Mmm… what is that? That, my friends, is the beginning of a wonderful dinner. At a Korean BBQ? No! We made this at home!! If that seems like a lot of exclamations points, it’s because I was very excited and there was much exclaiming before we put this on the tabletop grill.
My favorite part of Korean bbq is the meat, the rice, and the sesame oil dipping sauce. The panchan dishes are good, too, but it’s not what I look forward to. One day, when we were shopping at Zion Market looking for kochujang paste (to make the sauce you put on bibimbap), I picked up a bottle of bulgogi marinade. Then, another day I picked up some thinly sliced prime beef. Mix it up, let it sit, and you’ve got the beginnings of a great meal.
Now, I poured about 3/4 of the marinade into a bag with 1.5 lbs of meat and then found out that the whole bottle is supposed to marinate at least 8 lbs of meat. It turned out that the meat did have too much marinade on it, so next time I’ll definitely cut back. I picked up a variety of panchan from Zion on the way home from work and arranged them on a nice plate so we could have a closer Korean bbq experience.
It was the perfect amount for the two of us. We took turns tending to the electric griddle, turning meat and then gobbling it down. There was too much marinade for my tastes, as it didn’t allow the flavor of the sesame oil to come through, which is what I love. But, wrapped with some rice and a little cucumber kimchi, it’s still a tasty bite. Now that we know how easy it is (and so much cheaper!) I think Korean bbq will replace fondue dinner parties. Yum yum!
I also tried my hand at creating the kochujang sauce for bibimbap. It was still really hot and it seemed to be missing something… maybe more sugar?
2 Tb. kochujang paste
1 Tb. rice vinegar
1 Tb. soy sauce
1 Tb. sesame oil
1 Tb. sugar (maybe 1 more would have been good?)
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Taste and adjust as necessary. Sounds simple, no?