You never know where you may get inspiration for trying your hand at a new dish…
The Olympics have been on for over a week and we have been watching as many events as we can. It is great to watch athletes from all over the world, the best of the best, compete in their chosen sports with such passion. The strength, heart and determination really shine through. It is amazing to watch.
This year the Olympics are being held in South Korea. Truly by coincidence, I was not looking for it, I came across a spice blend for Korean BBQ at the grocery store. A lightbulb went off over my head. We should watch the PyeongChang, South Korea Olympics while eating homemade Korean BBQ. Why not? I’ve never made Korean BBQ before, but what better time to try it. I made sure the spice blend was marked gluten free, threw it in the basket and headed over to the meat counter for thinly sliced beef. I looked up the recipe recommended by the spice company that sells the blend. I made a few changes to the recipe (like I always do), added the marinate to the meat and waited. I kept thinking, “Oh this is gonna be good!” It was recommended to let the meat marinate for an hour but I let it sit for three to four hours to make sure the meat would be full of flavor. Also, one hour of marinating wasn’t in my schedule because I had about 3 hours of errands to run that day. I cooked it in a skillet, which I would not suggest. I didn’t add oil, because I can be dense, and almost killed one of my favorite skillets. Inside looked like charcoal. Seriously y’all… I had to let it soak for several days before it came clean. I would suggest you cook it on a grill pan or grated pan. If you use a skillet like I did, use a small amount of oil… especially if you like the pan. Meat turned out super tasty, I will be making it again!
I researched a little for something to cook with the meat. I saw a recipe for Oi Bokkeum (Stir-Fried Cucumbers) and thought it sounded good. I have heard of people eating cooked cucumbers but I have only eaten them cold. The recipe said to use a thin-skinned cucumber, so I picked up a few English cucumbers at the store and sliced both up. I don’t think it would have been as good with a thick-skinned cucumber, so I really would suggest using the English cucumbers for this. You should be able to find them at most grocery stores. If you can’t find them then I would suggest removing the skin. Toasting the sesame seeds really do add an extra bit of flavor to the dish. It is super easy to toast them! Add them to a warm pan. No oil, just the seeds. I did it on high heat, but… I like to live on the edge. Cook them the temperature you are comfortable with because if they burn they will turn bitter. Once you start to see them turning a little brown then they are done. See, that was easy! The dish goes together pretty quickly, as most stir-fried vegetables do. LOVED this dish. I will, without doubt, be making this again. It was refreshing and light. I think the cooked cucumber was a perfect complement to the heaviness of the meat.
I served it with a bit of Jasmine rice. This was a super tasty meal and a perfect accompaniment to our Olympic viewing that night! Go USA!
Bulgogi (Korean BBQ)
1 pound Flank steak, Skirt Steak or Eye of Round, sliced very thinly
4 Green Onions, chopped
4 T Gluten Free Soy Sauce or Tamari
3 T Packed Brown Sugar
2 T ‘The Spice Hunter’ Korean BBQ Global Fusion Rub
Garnish Toasted Sesame Seeds
Combine half the green onions with soy sauce, brown sugar and Korean BBQ spice blend.
Pour sauce mix into a zip lock bag, add thinly slice meat and coat well. Refrigerate at least one hour.
Heat pan to high heat (if using flat skillet at 1 teaspoon of oil)
Add meat to hot pan, careful not to over crowd the pan. Cook in batches if needed.
Cook, stirring or flipping often until meat is well glazed and cooked through.
Garnish with remaining green onions and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Oi Bokkeum (Stir-Fried Cucumbers)
2 English Cucumbers
1 ½ t Salt
2 t Vegetable oil
½ t Garlic, minced
1 Scallion, finely chopped
1 t Sesame Oil
½ t Sesame Seeds, toasted
Cut cucumbers in half lengthwise and then thinly slice (1/8 inch) them crosswise at a slight diagonally.
Toss cucumber slices with 1 ½ teaspoons of salt, stir to coat evenly. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Squeeze as much water out of the cucumbers as possible. Don’t worry about bruising them, they will recover when stir-fried.
Heat pan to high heat. This will cook quickly. Add ½ Tablespoon of cooking oil. Quickly stir in garlic, careful not to burn. Add cucumbers. Stir-fry for a minute, or until the cucumbers are slightly cooked. You still want them to be firm.
Turn off heat. Toss well with scallion, sesame oil and sesame seeds.