini)

recipe, vegetarian, okra, tomato, onion, mushroom, kashmiri masala

Cooking away in the skillet

 

Posted in Asian & Asian Influenced, Cooking, Mushrooms, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Simple Squid and Rhode Island (Royal) Red Shrimp Salad

I’d cooked the squid and shrimp the day before.  Royal Red shrimp, aka Rhode Island Red shrimp are delicate deep-water denizens off the Connecticut / Rhode Island coast, and I am given to understand there is another population around Florida.  They are wild-caught.  The trick is to cook them quickly, absolutely no more than a minute.  They’ll be done even before the squid!  If these are overcooked, they turn very mushy.

Should you have the ingredients to hand, this is a quick and very healthy meal, with a light dressing.

salad, Rhode Island Red, Royal Red, shrimp, avocado, heirloom tomato, lettuce, healthy

Salad with Rhode Island Red shrimp, squid, avo, heirloom tomato, and lettuce

Prep time:  15 minutes, relaxedly
Cook time:  1 minute max for the seafood
Rest time:  Eat it up!
Serves: 1

Simple Squid and Rhode Island (Royal) Red Shrimp Salad

  • Several lettuce leaves, shredded (I used green leaf lettuce)
  • 1 heirloom tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 avocado
  • a handful of squid 
  • about 4 or so large royal red shrimp (AKA Rhode Island Red shrimp)
  • 1.5 tablespoon EVOO
  • 1.5 tablespoon Ponzu marinade (Marukan All Natural Ponzu Premium Sudachi Citrus Marinade – this is not the soy-based Ponzu sauce more readily found in supermarkets, although I have seen it in Whole Foods).  Replace with a light balsamic if need be.

For the seafood:

Set a pot of water to boil.  When boiling, add squid and shrimp (I added about 2/3rd pound of each, because the seafood was designated for multiple purposes).  The squid should not boil longer than a minute, the shrimp perhaps 50 seconds.

Drain under cold tap water and shell the shrimp.  Set aside.

For the salad:

In a salad bowl or plate, add a few leaves of rinsed and lightly shredded leaf lettuce.

Chop up the squid you plan to use into rings and tentacles; chop the shrimp into halves, chop the tomato coarsely, removing the core and reserving the liquids.  Slice open the avocado and take one half for slicing into the salad.

Arrange the above in layers as you wish.

For the dressing:  1 part extra virgin olive oil to one part Ponzu marinate.  Add the tomato liquid.

Pour over the salad, and serve, with optional cracked black pepper.

salad, squid, shrimp, Rhode Island red, Royal red, avocado, heirloom tomato, lettuce, recipe

Close up!

To minimize the browning of the leftover avocado:  use a little Ponzu sauce, or perhaps a splash of lemon or cider vinegar over the exposed cut area, then wrap tightly with plastic wrap before returning to fridge.

This recipe has joined the Link Parties at:
Real Food Fridays, and also
Fiesta Friday, with special hosts Su and Laura

 

 

Posted in Cooking, Salads, Seafood | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Dining Out: MJ Tuckers, Sandisfield MA

Located along Route 8 on the right side if you are headed into Connecticut, and near the Farmington River, MJ Tuckers promotes beer and pizza.  And Keno.  Looking at the logo one may think – American/Italian and English Pub.  The interior ambiance owes much more to Southern Country.

Dining out, MJ Tuckers, Sandisfield MA

Dining Out: Pizza and Pub! Sandisfield, MA – located on Route 8, the western part of the state.

I arrived about 1 pm last Friday, when the joint was fairly empty.  Crossing the threshold one could scent the unmistakable sweet aroma of yesterday’s hops.  Country music played from a box in the corner.

When I’ve passed this place by on weekends, it’s always looked crowded and hopping.  A fair amount of motorcycles and 4 by 4’s.  I was glad to give it a try on a calmer weekday, since I am not a crowd-scene person, although it was at first intimidating to sit at the bar with all the other customers — simply because many of whom were dining suds-only, without lunch.

I bucked the tide.  I ordered water.  (I had nearly another hour and a half to drive home.  I drink, but I don’t drink and drive…)

MJ Tucker’s promotes their pizza, but not being in the mood for pizza just then, I chose from the other offerings.  Ordered their cup of French onion soup, and their hog shank appetizer (which was supposed to come with six shanks).   This menu option seemed to fit in with the country decor (which included many taxidermy bucks’ heads) and music, and the idea intrigued me anyway.  I had no idea how big a hog shank was going to be — small, large?  If large, did most clients share with their companions, like a platter of nachos gets shared, even though that’s an appetizer?  I like country music, so I was fine with the ambiance — they didn’t play it so loud that conversations would be halted.  Indeed I was able to step away from my seat at the bar to take a call from my veterinarian without having to go outdoors to hear her. (I didn’t want to inflict my bar-mates with our conversation.)

