Sunday, June 5, 2011

my version of korean bbq

I have been to a korean restaurant a couple of times now and it inspired me to take a challenge. I always do this, I go to a restaurant and try out their food a couple of times until something clicks and I say to myself, "i can do this better." and i did.  When I research new foods, I conjure up a mental image of what that food would look like, taste like, smell like. Every time I had the food at the korean place I wanted a bit more. Not in the quality of the food, but in the aromas and flavours. I should note that I am quite particular to my own tastes, I have built up an expectation of what various foods should taste like, this time based on a recipe I tried years ago when I was bbqing a lot at the chalet; if I try something I don't like, I think of what could be added to make it that much better. This was the basis of this experiment. This recipe will certainly be added to my repertoire, whether it is authentic or not.

The great thing about Korean BBQ is that it really doesn't need a long time for marination. In fact, I wouldn't have marinated this meat very long anyway as I intended to braise it and have it with polenta. However, I discovered that the ribs were cut for barbecuing and were too large to fit in my crock pot. Instead of giving up, I decided to chop it up and have a go at my homemade gal-bi (korean for bbq ribs). I was glad to be able to control the doneness of the meat, as in the restaurant it is always served quite well done and as you all probably know by now, I'm not a fan of well-done meat. I removed the meat from the bones, tried my best at removing as much of the connective tissue in order to have tender pieces of meat without the rubbery bits that always remain on barbecued ribs. Poured in some soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, toasted sesame seeds, sesame oil, some onions, garlic and ginger. I went by smell on this one. I let it sit for an hour or so before I griddled the ribs to my liking.

I also had some bean sprouts that needed to get used. So i blanched them, added many of the same ingredients as the marinade, save the sugar, ginger and rice vinegar, and ended up with a side salad. Korean BBQ often provides you with a myriad of side items to go along with the meat, but I settled with this sukju namul. In fact, being served on the same plate as the almost-caramelized marinade from the meat made for a fantastic harmony.

This will be a dish I will be trying to perfect.

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