I'd actually asked for the kind you grill over hot coals but the language barrier didn't help in that respect. This was still really tasty.
Here are all the side dishes, called panchan, that they serve along with your meal. There are usually several types of spicy, fermented food--kim chee, spicy pickled cucumber, yams, etc. The bean sprouts are always my favorite. They're crisp and cool and served with sesame oil. You get quite a variety.
|A picture I took of kim chee pots at the Korean Folk Village in Seoul.|
Oops, I'm getting off track. Back to the meat.
When I make bulgogi at home, I usually skip the lettuce leaf wraps. They taste good and it's fun to wrap everything into a lettuce roll, but it's hard for our small family to go through a whole head of lettuce before it goes bad, and it seems so wasteful to throw away an entire head of lettuce at once.
I also keep the steaks whole and cook them on the grill. I prefer the charred taste of grilled meat to meat cooked on a hot plate or on the stove, and if you slice the meat before you grill it, there's a chance of losing pieces through the grate. Instead, the steaks get sliced after they're cooked. This way, you can have your steak cooked like you like it, too. If you like rare meat, just grill it to rare.
The Korean Teriyaki Stir-Fry sauce isn't a traditional ingredient, but I think it's a nice addition. It's very sweet, which cuts through the saltiness of the soy. The sugars also help caramelize the meat, giving it a richer flavor.
The first ingredients to take care of is the green onions, garlic, and ginger. I cut everything on a bias. This way, there's more surface area and more flavor gets extracted.
If you don't have these ingredients at your disposal, I've also been known to make the marinade with powdered spices (garlic powder, dried ginger, and onion powder.) Turns out okay. I won't tell anyone if you cheat a little.
Soy is first.
I forgot to photograph salt and pepper. But salt and pepper.
Today I'm using strip steak. My favorite cut for this is ribeye (a huge cowboy steak with the bone still in it is the ultimate treat.) Sirloin would be okay too, but the meat will be a little tougher and you'll have to be careful not to overcook it.
4 steaks (ribeye, strip, or sirloin)
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1/4 c. Korean stir-fry sauce
2 green onions, sliced
1 fingerlong knob of ginger, sliced (you can peel it or not)
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
salt and pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients and marinate at least an hour or as long as overnight.
Bring meat to room temperature. Grill over medium-high heat for 6-7 minutes per side.
Rest meat for 5+ minutes. Slice against the grain into thin strips. Serve over rice.