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The Bulgogi & Kalbi Topic


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#1 ejebud

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 04:17 PM

Clearly by my topic description I have no idea what it's proper name is. I used to have a cheapie that I bought on some infomercial in the late 80's but that been long garage sale'd. I need to buy a few for a cooking event this Tuesday. what are they called, and where can I get 'em?

Thanks for your help.
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#2 Jinmyo

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 05:10 PM

Do you mean tabletop grills? You can get electric and butane versions, if so.
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#3 Jason Perlow

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 06:17 PM

I hate to say this, but the best apparatus for cooking bulgogi is a Lodge cast iron pan.
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#4 eunny jang

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 07:20 PM

I hate to say this, but the best apparatus for cooking bulgogi is a Lodge cast iron pan.

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:angry:

Fire. Grate. That's all you need.

#5 Jason Perlow

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 07:47 PM

:angry:

Fire.  Grate.  That's all you need.

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Well, there is "home style" bulgogi and there is "restaurant" style bulgogi. I agree that in a restaurant, a grill table with cast iron grates and a coal-fueled fire will produce the most optimal results for Korean BBQ. But at home, a cast iron skillet or a grill pan produces the best results -- and i say this as a fully certified adopted Korean American now that I am the godparent to a korean child, having to refer to her grandparents as Halmeoni and Halboedji and having to complement grandmother on the aesthetic merits of her HanBok :laugh: . Those stupid things you put over your burner don't do much other than get burned and become a bitch to clean. Other than getting good cuts of meat from a Korean butcher, the secret to home Bulgogi and Galbi nirvana is home-made marinade, anyways.
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#6 eunny jang

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 08:24 PM

Other than getting good cuts of meat from a Korean butcher, the secret to home Bulgogi and Galbi nirvana is home-made marinade, anyways.

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agreed. but trade that pan for a grill-pan, please, if you must. Judicious charring is what you want here.

Oh, and add a little Asian pear to that marinade if you're not making LA-style galbi or have to deal with gristly European short ribs - old sekshi's tale or whatever, it works :biggrin:

#7 jschyun

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 10:13 PM

and i say this as a fully certified adopted Korean American now that I am the godparent to a korean child, having to  refer to her grandparents as Halmeoni and Halboedji and having to complement grandmother on the aesthetic merits of her HanBok :laugh: . Those stupid things you put over your burner don't do much other than get burned and become a bitch to clean. Other than getting good cuts of meat from a Korean butcher, the secret to home Bulgogi and Galbi nirvana is home-made marinade, anyways.

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That's funny. I'm Korean American and all my Jewish friends call me fully certifiable.
I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.
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#8 Marco_Polo

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Posted 14 October 2004 - 02:02 AM

Now this is an interesting question, perhaps even The Eternal Question.

Firstly, let's forget about cooking over a domed shield at the tabletop, as you sometimes get in Korean restaurants - it looks great, it's fantastically appetising to cook on the tabletop. But too often the meat is just sort of steamed not cooked at high enough temperature to char, and as Jason says, it's a m****r to clean.

So I'm with Eunny: what is needed is fire and grate. The simplest, a hibachi right by your kitchen or dining room door (if you're not eating outside at this time of year - we certainly aren't). Charred bits of bulgogi, cooked over charcoal, especially those delicious burnt and crunchy bits of fat, are the ambrosia of the gods.

But - and it's a big but, on the other hand, Jason's method of cooking in a cast iron frying pan or ribbed grill pan has one considerable and noteworthy advantage: pan juices mixed with the marinade are the most delicious food on earth, spooned over the meat and over a heaping pile of steamed, sticky white Korean rice. Nothing, I repeat, nothing you can eat is better.

