Korean BBQ Kalbi

  • 1 pound Korean short ribs, LA- or flanken-cut, or a rib eye steak, trimmed and cut thinly into 1/4-inch (2/3-centimeter) slices
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 7 to 8 grinds black pepper
  • Good pinch of sea salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 semi-hard sweet pears, such as Barlett, or 1 Asian pear, peeled and grated on a box grater
  • Cooked medium-grain white rice, for serving
  • Green leaf lettuce leaves, for serving
  • Sesame leaves (perilla), for serving, optional
  • For the Ssam Jang Sauce
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons Korean fermented soy bean paste (doenjang)
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Korean chile paste (gochujang)
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 spring onion or spring onion, finely chopped

1. Place the beef in a large resealable plastic bag. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, ginger, black pepper, salt, garlic and grated pear and massage into the meat well. Chill and let marinate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

2. Heat a grill or grill pan until very hot. Shake off any excess marinade from the meat and grill the beef strips until desired doneness, about 30 seconds each side for rare.

3. Serve immediately with white rice, green leaf lettuce, Ssam Jang Sauce and sesame leaves if using. Place a small scoop of rice, a smear of Ssam Jang Sauce and a piece of beef into a lettuce leaf. Wrap and enjoy.

4. For the sauce, mix the soy bean paste, sesame seeds, chile paste, mirin, sesame oil, garlic and spring onions together. Transfer to a small bowl and serve with kalbi or other grilled meat.

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