Flavours of Korea



Korean Barbecued Beef I

Bulgogi is probably the best-known and most popular of all Korean foods. In restaurants, it is often prepared theatrically at the table on a brass or iron shield. However, cooked over a hibachi barbecue, grilled, or fried in a very hot frying frying pan, it is always delicious.

2 pounds sirloin steak


5 tablespoons soy sauce

3 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed, and finely chopped

1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, crushed, and finely chopped

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 teaspoons sugar

Freshly ground black pepper

4 spring onions, sliced

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

1 lettuce

Kochujang to taste (optional)

If necessary score the meat and pound lightly with a meat hammer to tenderize. Slice the meat into thin strips across the grain on the diagonal bias. Combine the marinade ingredients and add to the meat. Mix well with the hands, then set aside for at least 1 hour.
Prepare a charcoal fire if using. Remove the meat from the marinade and grill over the hot coals for 5-7 minutes, turning with tongs frequently. If you have a domed shield, place this over the fire, allow to heat up, then place the meat strips on the hot metal, turning as required. The meat may also be cooked under a hot grill, or fried in a very hot frying pan.
Serve with steamed white rice together with a pile of cleaned lettuce leaves and the kochujang if desired. Either eat as is, or else take a lettuce leaf, add a bit of rice, some strips of meat and a little dab of kochujang. Roll up to make packets to eat with fingers.


Korean Barbecued Beef I

Bulgogi of course is a favourite that we have always loved, and all of us have our own slightly different ways of preparing it. This is my mother's version, differing from the classic above primarily in the fact that the meat is not cut into strips, but rather is scored deeply but left in larger pieces. This method is perhaps more suited to cooking on an outside barbecue rather than on a domed shield. It is superb: like most of our favourites, no one makes it better than Mom.

2 pounds sirloin or flank steak


3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, and finely chopped

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

5 or 6 spring onions, sliced

1 heaped teaspoon sugar

Plenty of freshly ground black pepper

Score the meat very deeply (nearly through to the other side) in a criss-cross diamond pattern. Turn over and score on the other side (don't worry if each steak breaks up into two or three pieces). Pound lightly with the back of a knife or with a meat hammer to tenderize if necessary.
Mix together all the marinade ingredients, and add to the meat. Mix well with the hands. Leave for about 30 minutes or longer.
Meanwhile, prepare a charcoal fire and wait until the coals are at their hottest (white). Cook over hot coals, turning only once. Bulgogi must cook very quickly. Alternatively, grill or fry over the hottest flame possible.

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