Bulgogi cooked on the hibachi; bulgogi in the frying pan: in this house, it's about 50/50 (as it was in both my mother's and my Korean grandmother's houses). But hang on: that's sitting on the proverbial fence, isn't it. So dammit, forget the frying pan. Fire cooking over hot coals is what bulgogi is really all about so get out the charcoal and just do it (and use the leftover marinade to spoon over the rice - I usually thin with a little bit of water and heat up in a saucepan).

MP

Edited by Marco_Polo, 14 October 2004 - 02:14 AM.


#9 itch22

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Posted 14 October 2004 - 06:46 AM

Sorry for going off topic, but what cuts of beef would everyone recommend for bulgogi as well as what size should the cuts be?
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#10 GordonCooks

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Posted 14 October 2004 - 07:08 AM

Bulgogi off the char is the ancient korean secret (just ask my mom)

#11 Behemoth

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Posted 14 October 2004 - 08:49 AM

Sorry for going off topic, but what cuts of beef would everyone recommend for bulgogi as well as what size should the cuts be?

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I was able to get the proper cut frozen at my local Korean Market. (They have a whole freezer of meat cut for Bulgogi, Kalbi etc). One thing I"ve been told works is if you ask your butcher to slice a sirloin steak "bacon thin". If you have to do it at home, it might make sense to partially freeze (maybe about 20 minutes in freezer?) your hunk o' meat and then slice it very thin with a very sharp knife (against the grain, natch) like you would do for cheesesteak.

I agree about the charcoal griill, but we had some very nice bulgogi made on the grill insert of my stove. You really want the char marks on there, so if nothing else I would use a grill pan.

#12 Jason Perlow

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Posted 14 October 2004 - 09:07 AM

Sorry for going off topic, but what cuts of beef would everyone recommend for bulgogi as well as what size should the cuts be?

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If you don't have a korean market or butcher near you, use sliced ribeye, the same stuff that is used for -GOOD- cheesesteaks. Sliced Ribeye is SLIGHTLY different than the actual korean ribeye cut, but for the most part its pretty much the same. You might get a better cut of meat from a Korean butcher. I actually use Bulgogi meat for cheesesteaks since we have a lot of korean markets around here.
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#13 jschyun

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Posted 14 October 2004 - 09:09 AM

I think at the Korean market it's the tenderloin that is cut into very thin, round slices while frozen. My knowledge of meat cuts is hazy at best, since I'm not really that much of a meat eater, so don't quote me on that.

I would think that you want as tender a steak as possible because the cooking time is very short. But I could be thinking wrong.

For bulgogi, I actually found that I preferred the taste of meat that had been marinated for as little time as possible, contrary to many recipes. I quickly marinate then throw it onto the grill/fry pan on fairly high heat, so I get char, but rareish tenderness as well. Also, I still get the flavor of the marinade, but it hasn't affected the texture of the beef.

--oh yeah, ribeye. That's what it was. Not tenderloin.

Edited by jschyun, 14 October 2004 - 09:09 AM.

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.
--NeroW

#14 Jason Perlow

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Posted 14 October 2004 - 09:22 AM

For bulgogi, I actually found that I preferred the taste of meat that had been marinated for as little time as possible, contrary to many recipes.


Interesting... I try to marinate bulgogi and galbi for a very long time, I actually force marinade it for several hours in a vacuum container.

BTW for those of you non-koreans here... you can use other cuts of thinly or not so thinly sliced beef/steak with the same basic bulgogi/kalbi marinade (the non-traditional one I do is Soy Sauce, Sesame Oil, Garlic (lots), Scaliion, Minced Ginger, Black Pepper, Honey, a squirt of Sriracha Sauce) and grill it, they are just called other things, such as Deungsim (sliced sirloin), Chadolbagi (sliced beef tenderloin) and Wooseol. Those names come from different parts of Korea where that bbq cut is popularized.
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#15 Marco_Polo

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Posted 14 October 2004 - 09:53 AM

Interesting... I try to marinate bulgogi and galbi for a very long time


For kalbi, yes, I agree you can't marinade too long (same for takgogi - similar marinade on skinned chicken pieces slashed to the bone - marinade for as long as possible). But for bulgogi, I'm with Joan and marinade for as short a period as minutes, massaging the marinade into the prepared meat thoroughly with the hands to really work it in, leave for a short period, then cook at once.

