Thursday, September 12, 2013

Cooking Korean: Bulgogi

By Emsu

Growing up, my mom would frequently make bulgogi (grilled marinated beef), one of the Korean dishes many of my American family members had the pleasure of eating at family functions. My dad is a picky eater and rarely eats rice, but if my mom whips up her bulgogi, my dad will happily eat it with a heaping side of the rice.

I LOVE my mom's bulgogi, and even though she gave me her recipe so that I could start making it at home, I do believe in the Korean concept of sone maht, or "taste of one's hands." Say wha?? When I first heard this I thought it was a bit strange too, but through experience I've definitely come to accept that this is a thing. Basically, sone maht refers to how one's dish will always taste uniquely from another's dish even if both make the exact same recipe, because of the "taste of one's hands." I know my explaining it won't make this sound any less strange to those out there who have never heard this before, but I'm not quite sure what else to say. Really though, it's a thing.

Okay, so what I'm trying to say is that no matter what I do, I won't be able to make my bulgogi taste like my mom's. Nevertheless, it still tasted pretty good, and it was simple to make too.

1.5 lbs. beef (rump roast)
1 bundle of green onions (chopped)
5 cloves of garlic (crushed)
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 T sesame seeds
2 T sugar
1/4 c soy sauce

Combine all the ingredients (excluding the beef) into a large bowl and mix well. Thinly slice the beef and put the sliced beed into the mixture, mixing the ingredients well with your hands (mmm...sohn maht!).

One of my favorite items in the kitchen - a ceramic garlic holder!

Put two tablespoons of oil into a skillet and allow it to heat up before pouring the beef mixture into the pan. Quickly fry the meat until it is cooked to your liking.

The dish is best served atop or next to steamed white rice. Enjoyee!