RECIPE. Jan 10, 2010

Korean Bulgogi

Unconditional love and acceptance are hard to come by. When I stumbled into a friendship in sixth grade where both qualities were present, I naturally latched onto this person and have yet to let go. This friend and I grew together and apart and finally together again. All along the way, her Korean mother nurtured our stomachs with her heavenly cooking. I remember the smell of this dish cooking when I came through the door and as is traditional of most Korean mothers, she put a plate of food in front of me and waited until I took my first bite and proclaimed “This is gooood”. You will understand that as a budding teenager I believed this woman produced godly powers and secret ingredients that could only be obtained by an honorary hand gesture or spoken code. When I ate food from her table, I really believed it was a very special secret and I would never be able to reproduce the tastes that reminded me of home, love and comfort. As an adult I requested the recipe from my friend expecting her to say it was a family secret. To my deep surprise she gave a chipper “Yes” and the ingredients to this dish were but an email away. When I received the email I thought my friend had pulled the wool over my eyes. Needless to say, I was shocked and somewhat tickled to learn the simplicity of this dish. Just a few hours later, most of that time spent marinating, I was no longer in doubt of my friends unconditional love, as the recipe had produced the dish that sparked those special feelings even years later.

As I have spent more and more time obtaining or recreating recipes from childhood or my favorite restaurant I am struck over and over by the power of simplicity. I suppose the same is true for love. Add just the right amount, don’t overdue it and you end up with the perfect recipe. So are you looking for something truly easy that will convince others that you are a master chef? Try my friends family recipe and “eat, eat” as her mother would say.

Mix!  Place all ingredients in a large bowl, and mix by hand or with a spoon.  I personally prefer by hand, because I’m odd and kind of enjoy how it feels if I can forget that it’s meat I’m smushing my hands into (if you’ve seen Amelie, it’s like when she puts her hands in the different buckets of grain).  Plus, mixing by hand is easier than with a spoon.

Marinate!  Cover it and forget about it for awhile.  You can let it marinate for as little as 15 minutes, or as long as two days, before cooking.  I usually use this time to make some veggies and carbs to go with dinner.

Cook!  Fry it in small amounts in any sort of pan, depending on how you want it cooked.  I personally like to use my copper bottom frying pans or a wok, and cook the meat on a medium setting until it’s nearly done, and then turn the heat up to sear it a bit.  Like all stir-fry meats, cook on medium settings for more juice and higher settings for dryer meat.  If you trust your meat source and don’t require it to be cooked well done (which is safe since it’s not ground beef), you can also cook the meat to medium-well to make it more tender and less chewy.



Suzy commented at 6:09 Jan 10, 2010

Yay! Sending virtual hugs and unconditional, forever love your way!

... And I completely agree about the hand-mixing, but luckily for me it doesn’t gross me out that it’s meat. I also play with oatmeal and barley sometimes, just for fun, while making cookies (Felicity and I play with it together).