As for cut of meat, again, this is where cooking method comes into it. In restaurants certainly you will be served those paper thin strips cooked over the Korean domed bulgogi shield or tabletop grill. But for home cooking (admittedly third-generation Korean American homestyle, but hey, this is how Halmoni, who came over to Hawaii as a 16 year old picture bride in the 1920s, always did it), I never ever use thinly sliced meat. Cut is (British) rump or sirloin or ribeye with plenty of fat and marbling (my mother used to get damn good results with chuck, believe it or not). What we do is slash the steak deeply in a diamond pattern, not all the way through, but nearly. Then pound with a meat hammer to open the piece up so that's its almost lacey but so you can still pick up the piece of meat with tongs. Then massage in that marinade lovingly (the smell of pungent garlic and ginger and soy and scallions and toasted sesame seeds is irresistable - so why resist? I always nibble on some raw marinaded beef while I'm doing this, for this is but a variation of yukhoe after all). Then cook over hot charcoal or in the pan, as is your wont, and serve with the aforementioned mountain of hot steamed white rice.

Marc

#16 Jason Perlow

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Posted 14 October 2004 - 09:03 PM

As for cut of meat, again, this is where cooking method comes into it. In restaurants certainly you will be served those paper thin strips cooked over the Korean domed bulgogi shield or tabletop grill. But for home cooking (admittedly third-generation Korean American homestyle, but hey, this is how Halmoni, who came over to Hawaii as a 16 year old picture bride in the 1920s, always did it),
Marc

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I think Hawaii has a lot more second and third generation Koreans than we do here on the East Coast -- that bulogogi prep must be something uniquely Hawaiian due to the type of meat you get at regular supermarkets there. Here in the NY/NJ metro area, and I would imagine in Los Angeles as well, we've got a huge proliferation of big Korean supermarkets such as Han Ah Reum which cater to the latest generation of recently immigrated families and its way too convenient for them to buy a 2 or 3 lb pack of frozen or fresh sliced ribeye from the meat department at these places just like they did in Seoul than to try to adapt a roast like you do.

Your method does sound very interesting though, I probably want to try it that way sometime.

EDIT: I just realized you live in England... You probably don't even HAVE Korean butchers there, lol.
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#17 Jason Perlow

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Posted 14 October 2004 - 09:14 PM

BTW there's totally another kind of Bulgogi that you don't see that often in the states called Yuk Soo Bulgogi that is only served at North Korean-style restaurants -- its cooked on a similar dome like apparatus except that there is a broth in a reservoir (or rather, its a very wet marinade of beef in a bowl that is given to you, and when you cook it, it yeilds the runoff as broth/sauce). For wrapping the meat, they use paper thin slices of daikon radish and steamed flat thin square rice cakes, as well as chili paste and a loose chop of salt/pepper/garlic, and saemjang. I had it this way once locally here in NJ at a restaurant called Han Hae Do (its named after a North Korean province). The Banchan that is associated with North Korean meals also tends to be a lot more heavy on garlic and chile, if you can imagine that.

BTW Bulgogi has undergone a lot of changes in the last 100 years. I understand it the term "bulgogi" (Fire Meat) originated around 1950... prior to that a dish called neobiani was very popular, and that consists of soy sauce-seasoned ground meat which is sizzled in a pan, and now Neobiani is a separate dish entirely from Bulgogi because it tends to refer to slices of soy-marinated sirloin which are broiled on a grill or tenderloin in some provinces as opposed to the sweeter bulgogi/deungsim/chadolbagi marinade. Even prior to that (and we are going back quite a bit) the dish was called sulhamyukjeok and prior to that maekjeok -- the "jeok" part means "skewered" (kind of like a shish kebab), which due to modern cooking methods of cooking over a grill or grate is no longer used.
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#18 jschyun

