the appetizer:

Traditional Korean cuisine includes meat, rice, vegetables, tofu and the ubiquitous kimchi, cabbage pickled in garlic and chili peppers. Most meals are served with banchan, side dishes (like kimchi) that are as varied as they are numerous.

Destinations Korean Beef  


Korean Beef
on Fiery Chinese Cabbage

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Use: Steamed Rice, preferably made with long-grain rice

A couple of years ago, I was asked to teach American cooking classes in Korea, and I think I learned as much about my students' cuisine as they did about mine. I went wild over their grilled meats, many marinated in a soy sauce-sesame mixture so thick it is almost a paste—kind of a high-octane teriyaki. All Korean meals are accompanied with kimchi, a fiery pickle often made with Chinese cabbage. I don't make my own kimchi anymore (it filled my kitchen with some pretty startling aromas), but I do make a peppery cabbage stir-fry to act as a foil for grilled or broiled marinated steak, all served over freshly cooked rice.

Korean Marinade

  • 1 tablespoon sesame seed
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Asian dark sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1-1/2 pounds sirloin steak, trimmed, about 3/4 inch thick

Spicy Chinese Cabbage

  • 1 medium (1-1/2 pounds) Chinese (napa) cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup Homemade Chicken Broth or low-sodium canned broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground hot pepper
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1. To make the marinade, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and cook, stirring almost constantly, until toasted and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. In a mortar or on the work surface using a heavy skillet, coarsely crush the sesame seeds. Place in a large shallow dish.

2. Add the remaining marinade ingredients and stir well to combine. Add the steak and rub some of the marinade ingredients over the top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for as long as possible, at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.

3. To make the spicy cabbage, core and cut crosswise into l/2-inch strips. Heat a large (12-inch) nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat until hot. Add the oil, tilt the skillet to coat the bottom, and heat until the oil is very hot. Add the scallions, ginger, and garlic and stir-fry until very fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the cabbage, chicken broth, salt, and hot pepper. Cook, uncovered, stirring often, until the cabbage stalks are translucent and crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the carrots and vinegar. Remove from heat, cover, and keep warm.

4. Position a broiler rack 6 inches from the source of heat and preheat the broiler. Remove the meat from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Broil the meat, turning once, until cooked to desired doneness, about 7 minutes for medium-rare.

5. Meanwhile, pour the marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over low heat. Simmer for 2 minutes. Set aside.

6. If necessary, reheat the cabbage. Cut the meat diagonally across the grain into l/2-inch-thick slices. Spoon the rice into soup bowls. Top with the cabbage, and then the sliced meat. Pour some of the marinade over each serving of meat, and serve immediately.

On Rice
60 Fast and Easy Toppings that Make the Meal

By Rick Rodgers
Photographs by Frankie Frankeny
Price: $16.95, paperback
ISBN: 0-8118-1352-5
Chronicle Books
Reprinted by permission.


Korean Recipes

from Kate's Global Kitchen:

Korean Cookbooks with Recipes


Back to the main Korea page

Korea on Wikipedia

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This page modified January 2007

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