Seasoned with a savory soy marinade and grilled over high heat, bulgogi is one of Korea’s most famous dishes. The key is using thinly cut rib-eye or other tender cuts of beef that cook quickly. Using prunes in the marinade in place of most of the sugar boosts the savory flavor of the final dish.
Yield: 4 servings
600 g / 1 1/4 lb rib-eye steaks (2-3 pieces), cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
130 g / 1 cup coarsely chopped yellow onion
4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
15 ml / 1 tablespoon Prune Juice Concentrate
50 g / 1/3 cup Prune Bits
75 ml / 1/3 cup soy sauce
30 ml / 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
4 romaine lettuce hearts, leaves separated
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 green onion, thinly sliced at an angle
Cooked rice (optional)
In a bowl large enough to fit the meat, mix together the onion, garlic, pepper, sugar, prune juice concentrate, prune bits, soy sauce and oil. Stir together to produce a thick marinade (the prune bits will eventually dissolve). Add the meat, coat in the marinade, cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. Before cooking, bring to room temperature.
Heat a cast-iron grill pan over high heat. (Alternatively, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pan over high heat.) In batches, pull the meat out of the marinade and grill until charred on the outside, about a minute each side. (Alternatively, saute the meat in the pan.) Transfer to a serving platter.
To eat, take one lettuce leaf, place some meat and cucumber on it, and roll together. Alternatively, serve as a rice bowl.