When I find a dish I love, I tend to get a bit obsessive. By that, I mean I will probably eat the dish as many times as humanly possible in the weeks following it’s discovery, often to the point where I’ll burn out on it for a while, not make/buy it for a year, and then “rediscover” it all over again, only to eat it for every single meal for weeks…it’s a vicious cycle, really.
But the one fact that remains the same, time and again, dish after dish? The dish typically KICKS ASS. So duh. Who wouldn’t want to drown themselves in a vat of the stuff?
Case in point: bulgogi, Korean barbecued beef or pork. It’s salty. It’s meaty. And if you play your cards right, the fat will get so crispy, you could swear it was a potato chip. A meat chip of awesomeness that comes paired with a homemade, spicy pickle. MMMmmmmmmm.
The recipe and more food porn after the jump.
The first step of the obsession is to find a place where I can buy my food crack. The second step involves me actually making the food crack from scratch, enabling me to have an endless supply of the goods. Asian pan fried dumplings, elotes, cheese enchiladas…these are just a few of the dishes that have bewitched my appetite to the point that I had to learn how to make the most kick-ass version of them possible.
Time to add bulgogi to that list.
A few tips before the recipe–it calls for rib steak sliced thinly across the grain, but you can substitute another quick-cooking cut of beef, like sirloin, or even pork butt. If you live near an Asian grocery store, they should have bulgogi meat pre-sliced for you, but be wary of the quality of the meat. The best version of this dish I made used a sirloin roast that I had my regular butcher slice and layer between wax paper for me. It was much more affordable than rib steak, and just as delicious.
Also, if at all possible, hunt down the closest Asian grocery store to buy your soy sauce and sesame oil from. The high quality and low price will make it worth your trouble. I made this once with a soy sauce bought at the local American grocery store, and the sauce was sweet, not salty at all, ruining the finished product. BEWARE!
Kim chi, the ultimate condiment for bulgogi, can be found at most Asian grocery stores (either made fresh or canned in a jar), or at your local Korean restaurant (just call up and ask for some). It really makes the dish, so try to find it if you can.
Recipe: Leena’s Bulgogi
Summary: Based off of a recipe from Chow.com
- 1/4 cup Japanese or Korean dark soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for cooking
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- 3 medium garlic cloves, crushed, peeled, and grated
- 3 scallions, root and dark green ends trimmed, and 6-inch stalks minced 2 pounds marbled sirloin or rib steak, sliced paper thin against the grain
- Whisk together the soy sauce and sugar until sugar dissolve, then add in remaining ingredients. Toss beef in the marinade, making sure both sides are coated. Marinate as little as 30 minutes, as long as overnight. Scrape off garlic and onions from beef before cooking.
- Heat up a hot, large heavy skillet (I used cast iron) or a hibachi grill if you have one with a little oil. Cook the beef in batches, 2 minutes on each side or until beef is browned and edges crispy. Serve with white rice, lettuce wraps, and spicy kim chi.
You can also use thinly sliced pork butt for this recipe, you can add ginger to the marinade if you like.
Number of servings (yield): 6
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