Meanwhile, I could play Keno if I wanted – generous Keno cards and pencils were provided on the counter.  I opted to play with my phone instead  (neither Keno NOR Pokemon GO)!  (I checked e-mail, mostly. Yeah, boring!) I didn’t get a signal that this place was customer wi-fi adapted, but I suspect it’s rather rare to have that in the area I was travelling.

The soup was serviceable but not great.  It lacked some in the flavor department, and I think they only used mozzarella as the cheese, and a rather washed-out broth, but there were lots of onions.  But this is not the sort of place you want to rely on French Onion Soup to define your menu.

Sandisfield, MA, Dining out, MJ Tucker's, restaurant, hog shanks, French onion soup

Americanized French onion soup, and an appetizer of hog shanks with cornbread. That second platter was Totally Yum!  Keno cards and pencils seen upper left…

The hog shanks were terrific, however!  They’re small, and very, very lightly breaded, with a mildly-peppery seasoning.  They were tender and not greasy.  They (5, not six, but it didn’t matter, because I was plenty full) came with two mini corn muffins, which were also enjoyable.  The muffins were not terribly sweet, as such things often can be, and were just deliciously warmed before delivery.  They didn’t need butter, which was fine since butter wasn’t supplied.  (I am sure you can ask for it.)  The shanks didn’t need the Russian dressing that was supplied on the side — I tried them both ways and I was just as content to leave the dressing behind.  Although the dressing does work if you want it.

There is an extensive pizza menu, and noting how many vehicles line up outside here on weekends, I’m guessing this menu is popular.  I didn’t see any sign of artisanal beers (I didn’t look, but I did read things readily available), but Sam Adams (this IS Massachusetts) is on tap.  Service was friendly.

I’m holding off on rating this restaurant overall, as French onion soup is probably not a main selling point in a place such as this, and there was a big dichotomy between the two items I ordered. I’ll definitely be back, though.  So, the below just rates the menu items I ordered.

Dining out, Sandisfield MA, hog shanks,

Note the prominent advert for Keno. On weekends this venue appears to be hopping when I’ve driven by.

French Onion soup:  I rate this 3.0 (out of 5.0).  It is okay, but bland.  I’d order it again but I think I’d much rather explore the rest of the menu, first.
Hog shanks with corn bread mini-muffins:  I rate this 4.5.  I’m so into these!

It appears they are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

 

 

 

Posted in Cooking, Dining Out | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Stuffed Peppers featuring Quinoa and Ground Meat

You can substitute the ground beef with whatever ground meat you like.  (Or for vegetarian, switch to lentils that you’ve soaked and cooked to where they still have texture, but are soft.)  I still had some CSA ground beef in my freezer, so I used that.  As always, I’m leery of meat that came from a multitude of animals, some no doubt not in the picture of health prior to arriving on the cutting room floor.  But, use what works for you.

stuffed peppers, quinoa, ground meat, gluten-free

A portion of the mix that would end up within the bell peppers. That large piece of tree ear to the left was torn apart to make smaller fragments.

I chose to go with quinoa, because I really don’t like rice all that much in my stuffed peppers.  It very much says, “tasteless, mushy filler” to me.  (You will notice that all my previous stuffed pepper recipes have been entirely grain-free! — I used veggies for tasty AND nutritious “fillers”.)  I’m really picky about rice — the rice I like is Asian sticky rice, or Thai brown rice, or those Indian basmati rices.   (Or wild rice, but that’s another species entirely.)   What I prefer about the rices I like is their textures – sticky, or at least, solid — as well as some inherent flavor that Western rice seems to lack.  Let’s not speak about soggy risotto!  And I’ve never cared for the generic rice that typically gets stuffed into stuffed peppers — this may just be me.  Perhaps I’d like rice-stuffed peppers if I used sushi rice instead?  I don’t know yet, but I’ve decided to experiment instead with quinoa.  Quinoa holds onto texture well, and has a pleasantly “nutty” flavor,  and that was a given before I began this experiment.

recipe, bell pepper, quinoa, stuffed pepper, ground meat, lentil

Oven-Ready Stuffed Pepper. This ended up in the largest bell pepper I had to hand. While this experiment using quinoa is so far a one-shot — I’d say it’s a success here.

