Bulgogi & Dipping Sauce
Back in San Francisco, one of my good friends introduced to me to a few of her favorite Korean dishes, as we experimented late into the night to recreate the tastes she grew up with. These dishes were promptly added to my "comfort food" repertoire.
The texture of the shaved (or 1/8 in. slice) flank steak is delicate and it's what makes it so easy and fast to cook. You can either ask your butcher for shaved flank steak, or a lot of stores --even TJ's--carries this cut now. The ingredients that are more challenging to find are the Korean red pepper and the gochujang, depending on where you live. Here, in New York, I just sought out one of the many Korean groceries in Manhattan to find these. Once you've obtained all the ingredients (possibly the most time-consuming part), mix them all together and start dipping each slice of beef in the marinade and let it settle to the bottom. Or you could dip each slice in the marinade, set aside in another container, and pour the marinade over the top once finished. Similar to other marinades, the meat will absorb more of the flavors the longer it rests. I recommend making a large batch, and starting to work your way through it in batches after it has a day to rest. The flavor is addictive and satisfying, and it's easy to find different ways to use it.
For the traditional spread, serve the bulgogi with shiso leaves, dipping sauce, and extra sliced garlic. These will be eaten like lettuce wraps.
Share and enjoy!