Seoul Food

bulgogilede

Beef Bulgogi
Korean-Style BBQ
Recipe adapted from A Spicy Perspective
Serves 1

INGREDIENTS
1 lb. lean steak, frozen
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2  tablespoons sesame seed oil
3 ea. cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
1 bunch green onions, chopped, whites and greens separated
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

bulgogistk

METHOD
While the steak is still frozen, trim the excess fat and slice into thin strips.
(Cook’s note: the steak is easier to cut through when it’s frozen.)

bulgogimarinde

Place the steak into a large bowl with the next 7 ingredients. Toss all of the ingredients to coat, and then adding the white parts of the onion. Allow the steak and marinade to thaw for about 1 hour.

bulgogiskillet

Heat a large skillet or wok to medium-high heat. Using a pair of tongs, place the meat onto the heated skillet. Spread the pieces of meat evenly to allow all pieces to cook evenly. After about a minute, add the marinade onto the pan. Toss to coat and allow the sauce to caramelize.  Once the marinade is cooked down and the steak is cooked to desired temperature, turn off the heat.

When ready to serve, garnish with sesame seeds, green onion.

bulgogi2

Pancake Haus

hobaklede

Hobak Jeon 
Korean Zucchini Pancakes
Recipe adapted from Insanity Theory
Yields about 6 pancakes

INGREDIENTS
1 ea. zucchini and yellow squash
2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 ea. medium onion, peeled and minced
2 cups AP flour
2 large eggs
2 cups water
Salt and pepper, to taste

hobaksquash

METHOD
Cut off the ends of the yellow squash and zucchini, and then slice into 1/4-inch rounds. Then julienne the rounds.

Toss the squash with the salt, and then place into a bowl for about 30 minutes to drain out the water from the squash.

While you’re waiting for the squash to soften, beat the eggs together till combine. Slowly add in the flour and whisk till incorporated. Then add in the water slowly to thin out. You want the mixture to resemble pancake batter. Add in more water or flour accordingly.

Place the shredded squash into a kitchen towel or cloth, and squeeze out the excess water. Add the squash into the batter, discarding the water. Add in the minced onion.

hobakbatter

Heat a cast-iron skillet or non-stick frying pan with a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-low heat. Once the oil starts to haze, add in a scoopful (I used a 1/2 cup) of the pancake batter to the pan. Swirl the pan to evenly coat.

hobakskillet

Cook the pancake till light brown on one side (about 2-5 minutes, depending on your pan), then carefully flip over using a spatula and finish cooking, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer the cooked pancake onto a paper towel-lined plate, then repeat till all batter is used. Reapply oil as needed. Serve with hot dipping sauce. (I mixed 1 part Sambal 1/2 part soy sauce.)

hobak3

Do Fries Come With That Steak?

lomolede

I love Peruvian food. Like, I loooooooove it. A lot.

Peruvian cuisine is special in that it celebrates a vast cultural mélange–lending itself to Inkan, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, African, and Italian influences. The food is as deeply rooted in tradition as it is culturally rich.

I was first introduced to Peruvian cuisine 7 years ago through my friend Yolie, when I was living in Los Angeles. She took me to this little South Bay gem heralded by all the in-the-know locals–a family-owned Peruvian chain called El Pollo Inka. 

And let me tell you, I still have cravings for their Pollo a la Brasa and Aguadito soup with extra aji verde. But my love…<raises both arms into the air> my LOVE, is for their famous, Lomo Saltado (stir-fried beef).

<Arms are still in the air> I can’t even begin to express how much I miss those tender chunks of wok-fried steak, crispy French fries with tomatoes, sweet red onions, fresh herbs, aji amarillo and soy sauce atop a bed of steamed rice. My body craves it like how I imagine a heroin addict yearns for another high–ploddingly reaching for the syringe:

“Just one more. One more hit is all it will take,” I can hear the addict saying.

But Lomo Saltado is a healthy addiction that I can speak openly about without reservations. It is the one dish I will always order at every Peruvian restaurant I encounter in my travels. San Francisco-based restaurant, Limón, has an exceptional take.

Lomo Saltado is a Chifa dish–the name for Peruvian-Chinese cuisine. Chifa comes from the Mandarin word, chī fàn, which means “to eat” or some will argue, specifically “to eat rice.” The dish is a perfect example of old- and new-world fusion.

As with most traditional dishes, recipes differ ever so slightly, depending on the kitchen. This recipe is an amalgam of the three very different versions I cited above.

lomo2

lomoplate

Lomo Saltado
Yields 2-4 servings

FOR THE MARINADE

INGREDIENTS
1 pound sirloin steak, cut into medium-sized strips
2 each garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (apple cider vinegar works, too)
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

METHOD
Place all items in a medium-sized bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

lomomarinade

FOR THE STIR-FRY

INGREDIENTS
2 large Russet potatoes, washed + peeled, cut into matchsticks
vegetable oil, for frying
1 medium red onion, cut into thick wedges
2 Roma tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 amarillo chile, deseeded and julienned*
(*Cook’s note: aji amarillos are often hard to find. If that’s the case for you, substitute for 1 serrano chile)
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
4 cups steamed rice

METHOD
Fill a deep, heavy-bottomed pan (or deep-fryer) halfway with oil. Heat to 300 degrees. Fry potatoes for about 10 minutes or until softened. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and place onto a plate with paper towel to drain excess oil.

Crank up the heat to about 375 degrees. Return the fries to the fryer and cook for an additional 5 minutes and golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain, keeping them in a warm place while you do the stir-fry.

Heat a deep cast-iron skillet or wok over medium-high heat with a tablespoon of oil. Drain the meat from the marinade (keep the marinade!) and when the oil is hot, add the meat. Use a wooden spoon to quickly sear the meat. Lower to medium heat, add the onion, stir-frying for about 2 minutes. Then add the tomato and chile. Cook for 1 minute. Then pour over the marinade. Allow the meat and vegetables to fully cook. Turn off the heat and add the reserved French fries to coat. Sprinkle with the cilantro and stir. Pour over the steamed rice and serve.

lomofries

lomo3