Quinoa is so versatile, and cooks up readily in a rice cooker.  It has a pretty good nutritional profile, and as it turned out, worked very well in the following recipe.

stuffed peppers, quinoa, tree ears, ground beef, recipe

The quinoa portion of the stuffing, just pulled out of the rice cooker.

Feel free to adapt any or all of the extra flavor profile I used.  Garlic scapes are highly seasonal, and tree ears are not readily available — even my local Asian market stopped carrying them, and I had to resort to ordering them from Amazon last winter.  In a one pound package that as it turns out, will probably take me about five years to consume!  I will note a few tree ear fungi go a LONG way.  But they are far less expensive than the pricey dried Porcini which are also a tasty alternative.

stuffed peppers, recipe, ground meat, quinoa

Prepping up the ground beef portion. With this high quality CSA beef, there was very little excess fat to remove. Note the chopped garlic scapes.

I added the turmeric / ground pepper for nutritional reasons — I’ve been eating severely unhealthily in the last two or three months, due to time constraints (at least compared to my general eating habits).  You can taste a mild turmeric flavoring, but it is not overpowering.  Of course, this recipe could go towards a full-tilt Indian-style flavor panel if you choose, even if quinoa is not in and of itself used much (or at all) on the Indian subcontinent.

quinoa, stuffed pepper, gluten free, ground meat

Stuffed pepper: Quinoa, ground beef, seasonings, a little cheese, baked 40 minutes at 350 F.

 

Quinoa and Ground Meat-Stuffed Peppers

Prep time:  I do this while the quinoa is cooking.
Cook Time:  about 30-40 minutes for the quinoa and the skillet; plus 25-40 for the baking
Rest Time:  5 minutes
Serves: Approximately 4 stuffed bell peppers — one per person

For the Quinoa:

3/4 cup quinoa
1 and 1/2 cups water, chicken broth, or veggie broth.  I used broth from a boxed package of “organic chicken bone broth”, although making my own is my preferred route.
Two or three dried tree ears (tree fungi), or perhaps 5 dried porchini — broken up.  Optional, but adds a nice change.

Put into rice cooker and let ‘er rip.  I use the brown rice setting.  I let the cooking soften the dried mushroom matter, but you can pre-soften them in warm water first.

For the ground meat:  

1/2 lb ground beef or whatever.
Cooking oil (I used grapeseed oil).
5 Garlic scapes, chopped (these are seasonal — sub with a shallot or two, or perhaps half an onion.
2 teaspoons soy sauce (I like San J’s low sodium-gluten free soy).
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Optional red pepper flakes, to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Let cooking oil heat, and add the meat, breaking it up and browning it, cooking it through.  Use a spoon to remove/discard grease, if any.  Add the seasonings and continue to mix.

When the quinoa is cooked, add in the quinoa and mix.

The stuffed peppers:  

Approximately 4 bell peppers (this will depend on bell pepper size.  Aim for peppers with flat bottoms if you plan to bake the peppers on their bottoms.
The stuffing mix, as made above.
Optional chunks of cheese, preferably meltable.  Say, a couple ounces.  (I had some spare cheddar to hand that needed using up)
1 – 2 teaspoons of butter.  (Kerrygold this time.)

Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.

Clean, and using a paring knife, cut  out the stem and leave a hole large enough to scoop out the seeds and excess ribbing.

Add the stuffing, occasionally putting in a chunk of cheese at whim.  Fill in gaps with the stuffing.   Fill to the top.  Add a dab of butter to the top of each of these — less than half a teaspoon — to keep the exposed surface of the stuffing from drying out.

Cook for 25-40 minutes in the oven.   This will depend on the size of the peppers, and on how au dente you like your peppers.  I prefer mine on the crispy side, but I know in this I am a minority.  However, I did get distracted, and mine began to roast up a little — they were still quite good!  (Maybe, for stuffed roasted peppers, this is the best way to do them??)

Quinoa, Stuffed Peppers, ground meat, turmeric

Deep Diving Down! (I ended up eating two of these for dinner last night, as I was far too tired to make any sides. Don’t ask….)

This post has been linked to Fiesta Friday, an awesome repository of great real-food meal ideas.  Guest  hosts are Jhuls and Colleen this week.

This post has also been linked to Real Food Friday, another great way to find healthy and fun real food recipes, as opposed to food-oid substances.

