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Mom’s Bul Go Ki Recipe

So, you’re looking for something different for dinner with the family, are in the mood for something Asian, but don’t feel like ordering the usual take out or delivery.  Here’s a recipe that has stood the test of time for me and brings back fond memories of the smell that would permeate throughout my house when my mom was making it, and hopefully will do the same for you and the rest of your hungry clan!  There are a lot of renditions of this traditional Korean dish, but this one comes from my family to yours, so enjoy!  The literal translation of Bul Go Ki (pronounced bull-go-gi) is fire meat.  Go figure.  Have fun!

Ingredients:

·   1-3 lbs. ribeye steak, thinly sliced.  If the butcher knows, ask him if he can slice the ribeye for Korean barbecue for you. They may know what you’re talking about.
** A couple of side notes here on choices of beef when making this dish folks:
·         As a less expensive alternative, try to find shaved steak sandwich meat.  It’s not as top quality as ribeye, but it’s a definite money saver for those of you who are budget conscious! 
·         You can also use fajita beef, pound it out with a mallet or hammer, and slice it up.
                                                                                                                                    
·   1/3 cup soy sauce
·   3 tablespoons sugar
·   2 to 3 tablespoons sesame oil
·   3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped (or just use 2-3 tablespoons of the pre-minced kind if pressed for time)
·   2 to 3 green onions, chopped on an angle, using entire stalk
·   1 small or ½ of a medium onion, finely chopped
·   2 teaspoons black pepper (or more if you want, depending on how spicy you want it)
·   1 tablespoon of Sriracha sweet chili sauce (or more if you want, depending on how spicy you want it – optional)
·   ½ tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (optional), as garnish
 
Directions:

Take beef and cut into bite size pieces and put into a large bowl or container. 
 
In a separate large mixing bowl, mix soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, both green and regular onions, pepper and Sriracha sauce. 
 
Pour the marinade into the bowl of sliced meat and mix well.  The best way, which is the way my mom used to do it, is to take rubber or latex gloves, get in there and mix it up until every piece is covered.  It’s also a great workout!
 
Once everything is mixed in, cover bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge.  Now, a couple schools of thought on how long to marinade it for:
-          My mom would let it marinade overnight and cook it the next day.
-          If you need to prepare it for the night you’re going to dig in, give it at least 1 hour.
 
Here’s where the real fun begins: COOKING!

Under medium high heat in a large frying pan, coat the bottom of the pan with 1 tablespoon of sesame oil.  The recipe already calls for 2-3 tablespoons, so you’re only putting the extra oil in the bottom of the pan to make sure nothing sticks.  Make sure that pan is screaming hot before adding the oil!   With a pair of tongs, gently place the marinated beef into the pan.  To ensure that everything cooks evenly, cook the beef in batches. 
 
Take a wooden spatula and start stirring the meat around in the pan, flipping the pieces over every minute or so. Eventually, you will start to smell the wonderfulness as it consumes your kitchen (no, that’s not an actual word, yes it’s my own creation, no, I don’t care, because your kitchen will be full of wonderfulness too). 
 
You’ll know the meat is ready when it turns a nice brown color.  Make sure to stay on top of stirring and flipping, because if you don’t, you’ll either have a really big hamburger patty, or the meat will burn at the bottom of the pan (yuck!).  If you’ve marinated your beef right, you’ll eventually see the marinade actually start to cook the beef in its own juices.  So the moral of the story here kids is save those juices!  Trust me, you’ll want to save them, because when you mix it up with cooked rice, it’s like 2 meals in one: the beef, along with soup with rice! 
 
Once it’s ready, just serve and enjoy!  Now, you can mix this with pretty much anything:
-          Stir fry with veggies
-          Serve with sticky rice (my recommendation is jasmine rice; super easy to prepare, and my favorite!)
 
*** A night in the fridge with the leftovers (if there are any) it will make an amazing sandwich for lunch.  And if you re-heat it in a pan with just a little sesame oil, it tastes even better the next night!  My dad would eat even this for breakfast with some rice and kim chi (spicy pickled cabbage, but that’s for another time)!