For about ten years of my childhood, my next door neighbors were Korean. Summertime brought frequent neighborhood cookouts, and for the years the Wons lived next door, cookouts often meant Korean barbeque. I’m only now beginning to realize how lucky I was to be exposed to good Korean food so young, especially as I grew up in rural Montana. Today, good Korean food never fails to make me happy. Convincing my husband that Korean food should be happiness-inducing has been more of a challenge, but he’s coming around.
Gourmet’s recipe for Korean-Style Grilled Flank Steak may not be 100% authentic, but for getting dinner on the table in 30 minutes, it’s a keeper. In the time it takes to cook a pot of rice, I was able to prep the sauce (yes, that is a nearly empty gallon of rice vinegar in the picture. I may have a *slight* vinegar addiction) and all of the accompaniments and warm up the grill. A few minutes on the grill and the flank steak was ready; after a brief rest, I sliced it and tossed it with the sauce and dinner was ready.
This was a big hit – perhaps because it didn’t include kimchi, or perhaps because it included beef, which makes a less frequent appearance on our dinner table than it did on either of our childhood dinner tables. My husband’s family had cattle off and on throughout his childhood and although my mom was a vegetarian for a handful of years, my dad’s meat and potato ways prevailed and a dinner without meat was rare. I’m sure that was partly influenced by the fact that my parents had a rancher friend who sold them a cow or two (yes, really – sometimes two!) every year; to this day I have never seen my parents’ chest freezer in the garage less than half-full of beef. Now that my husband and I try to eat more vegetables than meat, beef has become more of a treat and any meal that includes beef gets decent marks from him.
I wish I could say the lettuce and cucumbers came from our garden, but alas, June in the Seattle area has not been particularly summer-like. In addition to less-than-stellar weather, something ate my cucumber plants – and I mean completely ate them, leaving no trace of the plant – and though my lettuce is doing fairly well, I’ve been picking it too frequently to allow the leaves to grow to lengths of much more than six inches. However, the green onions ARE from my in-laws’ enormous garden (just up the road!), which doubles as my personal CSA. Did I luck out, or what?
Korean-Style Grilled Flank Steak for Two
Adapted from Gourmet, July 2007
1/2 pound flank steak, grilled to your liking. We prefer medium rare. After grilling, transfer steak to a cutting board and let rest, uncovered, 5 minutes. Thinly slice steak across the grain, then toss with the sauce.
For the sauce, mix together the following:
- 1/8 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon grated or minced peeled ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
Accompaniments: white rice (I used jasmine rice, as it is what I generally have on hand), soft leaf lettuce, finely chopped green onions, toasted sesame seeds, cucumber rounds
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