I saw this recipe on Serious Eats (my new obsession) and really wanted to try them. I first had bulgogi at Burger Tex in Austin, TX. According to Wikipedia, bulgogi is simply a Korean dish that usually consists of marinated barbecue beef, although chicken or pork may also be used. This recipe calls for 1 lb. pork loin, and it needs to be marinated for quite awhile, so it's one of those "think ahead" meals. I was just starting to marinate the pork on Saturday night for Sunday's dinner when my Mom texted to see if we wanted to have dinner out with them Sunday. I told her I was just marinating the pork for Sunday's dinner and did she and my Dad want to come over to our house for dinner instead? She agreed and Trey and I quickly decided to make a quick shrimp stir fry with the lettuce wraps to make it a meal. The bulgogi is super easy and doesn't call for anything too out of the ordinary, except maybe gochujang - a savory and pungent fermented Korean condiment that is basically a hot pepper paste. I'd never heard of it before, and we couldn't find it at the grocery store so we picked up some sweet chilli sauce and used that instead. I marinated the pork overnight, and it was really good in just the Boston lettuce, with a little rice stick noodles and soy sauce. I can't wait to make them again. Perfect for a hot summer night.
The stir fry is one that Trey and I have been doing for years. It's super easy and you can add whatever you like in your stir fry to it. We use shrimp, sugar snap peas, green onion, bean sprouts, garlic, sesame seeds and make a quick sauce of soy sauce, wok oil, sesame oil, mirin, a dash of sriracha, and ginger. It's also really easy and comes together quickly.
Oh, one more quick note on the recipe - I don't particularly care for kimchi so I omitted it. I also didn't feel like making the quick pickles, so I didn't use those either.
And finally, a little shameless self-promotion, a few more of my pictures have made it up to Serious Eat's Photograzing site - here. Mine are the "Gartner's Marinated Short Ribs" and "Thick Cut Bacon". Tell me which pictures from this post you think I should upload to the site in the comments section!
Daeji Bulgogi:1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed of silver skin and excess fat
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons gochujang
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon crushed ginger root
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 green onions, minced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 heads Boston, Bibb or Buttercrunch lettuce
1/2 package rice stick noodles, prepared according to package directions
Place the pork in the freezer until it firms up, about 1 hour. While the pork is in the freezer, combine the soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, gochujang , mirin, sesame oil, ginger, red pepper flakes, and green onions in a small bowl.
Remove the pork from the freezer and slice into pieces 1/8 inch thick. Place the pork and sliced onion in a large Ziploc bag, pour in the marinade and seal. Toss to evenly distribute the marinade, then open and reseal the bag, removing as much air as possible. Place in the refrigerator and let marinate for at least one hour to overnight.
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over the charcoal grate. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place the pork slices on the grill and cook until the meat is seared on both sides and cooked through, about 1 minute per side. Remove from the grill and serve immediately with bibb lettuce, rice stick noodles and soy sauce.
Shrimp Stir Fry:
6-12 prawns, cleaned and de-veined
2 packages ramen noodles
sugar snap peas
green onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, sliced thinly
Ginger root, grated
For the sauce:
2 tbsp wok oil
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sriracha
1 tsp Mirin (rice wine vinegar)
Juice of 1 lime
There's not a whole let of method to the madness that is Trey's stir fry but I will attempt to recount how he made this delicious dish...
Cook ramen noodles according to package directions. Add 1 packet of seasoning (the stuff that comes with Top Ramen) to the water after cooking and drain.
Put 1 tbsp of the wok oil in your wok and heat to high. Add the shrimp and cook until it's opaque. Add the garlic slices, let them sautee for about 1 minute then add bean sprouts and sugar snap peas. Add cooked noodles, and turn heat down to medium-low. Add 1 more tbsp wok oil and 1 tsp sesame oil. Let fry for a minute or two until noodles firm up a little bit. Add 2 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp sriracha and 1 tsp Mirin.
Add ginger, stir. Add lime juice, sesame seeds and green onions. Serve immediately.