FOOD: Korean beef bulgogi

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Literally speaking, bulgogi means ‘‘fire meat’’. Undoubtedly one of the most well-known Korean dishes, this super-easy recipe, with its flavourful marinade and thin slices of beef, cooks in minutes and results in a tender, tasty delight. I have grown up with this dish, often eating it with venison, but you can use most types of meat including chicken or pork. You can serve the bulgogi on rice, with fried vegetables or kimchi or, as I did with this recipe, as a tasty entree passed round before a BBQ. Enjoy my take on this Korean classic!

PREP TIME:  8 MINS

COOK TIME:  10 MINS

SERVES:  4 PEOPLE

INGREDIENTS
600g sirloin steak (or use rump for a slightly more affordable cut)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons of sesame oil
2 teaspoons brown sugar
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 tablespoons grated, fresh ginger
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 tablespoon gochugang (optional, Korean paste)
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
2 15g packs of watercress tips (I used Basil and Parsley brand)

METHOD
1. In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, one sliced spring onion, one teaspoon of sesame seeds and gochugang, if using. Note, you could use a little chilli oil here, too, if you don’t have gochugang.

2. Take the beef and remove the fat from the edge of the steak. Next, cutting against the grain, thinly slice the beef and tip into the marinade. Thoroughly combine and set aside for at least a few hours.

3. In a decent-sized heavy pan (or you can use the BBQ), heat to a high heat with a tablespoon of vegetable oil. In small batches, add the steak to the pan in a single layer and cook for about a minute on each side, until slightly charred on the outside but still a little
pink in the middle. Remove from the pan and repeat with the rest of the steak.

4. On a serving platter, place enough watercress to cover the base. Evenly spread the cooked bulgogi over the watercress. Garnish with the leftover sesame seeds and spring onion and serve immediately.