On my way to the Scandinavia last month, I passed over Hamburg where my  uncle and Korean auntie live for the past 30 years. After spending some days in Germany, I have almost reached my limit of eating Bradwurst, Kartoffelsalat and Schnitzel. It seems that they could almost read my mind; they invited me over for an early dinner and guess what was prepared for dinner… yes, beef Bulgogi grill complete with all those Korean condiments that tasted so memorable but whose name I could not remember! The dinner was really nice and relaxed. Over the table-top grill, sizzling beef and spicy kimchi, we caught up on the latest family news and talked about life in Europe.  It was really a memorable dinner. I could not stop thinking about making Bulgogi ever since, so soon after I got back to Holland, I decided to cook it at home. Gladly I managed to ask the recipe from my auntie so I could repeat it at home.

According to my auntie, making Bulgogi is about mastering the proportion of the different ingredients. It has to be somewhat sweet and salty. My auntie used the combination of soy sauce, fruit juice (Chinese pears or apple that serves as a natural meat tenderizer), honey, Gochujang (she likes it spicy!), sesame oil, black sesame seeds (she thinks it is better that the white sesame seeds), garlic and sherry. It is essential to marinate the meat as long as possible; overnight is best. The choice of the meat is also important; buy the best quality of meat you could afford; my auntie opted for Angus ribeye. She prefers to cut the meat in chunkier pieces than the traditional paper thin version. She said this way the meat still retains its juice as it cooks. If you got this part right you are basically half way to success. Another important thing is to get the pan or the grill really really hot before you cook the meat. And lastly, Bulgogi is meant to be shared with people you love!
Enjoy this recipe! Thanks Tante K for sharing this recipe!

Ingredients: (two persons)

300gr beef ribeye, slice in 1cm thickness.
4 table spoons soy sauce
2 table spoons (or less) Gochujang (available at most Asian grocers)
3 table spoons sesame oil
3 table spoons sherry or Chinese cooking wine
2 table spoons honey or one table spoon sugar
4 table spoons fruit juice (Mashed Chinese pear or regular apple juice)
3 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 table spoon black sesame seeds (I used white since I could not find the black ones)
Combine together all the ingredients and marinate over night.

You could cook the Bulgogi on a table-top grill or on a regular non stick pan.
Brush the pan with a little bit of sesame oil once it is hot.
Take the beef out of the marinade.
Cook briefly the beef until it changes colour. It should be still somewhat pink inside.
Serve with a bowl of steamed white rice and Kimchi. (I served it with stir-fried julienned carrot, but you could basically serve with other veggies that you like such as mushroom.)

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