When it comes to variety and availability of ingredients in food shopping, my Peter and I count our blessings. Five minutes from our home in one direction there are several excellent grocery stories, including specialty Indian, Persian and Asian; as well as a Halal butcher. And about five minutes down the road in the opposite direction we have the wonderful Capital Region Farmer's Market, as well as a well stocked Korean supermarket and butcher.
The thinly sliced sirloin from the Korean butcher's counter is one of our favourites. It's so fresh and tender — and makes for delicious stir fries, barbecues and chargrilled dishes. With a good supply of home-grown chillies and garlic, I often make my own version of the Korean fiery (Bulgogi) beef. If the weather is good, sous-chef Peter chargrills the meat on the barbecue outdoors, but for the last few months I've been cooking it successfully in my wok.
Bulgogi is a popular dish worldwide and even Peter's dear little elderly mum, Joan, who is visiting with us at present, enjoys it immensely -- though I do cut back a little on the bird's eye chillies when I make it for her. If you are unable to source pre-sliced sirloin in the Korean style, slice your steaks and beat them well with a meat mallet until they are very flat indeed. The recipe I share here is my own creation, and I've taken the liberty of adding sliced Buderim baby stem ginger in syrup, as well as using low salt Tamari or soy sauce. I don't serve a dipping sauce, choosing instead to simply marinate the meat before cooking it.
FIERY (BULGOGI) BEEF KOREAN-STYLE
1kg beef sirloin (or perhaps rump or fillet)
For the marinade:
1/2 cup low salt Tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 bird's eye chillies, sliced, more if preferred
1 tablespoon Buderim baby stem ginger (with the syrup) chopped*
1 tablespoon black and/or white sesame seeds, lightly toasted (garnish)
fresh greens: salad leaves, steamed baby green beans or spinach, to serve
As mentioned above, the beef should be thinly sliced and beaten flat. To make the marinade, combine all the ingredients in a small jug and stir to combine. Place the beef slices into a large Pyrex bowl and pour over the marinade. Refrigerate for several hours. To cook the meat, heat a chargrill (or wok or griddle) to high and quickly cook the meat, searing it on both sides. Serve sprinkled with the toasted sesame seeds and plenty of greens. This will serve 4-6 as a main.
* If you are unable to source the baby stem ginger in syrup, perhaps use naked ginger or crystallised ginger. If you use fresh ginger, add two teaspoons of raw sugar to the marinade.
Tell me dear readers, do you have a good selection of multicultural grocery stories in your part of the world? And are the ingredients you like to use readily available?
Hello. I'm Liz, a writer, cook and traveller based in Canberra, Australia.
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.