Bulgogi (grilled marinated beef) may be the first Korean dish most people try when introduced to the cuisine. Not too intimidating or off-the-wall and who wouldn’t love grilling meat at the dinner table? The tinge of sweetness from the marinade also makes it delectable for kids. It’s the only way to get mykids to eat beef! I’ve also used the marinade for ground beef to make Korean mini burgers, chicken, and tofu. You can experiment on other meats and let me know how it goes. I’ve tried bulgogi with various cuts of meat, but I found that organic 100% grass fed prime ribeye is my favorite. My DH really likes it and I feel better feeding it to my DS. And yes, my DH has started eating meat again, but is limiting his meat consumption to only “clean” meat. A little expensive, but after watching Food, Inc. and reading Fast Food Nation, we try to make an effort to buy sustainably raised meats as well as eating less meat overall. I think it’s worth it.
I do use maple syrup (not the Aunt Jemima variety) as the sweet component for my bulgogi marinade. I’m not sure if it makes a huge difference, but at least it incorporates more readily than granulated sugar. It’s also not as sweet as white sugar, but offers a little more sweetness than brown sugar. The following batch is enough for about a 1 1/2 pounds of meat. You can adjust the ingredients according to your taste. If you like it sweeter, add more syrup, if you want it a little saltier, add a little more soy sauce or salt.
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup (or 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar)
1/8 cup sesame oil
1 to 2 green onion stalks, sliced thin
4-5 cloves of fresh garlic, minced (or about 2 teaspoons garlic powder)
About 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 to 1 1/2 pounds organic 100% grass fed prime ribeye, sliced thin
Mix the first seven ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add sliced beef and toss until beef is coated. Marinate the beef for at least an hour in the refrigerator. Combining everything in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag works too! If you don’t have access to a grill, you can use a broiler pan with similar results. Broil on high (about 6-inches from heat) for about 5 minutes. Keep an eye it because it cooks quickly. Toss the meat around and broil for another few minutes. Serve immediately!