Thursday, April 19, 2012

Beef Bulgogi with Kimchi Fried Rice

This was an interesting experiment with Korean cooking. I've had Korean food before, even made some last week, but this turned out a lot better.

The finished dish is kind of like bibimbap but without as many accouterments.

Beef Bulgogi with Kimchi Fried Rice
(from here and here)

1 pound beef sirloin
5 cloves garlic, smashed
1 inch ginger, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 Asian pear, peeled, cored & chopped
1 Fuji apple, peeled, cored & chopped
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Kimchi Fried Rice:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 oz kimchi
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon red pepper paste (gochujang) (I didn't have any, so I left this out)
3 cups cool cooked white rice
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 eggs


So, this marinade was pretty awesome but I think I'll do it differently next time. The way I describe here worked perfectly well, but I didn't know what I know now when I was making it, so I'll walk through both ways.

Gather your ingredients:

Break down everything and add it to a food processor:

And the apple and pear.

Pulse about 50 times. 

At this point I added it to a ziplock bag for the meat.

Next time I think I will strain this through a fine strainer then squeeze the remaining liquid out through cheesecloth.

When I went to cook it (see below) I could not remove all of the fine pulp from the beef. While it ended up tasting perfectly fine, I think that you will get a cleaner finished product if you remove all of the solids from this marinade and just use the liquid. I guess it's up to you which direction you want to go on this, but the rest of the process will remain the same.

Thinly slice your beef. Make sure it's mostly frozen or it'll be next to impossible to get thin slices.

Add the beef to the marinade.

Combine well and let marinate in the fridge. I let it go about 8 hours.


When you're ready to eat, drain the beef from the marinade.

(This is what I was talking about above. I didn't want to rinse the meat under water and I only got a small amount of liquid out of the beef, so there was a lot of pulp in with the beef)

Toss the meat into a hot pan and cook over high heat.

Meanwhile, start the fried rice.

Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a wok.

Toss in the kimchi. You can chop it up first if you want, but I like it chunky.

Cook over high heat until heated through. 2 minutes.

Add the rice.

I used 2 bags of Trader Joe's "3 minute" basmati rice. Worked out perfectly.

Stir well to combine and flatten down a bit to get it crispy on the bottom. Let cook for 2-3 minutes, undisturbed.

Finish the rice with a pat of butter.

Stir to combine and remove from the heat.


Your beef should be ready at this point. Kill the heat on that, too.

As an added option, go ahead and fry up an egg for each bowl.

Serve everything together and break up the egg and stir in the beef to get the full effect.

Barring the marinade problems, this dish turned out fantastic. The rice was spicy and delicious with crunchy chunks of kimchi throughout. The egg added a creamy, binding aspect that was fantastic. I actually really liked the cooked pulp from the marinade as it added a really nice sweet element to the dish. I added even more hot sauce to the already spicy kimchi and that sweetness was a saving grace. The meat was super tender and flavorful and I probably could have eaten a whole plate of it.

If you have some kimchi rice left over, eat it for breakfast. It's delicious with a couple eggs on top.


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