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Posted 14 October 2004 - 09:35 PM

There's actually a pretty good restaurant chain in L.A./OC called Hwang Hae Do as well. It sounds very similar to the restaurant you're talking about, Jason, and heck may be the same chain. They feature yooksoo (beef soup), I think sooyuk as well (boiled beef) and barbecue, their wang mandu (huge potstickers) among other stuff. I haven't tried any of their barbecue stuff. My favorite is the mool naengmyun deal during this summer. $2.99 for the whole bowl of chewy buckwheat noodles, cold beef consomme and some of the usual toppings. Also, the $5.99 mool naengmyun and mandu special is pretty kickass as well.
I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.
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#19 Jason Perlow

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Posted 14 October 2004 - 09:40 PM

Yeah the poststickers at Hwang/Han (I can never get the transliteration correct with Hangul) Hae Do are huge, in fact they are known specifically for their dumplings, which are these big kimchee/beef stuffed things which you can either get steamed (boiled?) or pan fried. They actually have several different flavors of mandu/mandoo there, all of which are really good.
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#20 Marco_Polo

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Posted 15 October 2004 - 03:20 AM

I think Hawaii has a lot more second and third generation Koreans than we do here on the East Coast - Your method does sound very interesting though, I probably want to try it that way sometime.
EDIT: I just realized you live in England... You probably don't even HAVE Korean butchers there, lol.

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Actually a topic I'm very interested in is how foods evolve through first- second- and third-generation permutations. My Korean grandmother, for example, left Korea when she was only 16 but lived in the Korean community all her life (first in Honolulu, later in LA, but long before Koreatown). She never even really learned to speak more than pidgin English. Yet her cooking, though pure Korean in every sense, would have been quite different from modern cooking in Korea today. Tastes there evolved from her time; and of course she had access to different ingredients. But she was always fiercely proud of doing things the right way. She and her friends campaigned for Korean independence and she liked to recall that she once cooked tubu tchigae for Syngman Rhee. The strong armed autoritarian and first President of the Republic of Korea, so she always claimed, sighed in ectsasy and said that hardly anyone could still cook the old traditional foods like she did.

Here's another more radical bulgogi varation.

Marc

PS You're quite right, Jason, no Korean butchers down here in Devon!

Edited by Marco_Polo, 15 October 2004 - 03:23 AM.


#21 skchai

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Posted 15 October 2004 - 09:43 AM

Second and third generation Korean-American bulgogi - The most common kind served at "Korean Plate Lunch" places in Honolulu is about twice as thick as your typical Korean restaurant bulgogi and in much larger pieces. Needless to say you get more of it, half a pound or more for your basic plate lunch. But it's hard to talk about a standard version. Lines blur a lot here: Restaurant-style thinly sliced meat is common too. You see a lot of next-generation Kor-Am and non-Korean ancestry people shopping at the Korean supermarkets in Honolulu, buying up the huge packs of thinly sliced meat for grilling. "Western" supermarkets like Safeway also carry sliced meat for teriyaki and bulgogi. And some people do slice and pound steak meat, as Marc's halmoni did, or simply marinate large pieces of steak. Finally, many Korean restaurants cater to Japanese tourists, who expect Korean-Japanese style cuts of meat.

I think Hawaii has a lot more second and third generation Koreans than we do here on the East Coast -- that bulogogi prep must be something uniquely Hawaiian due to the type of meat you get at regular supermarkets there. Here in the NY/NJ metro area, and I would imagine in Los Angeles as well, we've got a huge proliferation of big Korean supermarkets such as Han Ah Reum which cater to the latest generation of recently immigrated families and its way too convenient for them to buy a 2 or 3 lb pack of frozen or fresh sliced ribeye from the meat department at these places just like they did in Seoul than to try to adapt a roast like you do.

