The Husband works for a Japanese company and occasionally travels to Japan for business. He is an adventurous eater and will eat almost anything. On his last trip he ate raw chicken which is considered a delicacy in Japan.
On weekends, he loves eating the leftovers out the refrigerator. Even those containers hiding in the great depths that don't look remotely familiar to me. He has found a few dinners that look like science experiments. When I tell him that the pork tenderloin is beyond its expiration date, he replies, "I'll just scrape the green stuff off and nuke it in the microwave. The microwave will kill anything. I like to think that a little aging adds more flavor." He rarely gets sick so all that penicillin in the bacteria he is digesting must be keeping him healthy.
During his trips to Japan, The Husband's favorite type of restaurant is a Korean barbecue. I am glad that he wanted to recreate a Korean barbecue in our kitchen instead of us having to dine on raw chicken.
At Korean barbecue restaurants, marinated beef, chicken and other meats are cooked on grills built into the center of the diners' table. Served with either a spicy chile paste based dipping sauce
a soy sauce and rice wine vinegar based option, this do-it-yourself dinner is a hands-on experience.
Thin slices of flank steak, chicken breast and beef short ribs were marinated in a sweet and salty sauce of soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar and rice wine for about an hour before grilling time. I picked up the thinly sliced short ribs and chile paste from an Asian market that is chalk full of foods I don't recognize. I typically use a combination of sign language, English words spoken with my best Chinese accent, and lots of pointing to find the items on my shopping list. I also tried my first bubble tea on my Asian market trip. The cold drink is a unique blend of tea, milk, and sugar with gelatinous tapioca pearls. A little on the odd side, but it is always exciting to try new things.
Having not retrofitted our kitchen island with a built-in grill, we have opted for a electric indoor barbecue grill purchased online from Amazon. I highly recommend this grill for (1) large grilling area, (2) quick heat up time, (3) nonstick surface for easy cleaning, and (4) metal tray under grate that is filled with water which makes clean up of any drippings even easier. A grill pan will also work, but will not be as much fun.
Armed with bamboo tongs and chop sticks, we enjoyed grilling our own meal. The slightly larger than bite-sized chicken pieces were a favorite as they were extremely tender. The interactive dining experience was so much fun, we had the Korean barbecue 2 out of the last 3 nights for dinner.
I see many more Korean barbecue meals in our future.
serves about 5
1 1/2 pounds flank steak, sliced very thin against the grain
2 boneless chicken breasts, sliced very thin
8 beef short ribs, have the butcher slice them thinly or plank them
for the marinade -
3/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 cup rice wine
2 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup brown sugar
for the soy dipping sauce -
1 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon ginger root, grated
1 green onion, sliced thinly
for the garlic chili dipping sauce -
1/2 cup chile paste, also called hot pepper or chile pepper paste in Asian markets
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup canola oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
In a small bowl, combine the marinade ingredients. Place the steak, chicken and ribs each in a separate resealable bag and divide marinade equally. Seal and let meats marinate for about 1 hour. Because the meat is thinly sliced, it does not require a long marinating time.
Meanwhile, prepare the dipping sauces. For the soy dipping sauce, combine the ingredients in a small bowl; set aside. For the garlic chili dipping sauce, combine the ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Let cool.
Heat grill to high (about 400 degrees). Remove the meats from the bags and place in separate bowls. Now it is time to barbecue. Grill meats until browned, but be careful not to overcook. Remove from grill and serve with dipping sauces.