For these regions I chose
Several years back when I was watching food travel shows, there were a few that featured Korea and their mouth watering cuisine, especially their BBQ. I really wanted to try it. It just looked so tasty and was something that I had not tried before. You know those moments when you’re watching something about food and you find yourself mesmerized and salivating, like you’re a hairs breath away from licking the screen because it just looks that good? That’s how much I really wanted to try some of the BBQ. I mean, how can you not be lured by the sight of meat being grilled to smoky perfection. Then later I started hearing about Bulgogi. I admit, I had never heard of bulgogi…much less knew how to pronounce it… until I started watching Korean shows on Netflix (oh, how I miss you Sisyphus now that I’ve binged watched all of your season 1). Bulgogi most often would come up as a favorite dish or a must dish to try. It sounded so tempting. So when I started doing this food journey, I looked it up and oh my did it look so tasty, not to mention so easy. I knew I had to try this one for sure.
Bulgogi literally means fire meat. It is a dish of thinly sliced marinated meat that is traditionally grilled, but can be pan fried in a very hot pan as well. Bulgogi is believed to date back to the Goguyeo era (37 BC-668 AD) and was beef that had been grilled on skewers. During Joseon Dynasty it was called neobiani meaning thinly spread and was prepared for the wealthy and the nobility. Even though bulgogi originated in North Korea, It is now very popular in South Korea as well. It now can be found anywhere from upscale restaurants to pan ready kits at the local supermarket.
I can understand why it has become so popular. The flavor of the marinated meat is amazing. The marinade is a mixture of soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and garlic. This gives the marinade that nice slightly sweet garlicky flavor. Some recipes also include ginger, scallions and a grated Asian pear. I didn’t include the pear in mine because I don’t like pears and I’m sure an Asian pear is hard to find here. Although some substitute a grated apple or kiwi. This marinade is also what helps tenderize the meat after it’s cut into thin strips, which helps the meat to cook quickly and still have that wonderful tenderness. The meat is usually made from Sirloin or other cuts of prime beef. Ribeye seems to be commonly used as well. Some recipes, as all seem to do, vary from chef to chef, but the basics are pretty much the same. This dish is sometimes served with rice, and accompanied by egg soup or Kimchi. I just served mine with rice.
I highly recommend try this dish. Not only is it delicious, but it is so easy and does not take long to cook. I used a cast iron pan to cook mine, but you can grill them as Bulgogi was first intended.
Here’s what you need:
*1 1/2 LB sirloin or ribeye steak
*1 TBS canola oil
*1 onion coarsely chopped
*1 green onion thinly sliced +more for garnish
*1/2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds +more for garnish
For the Marinade:
*1/4 cup soy sauce
*2 large cloves of garlic, grated or minced. I preferred grating this with a microplane grater
*1 1/2 TBS brown sugar
*1/2 tsp. sesame oil
*1/2 tsp. dried ginger or 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
Wrap steak in plastic wrap and freeze 1 to 2 hours. This will help with cutting the steak.
Right before the steak is ready to come out of the freezer, in a small bowl combine the ingredients for the marinade; set aside.
Take out the steak and blot dry with paper towels.
With a sharp knife slice against the grain in thin strips.
Place the steak strips in a deep dish or a zip top bag.
Pour the marinade over the steak.
Mix the marinade well covering all of the beef.
I like to use my hands to do this because I feel I can get all of the beef covered better this way….not to mention it’s good to play with your food sometimes.
Cover the dish and marinate for at least 4 hours or over night.
In a cast iron pan add the canola oil and heat to medium high heat; add in the onions and green onions.
Cook for about 3 minutes stirring frequently or until onions are at desired tenderness.
Add in the beef with the marinade and the sesame seeds.
Continue to cook stirring frequently for about 5 minutes or until the beef is just cooked.
Garnish with more sesame seeds and green onions.
Serve with rice is desired.