Monday, March 19, 2012

Bulgogi-style beef and veggies

Bulgogi-style beef with veggies
Bulgogi, according to a CNN survey, is one of the world's top 25 most delicious foods. It's pretty popular here in Japan as well. This recipe uses ingredients found in almost every Japanese kitchen to approximate the Korean original. It might not be authentic, but it is very tasty, and the Young Man can't get enough of it.

The recipe uses a "bunching" technique, where the meat is placed in a hot pan in mounds and left to cook for a few minutes undisturbed. This keeps the meat juicy and stops it from becoming stiff. I am happy with the results, so I do it this way, but you could probably just stir-fry in the normal way.

The meat itself comes pre-sliced in Japan. There are two types: usu-gire (thin-sliced) and koma-gire (a-hem, thin-sliced). The difference between the two eludes me, but with koma-gire, the slices are not uniform in length. As koma-gire tends to be cheaper, my guess is that it's odds and ends left over from butchering other cuts. It has around 15-20% visible fat, cooks quickly, and when cooked with plenty of vegetables as it is here, allows you to reduce the amount of meat you eat without feeling cheated (g).

Once the veggies and sauce are prepped, this is on the table in under 10 minutes. However, if you need to slice the beef yourself, you will need more time. That sounds like madness-making work to me and is probably best left to your butcher, but if you insist, you are looking for shabu-shabu-thick slices.

Recipe source: Orange Page June 2, 2009 edition (no longer available for purchase)

Bulgogi-style beef and veggies

Serves 4

600 g koma-gire (thin-sliced) beef
1 small red pepper
1 onion
1 bunch (100 g) garlic chives
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp flour
For the sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 tbsp miso paste
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp Japanese soy sauce
1 tsp tobanjan (doubanjiang) chilli paste, or to taste

1 Peel and halve the onion lengthwise and slice thinly. Halve the red pepper lengthwise, remove the stalk, seeds and membranes, and slice lengthwise into 2-3 mm strips. Remove the root from the garlic chives and slice into 5 cm lengths. Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

2 In a large frying pan, heat the vegetable oil on medium heat for 2-3 min. Dust the beef with the flour, divide into 8 portions and place each mound in the hot frying pan. Cook, undisturbed, for 2-3 min.

3 When the meat has changed colour to about half way up the mounds, flip and layer the onion, red pepper and Chinese chives on top, then pour over the sauce. Turn the heat up a little and cook for around 3-4 minutes, breaking the mounds up as you go. When most of the liquid has gone, transfer to a serving dish.


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