Friday, August 1, 2008


I suppose I'm on a bit of a nostalgic kick lately, because after the pajeon, I just had to continue down memory lane and make some bulgogi.

As I've mentioned before, I lived in South Korea a number of years ago. During that time I very much enjoyed sampling new foods--and learning how to prepare them.

I particularly ate lots and lots of bulgogi. In restaurants, it was grilled on an in-table grill fueled by something that looks like a big honey comb. The grilled meat was wrapped in lettuce leaves and enjoyed with a number of different dishes of rice, kimchis and so forth. But in the home setting, it was usually sauteed with onions, often pieces of carrot and other vegetables.

Before refined sugar was available in Korea, it was common to use grated apple-pear (asian pear) to lightly sweeten the bulgogi marinade. Since sugar is now common, however, most families use either sugar or, as I was taught, corn syrup, which resulted in a very thick--and obviously much sweeter--mixture.

I love bulgogi any which way, but I decided to braise the meat for the sake of speed and easy clean-up. I know--a braise usually takes a lot of time. But when the meat is sliced very thin and marinated, it cooks up in about 20 minutes. And using my sugar substitute (Whey Low Type D granular) gave me the flavor I was looking for, though it wasn't all that thick. That's okay, because the rice soaked up all that flavor--yum!

serves 2

1/4 cup sugar (I used sugar substitute)
1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
pinch salt OR a few grinds asian spice blend (sea salt, garlic, ginger, etc)
few grinds black pepper
1/2 pound thin-sliced beef (I used boneless chuck; any cut suitable for braising works nicely)chopped onion and carrot, if desired

Combine sugar (or sub), soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Taste; correct seasonings, if desired. Pour marinade over meat in a non-reactive bowl. Add onion and carrot if using and toss to coat. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes.

Transfer meat and marinade to a saucepan set over medium heat. Bring just to a low simmer and reduce heat to low. Cover and let cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve over cooked white or brown rice.

Monday I'll share the recipe for the fresh cucumber kimchi.

Reminder: Today is the last day to get in the drawing for my giveaway!


carol said...

Mmmmmmm..made this --MT mr. W loved it...for brunch and lunch and snack. (WHO thinks about food that much??)

Amanda said...

I do! I do! I swear I could think about food 24 hours a day...

I'm glad y'all liked it!

Faythe said...

I grew up eating a spicy version in mom's kitchen. Looks delicious, Mrs. W.

Amanda said...

Hi, Faythe. I've never tried bulgogi with added spiciness--it sounds yummy!

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