Almost the entire reason to make this ultra flavorful Korean beef dish is to acquire magical gochujang, a super flavorful hot and sweet chili sauce. These days you can find it in almost any grocery store in the Asian section. You’ll know it by the bright red container it comes in.
Gochujang is kind of like the ketchup of Korea. It’s wonderful added to any stir fry, it gives a zippy kick to chili and it’s delicious in marinades. And don’t worry about what looks to be a giant tub. It lasts forever, except it won’t because you’ll use it every day.
For other ideas on using gochujang, check out a great article by noted Chef Edward Lee.
Bulgogi (heavily inspired by Melissa Clark’s “Dinner”)
1 pound skirt steak
4 garlic cloves
1 small onion
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 scallion, sliced
½ teaspoon sesame seeds
1 small zucchini, sliced into coins
1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 small onion, sliced into thin slices
2 tablespoons gochujang
Trim the skirt steak of excess fat, cut into three pieces and freeze for 20-30 minutes to make slicing thinly easier. To slice the steak, turn each piece until the long strands are facing you and then slice against that grain into thin pieces.
Combine the garlic, onion, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey and pepper in a blender and blend to form a paste. Add the beef to a gallon plastic bag, pour in the paste and massage to mix thoroughly. Add the scallion and sesame seeds and refrigerate for as long as you can, up to overnight.
Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a skillet. Add the beef and saute until all the pieces are deeply browned. Remove from the pan and reserve.
Add the vegetables and saute until they begin to brown. Add the beef back to the pan and stir in the gochujang. Taste and adjust seasonings if need be. Serve over rice.