If I had to choose one group of cuisines to live with on a daily basis – (excluding my ancestral staples from South Asia), it would probably be those of the “Far East”. For me, the cuisines of East Asia form the pinnacle of complex combinations – where sweet, savoury, and spicy flavours co-exist in harmony, and in some instances, simultaneously within the same dish. For the indecisive elephant (i.e – me), this is the most strategic way in which to eat almost everything at once.
However, despite the diversity of London’s halal dining scene, one Asian cuisine in particular – Korean, remains an elusive find. This is certainly a tragedy, given the wonderful flavours and dishes that make up Korean food, including one of my personal favourites: beef bulgogi. This sweet and succulent beef dish is a staple of the Korean peninsula, and below, you’ll find a straightforward recipe to recreate this Korean classic at home. Traditional beef bulgogi is of course, grilled, but I have found that a little patience with a stove-top pressure-cooker can also return great rewards – particularly with tougher cuts of beef.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Standing Time: 1 hour to overnight
Cooking Time: 10 minutes (grilled) / 2-3 hours (pressure-cooker)
- 500 – 600g beef
- 1 sliced onion
- 4 sliced chives
- 1 carrot (sliced)
- 1 spring onion (sliced)
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1-2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
- 8 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon vegetable / olive oil
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
- 1 grated pear
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Prepare the marinade – combine the soy sauce, sugar, oils, garlic and ginger pastes, pepper, and grate one whole pear into the mixture. Add the slices / chunks of beef, and mix thoroughly.
- Allow the beef to marinate – either for an hour or more if you’re in a hurry, or overnight if you’re not.
- Slice the onion, carrots, spring onions and chives.
- EITHER: Grill the meat on high heat for five minutes, with vegetables, and toss regularly. Lower the heat, add sesame seeds, and allow the beef to cook for a few more minutes.
- OR: Place the beef and the vegetables inside a pressure cooker, and cook slowly for 2 hours or more.
- Serve with white sticky rice, and enjoy some sweet succulent beef bulgogi!
Let us know how you get on, and be sure to send us your snaps!