Hey and welcome back! I am so happy you have come back to my little corner of the page that is full of flavor and cooking ideas. This week I am bringing you a spicy Asian dish that is a family favorite at my house — Beef Bulgogi Bowls! So, pour a drink and grab your scissors because you will want to cut this recipe out for keeping.
I will admit for many years I was intimidated by preparing any kind of Asian cuisine but I started simple and expanded from there. This dish is one of my first dishes and actually a dish a friend of mine used to prepare in our dorm in college; his mom would send the meat in the marinade back to school with him from home and he would prepare this in the commons area! For this meal you can marinate the meat overnight, or simply for 30 minutes but of course the longer you marinate the meat the more flavor it will have.
For the beef bulgogi bowls you will need:
2-pound rib eye or top sirloin steak
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons Gochujang Chili Sauce (or more for extra spicy — you can find this at Kroger)
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced ginger (I use the squeeze kind found in the produce section)
¼ – ½ cup thinly sliced shallots
Jasmine rice (I usually buy the instant cups)
1 egg for each person you are feeding
1 large cucumber
2 green onions
Start by putting your beef in the freezer for about 30 minutes. This will allow it to firm up so slicing it thin is much easier. While your beef is in the freezer take this time to thinly slice the shallots, cucumbers and green onions and put each in a different bowl.
Next, it’s time to mix up the sauce. In a bowl, mix together the soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, gochujang, rice wine vinegar, garlic, ginger and shallots. Just a quick side note — keep this sauce in mind or other dishes in the future. You could remove the brown sugar and add peanut butter for a spicy peanut sauce. Getting back to the bulgogi beef. Next slice the beef into thin, bite-sized strips and put it in the bowl with the sauce. Marinate for at least 30 minutes but overnight is best.
Once the beef has marinated cook your rice and set aside. Heat a large skillet and add the vegetable oil. Using a slotted spoon add the beef and sear it quickly on each side. I do this in small to medium batches so the pan doesn’t get too crowded. Remove the beef from the skillet and put it into a clean bowl then add all the sauce to the pan and simmer for 3-5 minutes and pour over the beef.
I serve this bowl with an egg. I did a soft-boiled egg but many people serve this with an over-easy egg on top. I don’t care for eggs so I leave them off of my bowl. Now it is time to assemble the bowl. Put the rice down first, then top with the beef and some of that beautiful sauce. On the side of the bowl line up some sliced cucumber and place the egg, if you desire, then top with the sliced green onions.
When I talked to Annie at the Village Wine Shop about a wine pairing for this meal, here is what she had to say, “For Asian fare that has some spice to it, nothing works better to cut through that heat and compliment it at the same time, then BUBBLES! No need to open The Dom or Veuve, but a mid-ranged bubbly Prosecco, Brut Champagne, Sparkling Red, or Riesling will do the job, perfectly! The exotic flavors of an Asian dish just beg for a cold refresher that has a bit of sweetness to it, and the bubbly effect will only enhance the effects of the heat, and then quell it! The sweet mixed with heat is just what this dish needs! Personally, I would go for our Tott’s Sparkling Brut! At only $8.60 a bottle, it’s a win-win!! This sparkler is my go-to when a bubbler is needed for mixing, as well! Even a Mimosa, champagne and orange juice would complement this meal! The sweetness of the orange and how orange belongs to Asian food is a no-brainer here! Bon Appetit and Salut!”
So, there you have it friends — a super easy meal and some fun wine pairing options. You can add things like a lime wedge, cilantro or kimchi on the side as well. No matter what you do make it your own and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something different — and as always, I am sending love from my kitchen to yours!