Bulgogi was something I used to dream of and think of fondly feeling I could never recreate it without the magic of soy sauce. Like MOST recipes I found a beyond suitable representation of my favorite and I couldn't be more happy with this one.
There is a sweet bulgogi (often served on beef) and a hot bulgogi (often served on pork). I love both but prefer the super hot!
For the sweet bulgogi you cut all the pepper(s) in half (or even further if cooking for the heat tolerant impaired) the amount below and double the sugar of the amount below.
For Hot bulgogi you will need:
1 to 2 lb (mine is usually 1.5 beef) of London broil beef or equivalent of pork loin cut sliced thinly 1/8th inch. I get mine from Afton field farm and I let it half thaw so it is really easy to cut, if you let it thaw fully it will wiggle and squish away from your blade's edge.
1 tsp Cayenne
1/2 tsp Serrano
1 tsp Paprika (Getting good paprika is a pain - it should smell Earthy and taste like a round light warmth - not just be red)
1/2 tsp Crushed red pepper flakes OR an equally high heat pepper flake I use - Thai Orange.
A handful of garlic cloves, 6 med. cloves approx. Crushed using a press.
1 TBSP - 1/4 Cup vegan sugar
1/2 tsp - 1 TBSP any honey you like (I use a really light colored honey for the hot bulgogi and a dark honey for the sweet bulgogi)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 inch knuckle of Fresh Ginger if you want. I don't usually, but it is really tasty with it as well.
Top with toasted golden flax seed or sesame.
Top with spring onion, green onion sliced thinly or chives.
All of these peppers I grow and process into either powder or flake form. But if you have a flavorful and reliable spice resource then use those.
When making bulgogi the most important bit is that the meat is sliced thinly (against the grain) this does several things it coats the meat in the spices thoroughly, the meat will curl a bit as it cooks and hold little spicy pockets of garlic, peppers and sugar lastly it cooks it very very quickly and it should be very tender (not overcooked) and made after all other foods for the meal are finished or on their way to being done.
|If it looks like way too much pepper, it is perfect.|
I cook this, like many things, in a dry (but well seasoned) cast iron pan. The meat goes directly into a warm-hot pan - it will stick a little but it will release juices from the meat and free up. Quickly press or add chopped garlic to meat and toss. Add all peppers and salt, stir in and lastly add sugar and stir making sure all is coated. If at any point you find this frustrating, or don't have a cast iron pan you can use a spoonful of sunflower oil, safflower oil to the pan to aid in cooking.
|It is done once the salt and sugar have dissolved, coat with juices and pepper in the pan and serve with your choice of goodness.|
This is usually served with rice and wrapped in a fat green leafy vegetable like a romaine or butter lettuce. I like it with sweet potatoes or squash in the winter. Hot and spicy meals make the winter get scared away at least for a moment. Num.