 

PS: No, I’ve never eaten congee yet.  But I worry about its sogginess — maybe the rice they use for that would redeem the food for me; I do like other non-rice soggy foods!

 

Posted in Cooking, Meats | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Dining Out: Pasha’s Moroccan Lounge

Note:  I’ve been tremendously busy of late, so this is my first post in quite a while.  There’s been a lot of 11-hour work days, and tying up of loose ends — as mentioned before, I’m retiring soon — and it happens to be NEXT WEEK, but there’s a LOT to do until I do — as it were.  I want to make the transition as smooth as possible for my co-worker as I can, because they’re short-handed at the moment.  Unfortunately at the moment I seem to have absolutely no energy after work — even on the 8-hour days — and I don’t sleep well at night.   Meanwhile,  I continue to build my retirement house as mentioned in earlier posts.    With a GOOD kitchen that I’d actually be willing to photograph for public consumption!

The below is a review of a Moroccan eatery I visited prior to attending the 60th wedding anniversary party of my uncle and aunt, back in June.

Pasha’s Moroccan Lounge, 644 Center Point Way, Gaithersburg, Maryland, 20878.

Recently, I ate lunch here.

Pasha's Moroccan Lounge, Dining out, hummus, lamb, lentil soup, Gaithersburg MD, Maryland

Pasha’s Moroccan Lounge. I note outdoor seating to the right.

I drove down on a Friday to Rockville, Maryland, to celebrate my uncle and aunt’s 60th wedding anniversary — the occasion was to be celebrated at their home Saturday evening, but I wanted to be rested by the time I drove there, so I took a hotel room for two nights — the Friday night before, and the evening after.

This left the idea of finding an appetizing lunch venue in the area wide open.

Being as Google as a search engine is my friend, I surfed around to see where I’d like to toy with my gustatory appetite.  The anniversary dinner at my uncle and aunt’s was going to be catered, so I didn’t want to go overboard at lunch; nor did I want to stop eating entirely until dinner (the other guests would like something left to eat, too….)

Moroccan hit the button.  Well, so did a few sushi options in town, but I weighed budget in on this, and the online menu for the Moroccan place sounded fairly diverse.  (Near my own home, I have a nearby Lebanese restaurant, and a few sushi establishments, but nothing specifically Moroccan.  Yep, Moroccan won!)

Google Maps and I, however, are not quite as friendly and in rapport as the actual search engine, apparently.  I switched to Waze when the wild goose chase Google Maps tried to send me on annoyed me enough, and thus arrived at Pasha’s in short order.

The restaurant is in a mall-like complex of stores and restaurants.  On entering, I noted a well-stocked bar — that’s apparently the lounge part of the name.  (No pork on the menu, I noted.)  The decor is comfortable.

Being as I knew in a few short hours (it was 1 pm at this point, maybe later as Google Maps had thoroughly annoyed me by now) I was going to be having a catered dinner, I only ordered an appetizer and a cup of soup.  I DO want to come back and try (and review!) a full-fledged dinner.  There were a lot of appealing ideas on the menu here.

Pasha's Moroccan Lounge, Dining Out, pita, hummus, lamb, cucumber

In the center of a volcano of hummus, create a pile of well-seasoned and warm lamb. (If you are vegetarian, there are plenty of vegetarian choices as well.)

I ordered Humi Lamb — essentially this is hummus served with cucumber slices, and far more pita bread triangles than necessary, with the lamb served shredded and warm over the top of the hummus.  I loved this, even if I only ate about a third of the pita bread triangles.  (I do eat a low-gluten  food plan — but seriously even gluten-addicts don’t need this ratio of pita to hummus!)

I also ordered their vegetarian Lentil Soup.  Excellent!  Nicely seasoned, and truly this hit the (soup) pot.

Pasha's Moroccan Lounge, Gaithersburg Maryland, lentil soup

Moroccan Lentil Soup! Very tasty!

From the lounge area — I just ordered water.

The photos aren’t the best.  After I got seated, an extended family of eight or so people got seated next to me, and I got embarrassed about photographing my food, and so didn’t take second shots.  Silly me!  Apparently that entire family, about ten minutes later, were on their phones not  remotely paying the slightest attention even to each other!!!