Your method does sound very interesting though, I probably want to try it that way sometime.

EDIT: I just realized you live in England... You probably don't even HAVE Korean butchers there, lol.

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#22 Jason Perlow

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Posted 26 October 2004 - 05:58 PM

Korean-Cantonese fusion tonight:

Posted Image

Bulgogi Mei Fun Noodles with String Beans, Red Bell Pepper, Shitakke and Scallion.

I marinated sliced ribeye bulgogi beef in my wacky non-traditional Korean bulgogi marinade, stir fried it in a wok, and then added stir fried vegetables and stir fried (par boiled for 30 seconds and then stir fried) Chinese Mei Fun egg noodles. Some of the remaining marinade was made into a slurry with cornstarch/water and incorporated into the stirfry to make a sauce.

It looks like Chow Mei Fun, but it tastes like Bulgogi.
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#23 melonpan

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Posted 24 November 2004 - 04:20 PM

hello~!

i thought i might share our simple marinade. this is for beef bulgogi.

for 2 pounds sliced meat

6 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp sake
2 tbsp sesame oil
one bunch of scallions, sliced in half
half a white onion, sliced
about 10 cloves of garlic, crushed in a press
sesame seeds, ground or whole

i dont have photos today. but i may post some later, esp of what the raw meat should look like (before marinading), which may be helpful if you dont live near a korean grocery.

For bulgogi, I actually found that I preferred the taste of meat that had been marinated for as little time as possible, contrary to many recipes.  I quickly marinate then throw it onto the grill/fry pan on fairly high heat, so I get char, but rareish tenderness as well.  Also, I still get the flavor of the marinade, but it hasn't affected the texture of the beef.


i usually make this in the morning or the night before, so meat has been sitting around in the fridge for a while. sometimes though, i have been known to just cook it within half an hour of setting up the marinade bc theres no dinner around! i think tastes at our house arent that refined so we dont notice much difference, but i still would like to know... or test...

<center><hr width="60%"></center>

i have been working on my marinade for chicken kalbi, but something is not quite right. i simply cant get it hot enough. this is actually a problem that i have been having with a lot of the foods that i have been cooking. a constant source of frustration. im beginning to think maybe it is the chile powder and i will buy another brand soon.

also i have been thinking about omitting gochujang from the recipe and using mulyeot instead of sugar to make it hotter. this idea came from the ddeokbokki thread. i may try it next time i make chicken, see what happens. i will post back.

it is too bad that i cant simply make soups hotter by getting rid of gochujang (where it doesnt exist at all to begin with)...

edited: found the quote i was looking for right in this thread! it was jschyuns. thank you (torakris?) for merging this! apparently when i ran my original search regarding marinade times, i accidentally searched the wrong forum... anyways, alls good now.

Edited by melonpan, 24 November 2004 - 10:50 PM.

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#24 melonpan

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 01:39 AM

<center>beoseot bulgogi! (mushroom bulgogi)
<img src="http://www.rawbw.com....jpg"></center>

i used the recipe posted above with the following substitutions: 4 tbsp sugar was changed to 2 tbsp sugar and 2 tbsp honey; we used no white onions, and we only used 1 pound of bulgogi beef, so that we could focus more on the mushrooms.

i had bought 4 types of mushrooms for our dinner: 8 songi beoseot (matsutake), and packages of buna shimeji, kuro shimeji and enoki.

for the last two months, the matsutake have consistently been sold at usd$14.99-$19.99 per pound. these are washington state matsutake and my first experience wasnt that good, since a third of them were infested with worms. they were a relative bargain at $14.99 a pound, but i was unhappy.

for thanksgiving dinner, though, i decided to go for it again and very carefully picked out a nice set of 8. i could see that most were still closed and only 2 had opened up. they looked pretty nice. they were usd$14.39 (at $19.99 a pound).
<center>(<i>click to view larger image</i>)
<a href="http://www.rawbw.com...gogiL.jpg"><img src="http://www.rawbw.com..."></a></center>

cleaned them up with a slightly damp paper towel and sliced each open. no worms anywhere! all were pristine! YAAAAY!
<center>(<i>click to view larger image</i>)
<a href="http://www.rawbw.com...ogi2L.jpg"><img src="http://www.rawbw.com..."></a></center>

we made rice and we made the marinade and put the beef in the marinade.

