If you’re a meat lover, you haven’t lived until you’ve tried Korean barbecue.
Increasingly popular Stateside, the Kbbq experience lets foodies cook their own mountains of meat on hot tabletop grills. Bites are paired with vegetables, potato salad and other fare, and it’s a true treat of a culinary experience—but you can enjoy Korean barbecue spices without dining out.
“This is very similar to marinated beef you’d see at a Korean barbecue restaurant, like bulgogi and galbi,” Kim says. “The marinade is in fact similar enough that it’d be wonderful for bulgogi (buy thinly sliced beef, often chuck) or for galbi (buy “flanken style” or “L.A. style” short ribs). But this is a slightly older version of those two dishes, and one that my mother reserved for special occasions, made with more steak-like cuts. The name ‘nubiani’ suggests the shape of whatever it’s marinating to be ‘wide and flat.’”
Kim says this marinade works wonders with everything from hangar to skirt steak, ribeye and New York strip. She suggests having a butcher slide your mean at a half-inch thickness, as the marinade will burn before the steak is cooked if the meat is too thick.
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“In all honesty, I really do love vegetables with this sauce,” she continues. “My favorite is the unholy combination of thickly sliced zucchini, whole shiitake or crimini mushrooms and sliced pineapples. The sweetness of pineapple plays beautifully with the savoriness of the marinade and the earthiness of the mushrooms, with the zucchini providing a nice foil for all the flavors. I love them over just-made rice, and with lettuce wraps.”
Kim shares this recipe alongside instructions for kimchi salad and dipping sauce. The marinade is enough for four people, and she says soaking your meat and vegetables in a gallon-sized ziplock bag of the stuff for 15 to 30 minutes is the best way to get the most flavor.
Without further ado, let’s get to cookin’.
Korean Barbecue Steak
- 1lbs beef steak, cut into ½ inch thickness (hanger or skirt steak. Ribeye if I’m fancy)
- You can use vegetables or firm tofu cut into ½ inch thickness insead!
- 54g 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 18g 1½ tbsp sugar
- 19g 1 tbsp honey, rice syrup or maple syrup
- 28g 2 tbsp scallions, finely chopped
- 16g 1 tbsp garlic, finely minced
- 8g 1 tbsp ginger, pureed
- 6g 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 0.5g pinch black pepper, ground (a small pinch)
- 20g 1 ½ tbsp sesame oil
- 30g 2 tbs pear juice (or apple juice, or skip it and add some pineapples with the meat)
- Score the beef against the grain, ⅓ inches apart.
- Make the marinade by adding all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until all sugar is dissolved.
- Add the marinade, meat and whatever vegetables you’d like in a gallon size ziplock bag. Close tightly, and give the meat a quick massage.
- Keep the bag in the fridge for about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Heat up your grill or your saute pan to medium heat. If you’re using a pan, add a tablespoon of neutral cooking oil.
- Place the meat on the grill or the pan. Cook on one side for about 1 to 2 minutes or until the outside of the meat is browned. Flip the meat to the other side and finish cooking, for about another minute. The meat is not that thick, so once both sides are brown, it should be cooked to about medium.
- You can garnish with more scallions and sesame seeds. Serve with all the Korean barbecue fixings like lettuce, tender leaves of any greens, cut vegetables, ssamjang and rice. Or serve it with a big salad like salad kimchi (below).
- 1 bunch salad greens in season from the market (I love mustard greens and ramps)
- 2 scallions or green onions
- 1 pint sliced cucumbers, asparagus or any other vegetables in season/on hand
- 1⅓ tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1½ tbsp Korean chili flakes
- ½ tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp vinegar (sherry vinegar, rice vinegar, apple vinegar all work well here)
- Optional: microgreens for garnish
- Wash the salad greens well, gently spin dry or let drain over a strainer for about 10 minutes.
- Wash and cut the other vegetables on a bias into 1 inch pieces.
- Cut scallions into 2-inch slivers. Submerge into water for 5 minutes, take it out, gently spin dry or let drain over a strainer for about 10 minutes
- In a large mixing bowl, mix soy sauce, sugar, chili flakes, sesame seeds, sesame oil and vinegar to make the dressing.
- Add the salad greens, scallions and any other vegetables you’re using into the bowl with the dressing, and gently toss to dress them. Serve immediately.
Ssamjang - Dipping Sauce for Korean Barbecue
- 17g, 1 tbsp Doenjang (Korean soy paste)
- 10g, ½ tbsp Gochujang (Korean chili paste)
- 4g, 2 tsp sugar
- 7g, ½ tbsp scallions, chopped
- 8g, ½ tbsp garlic, minced
- 2g, 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 7g, ½ tbsp sesame oil
Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl until well incorporated.
Still hungry? Visit Miss Kim in Ann Arbor and online for more delicious dishes and inspiration.