We’re back at it with a second, completely amateur recipe article. Unlike the last one, this one actually has high quality photos. Today we’re making Korean-style beef, with the vegan option of sautéed garlic butter mushrooms, and two Korean sauces: a homemade ssamjang (sauce for wraps) and pajeori (spring/green onion salad).
Beef + Marinade:
- Beef (I personally used approx. 2 ribeye steaks, can also be tenderloin or sirloin for example)
- Black pepper.
- Sesame oil.
- Your choice of mushrooms, sliced.
- Sliced garlic cloves (as many or few as you want)
- Butter (also your choice, cut off as much as you feel is necessary to coat the mushrooms)
- A selection of herbs (personally used parsley and basil for this)
- Optional – sesame oil, sesame seeds, spring onion.
- Spring onions, cut lengthwise.
- 2 tbsp soy sauce (I used light)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp gochugaru (chilli flakes) (these are very spicy when you add a lot, adjust for your own tolerance)
- 2 tsp sesame seeds.
- 1 tsp sugar.
- 2 tsp white vinegar (I recommend white rice vinegar, it’s sweeter than other types of vinegar)
- 1 tbsp gochujang (chilli paste)
- 2 or 3 tbsp of doenjang (soybean paste)
- Spring onion (honestly there’s no point giving a measurement, just chop some up and chuck in however much you want)
- 2 tsp sugar.
- 1 tbsp garlic paste (or you can use a couple cloves, you ideally want a paste-like substance for the end result)
- 1 tsp sesame seeds.
- 1 tbsp sesame oil.
Now that all the main ingredients are out of the way, lets get into preparing the dish.
Step 1: Marinate the beef
Cut the beef into small cubes, add the salt, pepper, and sesame oil. Mix well to ensure every piece is coated. Keep refrigerated overnight, or at least for a few hours until you’re ready to cook.
Step 2: Prepare mushrooms
Slice the mushrooms, garlic cloves and spring onions (in preparation for the sauces) and set aside for now.
Step 3: Make the sauces
Mix both sets of ingredients in two different bowls, your pajeori should look slightly more impressive if you cut the onions lengthwise, but it still tastes good. If you find the ssamjang too spicy or overpowering, try mixing in some honey to make it sweeter. My local Korean restaurant has ssamjang mixed with mayo which is very delicious and not nearly as spicy. I have yet to try making it myself, but feel free to experiment if you like.
Step 4: Sauté the mushrooms
In a pan, melt the butter and add your garlic cloves and choice of herbs, then add the mushrooms. Mix well to coat them completely, and fry for a few minutes until the mushrooms are golden or light brown.
Step 5: Cook the beef
In a separate pan (or trusty wok), add some cooking oil (I used more sesame oil) and just fry from there. Cook to desired texture and remember to be careful to not overcook as it makes the meat too chewy. If you’re unsure how long to cook it, practise with one piece first and adjust the time and heat as you need to, cutting it to check that it remains tender and yet cooked enough on the inside. I hear it helps to leave the meat at room temperature for about half an hour after taking it out of the fridge, so you can try to do that as well. You can also do small batches at a time if that is easier. Steak is pretty difficult to cook with for beginners (not an expert either), so don’t feel too bad if you don’t get it right on the first try.
Step 6: Set out the table, and enjoy!
This is a great meal to share with others, set out the sauce bowls, mushrooms and beef; serve with rice and lettuce leaves for authentic Korean-style wraps.
Let us know if you enjoyed the recipe in the comments!