<center><img src="http://www.rawbw.com....jpg"></center>

heres the pot at the start of cooking, then when its all done...

<center><img src="http://www.rawbw.com....jpg"></center>

<center><img src="http://www.rawbw.com....jpg"></center>

take some red leaf lettuce, add rice if you like and add mushrooms and ah, life is sweet!
<center><img src="http://www.rawbw.com....jpg"></center>

as it turns out, there was too much of everything. we only had 1/2 of the meat and mushroooms. we can do an encore tomorrow evening~! yaaaay...

<center><img src="http://www.rawbw.com....jpg"></center>
"Bibimbap shappdy wappdy wap." - Jinmyo

#25 Jason Perlow

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 10:44 PM

Melonpan, was this like a nabe-type thing you made? Besides marinating the beef, what did you add to the pot, some kind of broth or soup base with water?
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#26 melonpan

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 11:14 PM

Melonpan, was this like a nabe-type thing you made? Besides marinating the beef, what did you add to the pot, some kind of broth or soup base with water?

nope! nothing added.

start by dragging 1/4 pound of marinated beef into the middle. there will naturally be some marinade dripping, but we make a weak effort at shaking most of the marinade off before placing on the plate.

next, i placed the mushrooms around the meat. the mushrooms were cleaned carefully with slightly dampened paper towels (for the pine mushrooms) or rinsed gently and shaken dry (the rest). they were not marinated and there was no other treatment. they went into the pan raw.

we also did not place any extra oil or broth into the pot. the mushrooms themselves give off plenty of water and bulgogi always gives off a bit too. :D

the end result is quite moist with lots of bulgogi "broth" without having to add anything.

you should try this! esp if you like bulgogi. :wub:
"Bibimbap shappdy wappdy wap." - Jinmyo

#27 melonpan

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 11:21 PM

here is a <a href="http://www.rawbw.com...ogi5L.jpg">link to a larger photo</a> of the finished bulgogi, and you can clearly see how much bulgogi gukmul (broth) there is!

it is the same photo as above, just larger.

also, although this is overkill, here is a <a href="http://www.rawbw.com...i4L.jpg">larger photo of the raw pot</a>. :D

Edited by melonpan, 26 November 2004 - 11:25 PM.

"Bibimbap shappdy wappdy wap." - Jinmyo

#28 Jason Perlow

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 11:49 PM

Very pretty. Will have to get ahold of some decent Asian mushrooms soon and try it.

I'm wondering if some firm tofu or japchae noodles would go good with this too.
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#29 melonpan

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Posted 27 November 2004 - 12:05 AM

Very pretty. Will have to get ahold of some decent Asian mushrooms soon and try it.

I'm wondering if some firm tofu or japchae noodles would go good with this too.

oh yes, we did an encore tonight with the bulgogi and mushrooms we did not cook last night. we added japchae noodles.

these are called dangmyeon and they are usually made from sweet potato flour. i think they are sometimes made from other kinds of starch. anyway, you have to soak them in warm water for a little bit. i am sure you already knew that but just in case someone else doesnt know.

perhaps you were korean in one of your previous lives?
"Bibimbap shappdy wappdy wap." - Jinmyo

#30 Jason Perlow

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  • Location:FL

Posted 27 November 2004 - 12:07 AM

perhaps you were korean in one of your previous lives?


This is what my adopted halmeoni and my Korean friends often ask me.
Jason Perlow
Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters
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