Rating:  3.95 out of 5 — and this rating would almost certainly go up should I get a second chance here, to try an actual entree.  (Just from menu-drooling…)

 

 

Posted in Cooking | Leave a comment

Vegetarian Borscht

While beet soup (Eastern European Borscht) is sometimes made with beef broth/stock, this one is made with a veggie broth.  And, since I didn’t have the regular purple beets in my fridge, the color on this one will not be the intense purple you might be used to, but it will be the red of the tomato sauce.  Never the matter — use the beets you desire!

borscht, recipe, beets, soup, cabbage

Borscht, served with sour cream. Add fresh shredded parsley for even more interest.

This week, I’m co-hosting Angie’s Fiesta Friday 119 with  Ahila @ A Taste of Sri Lankan Cuisine.  If you are not sure what a link party is, it’s a way to network with people of common interest — in this case, tasty home-made food and recipes — and if you blog yourself, it’s a way to increase interested visitors dropping by,  who are curious about new foods — just as you’ll likely be curious about their creations!  I’ve found some great chefs and cooks to Follow this way.

At any rate, check out Fiesta Friday!

borscht, recipe, beets, soup, cabbage

A bunch of veggies — note golden beets and what I call “target” beets!

Anyhow, what I like about this recipe is you can prep up everything except the cabbage fairly quickly, toss it in the slow cooker, head to work, and come home, finish up the cabbage slicing, toss that in, and a half hour later, you are ready to eat.

borscht, recipe, beets, soup, cabbage

To the veggies, add the tomato sauce and broth (and spices), and just stir around a bit before leaving the slow cooker to do its thing.

borscht, recipe, beets, soup, cabbage

Green/white cabbage, or red/purple cabbage — again, what was to hand! (But I did finally get the purple in!!!)

Prep time:  30 minutes total
Cook time: 7-8.5 hours in a crock pot
Rest time: Naw.
Serves:   4 bowls, probably 7-8 cups. 

Borscht

  • 4-5 medium beets, any type.  Skin and chop coarsely
  • 4 ounces sliced carrot
  • 4 ounces celery stalk, chopped coarsely
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 onion, preferably large, peeled and halved
  • 12 ounce can or jar of tomato sauce
  • 2  cups veggie broth, low sodium
  • 1 teaspoon smoked ground paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste (I didn’t add any salt)
  • 2-3 cups cabbage, sliced thin and then diced.  Red or white.
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • for optional garnish:  a dollop of sour cream, and/or several sprigs of fresh parsley, to be plated into the individual bowls.

Combine all the ingredients up through the “salt and pepper to taste” in a crock pot.  Set the timer for 6 to 8 hours on LOW — I used 8 hours, and then go away or whatever.  Ten hours later I came back from work,and my crock pot was in “warm” mode.

Using an immersion blender (or you can use your food processor, but I find that messier if I have to do that), blend the cooked ingredients as far as you prefer.  I didn’t want a full puree, so I stopped before that.

Add the cabbage and vinegar, and stir a bit.

Allow to cook in the crock pot another 30 minutes, on HIGH this time.

Remove and serve, adding a dollop of sour cream if you do dairy, and perhaps some fresh parsley (which I didn’t have to hand).  Eat, enjoy!

borscht, recipe, beets, soup, cabbage

Here, the borscht has been pureed to semi-chunky, then the cabbage and vinegar were added. The slow cooker ran another 30 minutes after this.

This dish stores well in the fridge, and re-heats fine in the microwave.  Or heated back up on the range, if you’d prefer.

 

 

 

Posted in Cooking, Soups & Stews, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Korean Beef Bulgogi BBQ

I figured doing this as a stand-alone recipe will put me in good stead when I post the challenge recipe, coming later this week.  More on that, later.  This week, however.

For now, though, I will be making Beef Bulgogi, mostly following a recipe of Jin Joo’s (Korean Beef Bulgogi BBQ).   I didn’t change much, other than lessening the amount of sugar (which is something I always do when I tackle a recipe), and accidentally misreading the amount of roasted sesame seeds as tablespoons instead of teaspoons… ACK!  Actually, not a big deal in this case.  (I can think of worse ingredients to mis-fire over…)

grilled, Korean, bulgogi, beef

I did cut the recipe in half — I’d bought 0.58 pounds of rib eye sliced thin for bulgogi at the Korean grocery, H-Mart (smallest package I could find, as I normally don’t buy non-grass-finished beef, lamb or goat), Sunday morning on my way back from my rather awesome 45th High School Reunion which happened to be held about ten minutes from the store.  I also nabbed the pre-roasted sesame seeds at the same time — life’s been busy, and if I can save time without sacrificing quality, so be it.

