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Martha's Korean Barbecued Beef & Kimchi

MyCookbook Recipe Database
MyCookbook Member: MSL
Recipe Category: Beef
Recipe Preparation Level: moderate
    Bulgogi, which means “fire meat” in Korean, is a popular dish of grilled marinated beef. Marinated in a variety of ingredients—including onion, sake, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger, scallion, sesame seeds, sesame oil, and pepper—thin strips of beef are cooked over a charcoal grill or broiled, then served alongside rice or wrapped in fresh lettuce leaves. Martha and guest Terri Pak sample bulgogi wrapped in red leaf lettuce, garland chrysanthemum, and sesame leaves, with a dollop of Korean hot red-pepper paste.

    Serves 4

    1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped
    1/4 cup sake
    1/3 cup soy sauce
    2 tablespoons sugar
    2 medium cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
    3/4-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, smashed, and finely chopped
    1 scallion, smashed and thinly sliced
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground toasted sesame seeds
    1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
    Pinch freshly ground black pepper
    1 pound rib eye, sliced 1/8 inch thick, scored with a knife, and pounded
    1 pound short ribs, thinly sliced crosswise, scored, and pounded 1/8 inch thick
    Red leaf lettuce leaves, for serving (optional)
    Garland chrysanthemum leaves, for serving (optional)
    Sesame leaves, for serving (optional)
    Korean hot red-pepper paste, for serving

    1. Combine onion and sake in bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until the texture resembles applesauce. Transfer to a large bowl. Add soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger, scallion, sesame seeds, sesame oil, and pepper. Stir to combine. Add meat, and stir to coat. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

    2. Heat broiler, or prepare grill. Remove from marinade. Transfer to baking sheets, and broil or grill until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes per side.

    3. Place a lettuce leaf on a clean work surface. Top with a few chrysanthemum leaves, a few sesame leaves, and a dollop of hot red-pepper paste. Lay a few slices of beef over pepper paste, and roll up like a burrito.


    Martha Stewart Living television facility manager Sung Pak and his mother, Terri, join Martha to prepare a spicy and pungent Korean condiment called kimchi. Made of fermented vegetables—such as cabbage or turnips—that have been pickled before being stored in tightly sealed pots or jars and buried in the ground, kimchi is served at nearly every Korean meal as an accompaniment to rice. A basic kimchi recipe consists of vegetables pickled in a solution of garlic, salt, and red chili peppers. In Korea, the recipe varies according to region and season, as well as what ingredients are available locally. The recipe Terri likes to prepare can be made as quickly as a salad. Just combine napa cabbage with prepared ingredients, and serve. Commercial kimchi is also available at Korean markets and will keep indefinitely in the refrigerator.

    Makes about 8 cups

    1 tablespoon sweet rice flour or all-purpose flour
    1 medium head napa cabbage (about 2 1/2 pounds), cored, washed, and torn into 3-inch pieces
    2 tablespoons coarse salt
    2 tablespoons Korean red-pepper powder, or to taste
    2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced and smashed
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1/2-inch piece ginger, peeled, thinly sliced, and smashed
    2 scallions, halved lengthwise, smashed, and finely chopped

    1. Combine 1 cup water and the rice flour in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and allow to cool. The mixture will look like glue.

    2. Place cabbage in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt. Stir to combine. To the cooled flour mixture, add remaining 1 tablespoon salt, the red-pepper powder, garlic, sugar, ginger, and scallions. Stir to combine. Add to cabbage, and stir to combine. Serve immediately or keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

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