Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Belleh of Bulgolgi

Bulgolgi is the first Korean food most of us Westerners would have at a Korean restaurant. It doesn't really push the boundaries of our tastes like things such as Kimchi would. And luckily enough, it's extremely easy to make at home, and the main ingredients are all easily available.

- 500gm good quality beef (i used Scotch Fillets)
- 1 nashi pear / kiwi fruit (i used a nashi pear)
- 4 -5 tsp White sugar
- 1/4 cup Japanese or Korean soy sauce
- 3-4 tsp sesame oil
- 5 spring onions, cut into 2 inch lengths
- 2-3 tsp Japanese or Korean rice wine
- A good dash of black pepper
- 1 white onion, medium
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 spring onions, cut into 3mm pieces of a sharp diagonal slant, for garnish
- cooking oil

Chuck the beef fillets into the freezer for a couple of hours until they are par-frozen. This makes thinly slicing the beef much, much easier. Thinly slice the beef on the slight diagonal (this will make the tendons of beef muscle shorter, making for a more tender finished beef strip in fast cooking).

Sprinkle about 2 tsp of the sugar over the sliced beef , mixing through with your hands, and set aside. Peel the pear / kiwi fruit, and coarsely chop the onion, and throw into the food processor until a fine puree is achieved. To this mix, add the other ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour over the sliced beef and combine well (hands are the best tool for this). Leave the beef to marinate for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight.

Set a wok onto the stove at a very high heat, and let it heat up fully. Pour in a dash of cooking oil (one with a high smoke point) and then throw in about 1/5 of the beef. Stir or shake constantly for just a few minutes, until the sauce begins to caramelize (the best signal that it's ready is the scent, or slight catching on the bottom of the wok). Transfer this beef to a bowl, and repeat 4 more times until all the beef is cooked.

And you're done!!

Bulgolgi is traditionally served with other condiments and rice, inside of a lettuce cup. This is definitely my favorite way to eat it; with a pinch of kimchi and roll it up. Delicious!

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