That meat is indeed sliced thin!  I’m guessing anywhere from 1/8th to 1/16th inch thick, something I’m not really up to speed on doing.  If you do decide to cut the meat yourself (ie, no nearby Korean grocery), put it in the freezer long enough to partially freeze it.  And use a GOOD knife, and just aim for good enough…

recipe, beef, bulgogi, korean, grill

Super thin slices at H-Mart!!

recipe, beef, bulgogi, korean, grill

Marinating the beef bulgogi

Since the name includes the word “BBQ”, and since it has stopped raining out there — this is indeed going on my grill!

Prep Time:  15 minutes to prep the marinate.  Say an average 2 hours for marinating.  Get your grill going in there as appropriate, as well as cut up any other veggies desired.
Cook Time: Maybe ten minutes?  Charcoal grills need to be monitored. 
Rest Time:  5 minutes.  maybe.
Serves: 1, with that half pound of meat.  Add hearty sides and perhaps some rice and kimchi.  
NOTE:  I am cooking this to reserve a portion for a challenge recipe to be posted later this week.

Korean Beef Bulgogi BBQ

  • 0.5 pounds thin-sliced beef — something tender with marbling.  Sirloin or ribeye should work.
  • Bulgogi Marinate
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce — I used low sodium gluten-free tamari.
    • 1 tablespoon organic palm sugar
    • 1 tablespoon cheap sake (or use rice cooking wine, or to make this alcohol-free, use rice vinegar]
    • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
    • 1 tablespoon garlic paste, or minced garlic
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon  ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds.  Yes, I ended up with a tablespoon…
    • 2-3 teaspoons chopped green onion
    • 1/3-1/2 pear (I used Anjou, but I suspect if you can find Asian pears, they’d be more authentic) finely chopped pear.  Or, you can get out your immersion blender or food processor and puree it, which I was loathe to clean up after.  I did beat it up a bit with a pestle… Apparently, the acidity of the pear helps tenderize tougher meat.  (Hmm, I’m betting that in season, plums would work great!)
  • Extra veggies:  I opted to slice up some onion, bell pepper, and oyster mushrooms.  By tradition, these veggies don’t need to be added, according to Jin Joo — but I do like my veggies, so in a few went!   In my case:  1 small onion, 1/2 a medium bell pepper, and perhaps 3 ounces of mushroom.

You can use a skillet, a grill, or oven.

But first:

Make the marinate, combining all the marinate ingredients together (the second-tier items in the ingredient list).

Add the meat, using your hands to make sure marinate goes between all layers.  With really thin meat, yes, the slices will break apart.

Marinate at least 30 minutes, or overnight.  This will bring the flavors in through the meat, and if there is any toughness, acidic components will help to tenderize.  With particularly-tough meats, Jin Joo even suggests adding a splash of diet Coke — although I’ll note that regular soda hasn’t entered these portals for over a decade, much less “diet” variants.  I’d suggest a longer marination, or perhaps the addition of some more acidic fruit — she, for instance, has had success with kiwi.  Jin Joo suggests taste-testing your meat to see how it works, and that’s a great idea.

I marinated for two hours, refrigerated.  I had every confidence in my well-marbled rib eye.

While marinating, slice up your additional veggies — the ones I used are only suggestions.

I’ll test drive this the skillet route in the future, but for now on the barbie:

Get your grill going (I have a charcoal grill and I use a charcoal chimney.  It typically takes about 20-25 minutes for my chimney to catch and fire up nicely — a lot depends on ambient air flow patterns (aka “wind” or “breeze”).  If you use some other method, time yourself accordingly.)

When you are ready to start cooking, transfer your meat and any extra veggies over to foil, and build a pouch.  Or make a couple pouches if you are cooking for several people, and want to sprawl all over your grilling surface…  You can put it on/in foil already built in with holes, or just use aluminum wrap you can punch a few holes with the tines of a fork.  Provide a wide bottom “basin” so the meat and any veggies can cook through to done.

recipe, beef, bulgogi, korean, grill, oyster mushroom

The veggie component of this dish…

 

This post is linked to at the absolutely wonderful Fiesta Friday Link Party — and yours truly will be co-hosting next week’s link party…. DO check them out… and if you are also a food blogger, they’re a great way to get exposure.  Anyhow, this week’s co-hosts are:  Kaila @ GF Life 24/7 and Laurena @ Life Diet Health.

 

 

 

Posted in Asian & Asian Influenced, Cooking, Meats, Mushrooms | 10 Comments