Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bulgogi's just another name for stir-fry, Korean-style

This yummy little meat main dish is just as good on a cold night (temps here are in the teens) as it is on a warm evening when you don't want to heat up the kitchen. In the first case, you can add red pepper to make it as hot as you can stand; in the second, it's a stir-fry so it's time on the stove or grill is minimal.

It's called Bulgogi in Korean (and alternate spelling abound) and translates literally as "fire meat" (if you believe Wikipedia.) My roommate the second semester of my freshman year was from South Korea, but as we lived on campus in a city with a population of about 5,000 people and I wasn't the foodie then that I am now, I didn't learn about Korean stir-fry from Min. Nope, I had it at a Fifty Miles Fresh potluck Morgantown Farmers Market hosted a couple of years ago. Then it was prepared with venison, though the recipe calls for beef -- use either, they're equally delicious!

1 pound thinly sliced round steak
(slice it when partially frozen/defrosted for easiest handling)
1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil for stir-frying
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons Mirin (sweet Japanese cooking wine) or sherry
2 tablespoons sesame oil
(I used walnut oil today in a pinch)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 bunch green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon to 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

Mix the marinade, add the thinly sliced meat and marinate at least 30 minutes (up to overnight) in the refrigerator.

Bring to room temperature. Stir-fry the meat over medium-high heat in the oil until the meat is nicely browned. Be careful not to overcook. It should not need to cook more than 1 minute. You may need to cook it in batches.

Serve over brown rice with a side of Greens in Peanut Sauce. This is how I first had this dish.

From "The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook" by Shannon Hayes.

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