This is one of our all time favorite dishes, the one we always take with us to the beach, the one we often eat on the Fourth of July. And one of these days I am going to go to Super H or Lotte or one of the other huge Korean supermarkets in Northern VA and buy the beef pre-sliced for this. But since it's very expensive that way, I'll settle for buying the sesame oil needed for this plus other Asian staples and American produce there, and just make it from boneless chuck roast. It doesn't slice as nicely, but it marinates beautifully and tastes great.
You can also make this with chicken--JR in fact prefers it that way. I've taken to buying wonderful 6 pound packs of chicken breasts at Wegmans, with two breasts vacuum sealed together in individual compartments on a big sheet. You can freeze it easily and just cut off what's needed. And chicken breasts slice perfectly--especially if they're just barely frozen when you slice them.
This is best on the barbecue, but unlike most men, the Man is not into the grill. So mostly we make this on the Foreman grill or in the broiler.
Bulgogi--Korean Barbecued Beef
The Beef-- 2-3 pounds of boneless chuck roast, sliced into thin, 2" long strips
1/2 cup + 2Tbsp soy sauce (low sodium soy sauce is best)
1/2 cup sugar
4 Tbsp sesame oil (look for it in the Asian food section of your market)
4 Tbsp sherry or white wine or beef stock
chopped garlic-- 6 cloves or the equivalent in minced jarred garlic
green onions (scallions) chopped--3 to 6
2 Tbsp sesame seeds--toasted (see note)
Note:Many stores carry toasted sesame seeds--I get mine in a Middle Eastern food market.
If you can't find toasted sesame seeds, place them in a small skillet and heat until they begin to pop--keep an eye on them, because they can burn quickly!
Combine all ingredients except for the garlic, onions and sesame seeds in a bowl or measuring cup.
Grind the sesame seeds--a mortar and pestle works well for this, and scatter them over the beef.
Scatter in the onions and garlic, then pour the marinade liquid over everything. Cover and fridge for at least 4-6 hours.
You can grill this on a charcoal grill (best), in the oven under the broiler or on a Foreman type grill.
If you are doing it on the grill outside or in the oven, I recommend you put the meat on a fine mesh grill or a grill rack covered with foil and poked with a skewer to make some drip holes.
Time for cooking will depend on your heat source. In the oven tonight, this took 5-7 minutes.
Serve with rice--a little sesame oil on the rice is delicious.
Korean Style Spinach
If you eat in a Korean restaurant you get an assortment of little dishes along with your meal called banchan (or panchan)that usually include things like kimchi (pickled cabbage) and this spinach dish. It takes minutes to make and uses the same ingredients as in the marinade. It's best chilled, so you can make it well before the meal.
1 bag (10oz) spinach
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
Boil a large pot of water. Cook the spinach for about 1 1/2 minutes.
Drain and rinse in cold water until cool. Squeeze well to remove as much water as possible.
Place spinach in a large bowl. Combine other ingredients and pour over spinach. Chill before serving.