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…)
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…
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.
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.
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.