Recently, Reggie and I took a “COUPLES COOKING: ASIAN FAVORITES” class at the Institute of Culinary Education as guests of the Institute. It was an amazing experience and I will write more about that soon. For now, I wanted to share our absolutely favorite dish of the 8-course meal – BULGOGI (Grilled Seasoned Sliced Beef). The marinade was EVERYTHING. Since I know that many MitC readers are not local to NYC, I asked if I could share how to cook Korean beef bulgogi at home. ICE was kind enough to say “yes”, so enjoy!
BULGOGI (Grilled Seasoned Sliced Beef)
Yield: Serves 6
Sweet Soy Sauce Base – Yield: about 1 cup
- ¼ cup water
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 4 thin slices ginger
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons red or white wine
Combine the water garlic, ginger and peppercorns in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar and wine. Turn the heat to high and boil for 2 minutes. Cool to room temperature; strain the sauce. It will keep for 3 months in an airtight container in the refrigerator
- 1 cup Sweet Soy Sauce Base (recipe above)
- 1 small apple grated (skin on)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ cup minced green onions
- 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine all the marinade ingredients.
- 1½ pounds sirloin tips, New York steak or boneless rib eye steak, cut into thin slices against the grain
- Soft lettuce leaves for wrapping
- Korean red chile paste, optional
- Place the beef in the freezer for 1 hour to make it semi frozen; this will make the meat easier to cut thinly. Slice it against the grain. (For the ICE class the beef is pre-sliced.)
- Place the beef slices in a large plastic bag with a zippered top. Pour in the marinade. Close the plastic bag and carefully turn the meat around in the sauce. Lay the bag on its side and open one corner of the bag. Compress the bag slightly to release the air. Distribute the sauce evenly in the bag, making sure it completely covers the meat (be careful not to push the sauce out of the bag). Secure the top. Place the bag on a baking sheet, so it is lying flat, and place in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
- Prepare the grill and heat on medium-high heat. Brush the surface with canola oil. Grill the strips turning once for a minute or two, to desired degree of doneness.
- Transfer to a serving platter, and serve with lettuce wraps, seasoned leeks and Korean chile paste.
Reggie and Kim’s Personal Class Notes
For the Sweet Soy Sauce Base
-You can substitute ground pepper from a grinder instead of the black peppercorns, crushed
-You can substitute sake for the red or white wine
-You can double the base to use half later. Just be sure to strain it because the garlic will go bad.
For the Meat
-Semi-freeze boneless 1 1/2 – 2 inch rib eye or flank steak. Slice it thinly against the grain. As an alternative, you can get sliced short ribs on the bone from a Korean butcher or market.
-In step 2, be sure to press out the air before you close the plastic bag. Instead of placing the bag in the refrigerator, you can leave it out for up to an hour. The meat will marinate quicker at room temperature.
-In step 3, you can use a grill or cast-iron pan if you don’t have a grill.
-In step 4, you can substitute the green parts of scallions (sear them on the grill or the pan that you used in step 3 after the meat is cooked) for the seasoned leeks.