Asian Herbs and Their Many Uses: Bulgogi (Korean Barbecued Beef)

| June/July 1994

Serves 4

Traditionally, this Korean barbecued beef would be cooked over a cast-iron tabletop appliance known as a Mongolian fire or Genghis Khan grill, but it can also be cooked in a cast-iron skillet on top of the stove. Chicken or pork can be marinated and cooked in the same manner. Stir-fried beans and rice would be a delicious accompaniment. Serve Bulgogi with kim chee, which is available in the international foods section of many supermarkets.

• 2 large cloves garlic, peeled
• 1/2 cup soy sauce
• 3/4 to 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds, toasted and ground
• 1 teaspoon minced garlic chives
• 1 teaspoon French thyme, optional
• 1/4 cup dark sesame oil
• 1 pound lean beef loin, sliced against the grain 1/8 inch thick and 2 inches wide

1. Crush the garlic with the back of a chef’s knife and place it in a large mixing bowl. Combine the soy sauce, sugar, sesame seeds, garlic chives, the optional thyme, and sesame oil. Gently rub the marinade into the meat with your hands, then place the meat in layers.

2. Marinate the meat for 10 minutes or longer. Heat a large cast-iron skillet until very hot. Stir-fry the beef to your preference: rare, medium, or well done.

3. Transfer the meat to a heated platter, pour the pan juices over it, and serve immediately.

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