Sunday, March 13, 2011

Korean BBQ

And another delay… So about two weeks ago, I was out getting things for Noelle’s baby shower when Jesse texted me and said, “i can cook us korean bbq tonight if you want we have all the ingredients except 1 onion and flank steak. (That was quoted verbatim from his text, too…also note that whenever you read blue text from this point on in this blog, that’s just Jesse talking and adding key points). I was thinking, “That sounds awesome!” So I called him to discuss what else we needed and then headed to Kroger. I like our Ingles, but let’s be honest here, if you want good steaks, Ingles is not the place to go.

And we have two really nice Krogers not terribly far from us. So I grabbed what we needed at Kroger and found a really yummy-looking flank steak. I then went home, tired from all of my errands, but excited about a super-awesome meal. Not to mention the fact that the only thing I needed to make was the rice. And we have a rice cooker for that.

Well, I came home and unloaded the grocery bags with Jesse’s help when all of a sudden he looked at me and said, “Where’s the soy sauce? I can’t make this without the soy sauce!” Ugh, that meant I had to go out again, something I REALLY didn’t want to do. I had already been out for several hours and was pooped! Oh well, this recipe really did need the soy sauce. So this time I just went to Ingles, grabbed two bottles of soy sauce, a Pibb Xtra and went home. Jesse took one bottle of soy sauce and put the other one in the pantry. We were finally ready to make the marinade and let the steak soak for a little bit. Here’s the recipe Jesse found and used:,1818,142164-234200,00.html

And here is it written out:


2 cups water

2 cups low-sodium soy sauce

2 cups sugar

6 garlic cloves, minced

4 tablespoons sesame seed oil

3 tablespoons black pepper

1 white onion, grated

Mix everything together and let the steak sit in the marinade for at least 30 minutes.

Jesse’s favorite part was grating the onion… He thought that was so cool! Just kidding, he said that was the worst part. In fact, I do believe I remember him saying something along these lines, “The only thing worse than cutting an onion? Grating an onion.” I felt bad for him, but seriously was glad I wasn’t doing it. Yeah, this was really the worst part…it just makes me so sad….the plight of onions, I just cry every time...

Once the marinade was completed we put the steak in. And boy, did it all smell REALLY good. I was starting to get super excited. We put the bag of marinade and steak back in the fridge and let it sit there to rest. Of course, though, something typically goes wrong while we cook. I had already run back to the store once. But no, this was even better. The extra bottle of soy sauce in the pantry? Well, it fell off the shelf, shattering on the floor and pouring soy sauce all over the pantry floor and out into the kitchen. Awesome! I leaned down and started to pick up all of the glass bits while Jesse shooed the animals away and got some towels from the garage. We then removed everything that was sitting on the floor of the pantry and he proceeded to clean it up. In all honesty, I was pretty glad that happened. The bottom of the pantry was filthy and cluttered, and we hadn’t cleaned it in awhile because that’s where we keep the two bins of pet food, so it’s kind of out of sight, out of mind. But now it’s clean, albeit with a faint hue and scent of soy sauce… Sadly, we have no pictures from this ordeal, we were too busy cleaning it and making sure there wasn’t any glass on the floor for the pets to step on, or play with, or eat.

Once the steak had been marinating for awhile, I made the rice in the rice cooker (I highly recommend getting one of these if you eat a lot of rice like we do!).

Then I got out the brand new salad spinner Jesse bought me for my birthday and cleaned the salad.

Jesse turned the burner on high to get the pan really, really hot, so he could sear the steak. We both like our steak medium-rare, so we have to make sure we don’t overdo it. Right before he placed the steak on the pan, he said, “I hope this doesn’t set off the smoke detector.” Famous last words.

Sure enough, our obnoxious smoke detector started beeping (actually, it’s a very nice smoke detector, loud and linked with the other one outside our room. But still it’s loud and talks to you.). Yoda, with his tail between his legs ran away from the kitchen, and Jesse grabbed the thing off the wall and set it on the coffee table while I opened the kitchen window. Annoyance had been diverted. This is really the best part about our smoke detectors…they are actually just fastened to a ring that’s attached to the wall. So when there’s an influx of non-house-burning-down-fire/smoke in the kitchen, you can just twist them off the wall and throw them under a pillow instead of wafting a towel in your kitchen with the windows open like a moron.

So Jesse finished searing the steak and very quickly it was done and ready to eat. He also took the extra sauce and put it in a saucepan to heat up so we could pour it over our steak.

The sauce was actually quite easy. Already having a great marinade, I simply threw a small bit in a sauce pan and added some Wondra sauce/gravy flour to thicken it a little after bringing to a boil. It was pretty strong, so I’d either need to water it down a bit in the future, or just use it sparingly as a garnish-sauce…it was still very tasty though…and great on the rice.

All in all, a yummy looking meal.



Preparation: 5 out of 5, Jesse did all the hardwork, I just put the rice in the rice cooker and cleaned lettuce!

Taste: 4 out of 5. This meal has a LOT of potential. It involved a lot of my favorites types of foods. But, this was really peppery. I think next time we make this, we should marinate the steak overnight. Also, we could cut down a little bit on the pepper, made add something else to enhance spiceyness. But, overall, it was good. The flavour of the marinade was good, just sweet enough, but next time we agreed to use brown sugar and not white. I can’t wait until we try it again.

Pickiness: 3.5 out of 5. If you are sensitive to spicy things, you may not like this. As I mentioned before, the pepper was a little overwhelming. Also, some people don’t like steak, so obviously this would be fail for you. But if you like steak and Asian food, then you will like this!


Preparation: 4 out of 5 – pretty easy, just make the marinade. And then sear the flank steak to your choice of doneness. The worst part was cutting the onions…I even put them in the freezer for about 10min before hand and they were still horrible.

Taste: 4 out of 5 – I agree with Sarah…as much as I like pepper (and saltiness), this was a bit much. Next time, we’ll cut down on the pepper, but also switch to brown sugar as I think that would be a little richer and cut some of the pepper…and also create a better glaze. I could totally see Toasted Sesame See garnish on here too…with perhaps a pineapple ring on top? But even without these, this was one of my more favorite recipes for KBBQ that I’ve made. *note that we used regular (sodium) soy sauce instead of low-sodium…that stuff tastes like Jawa spit O.o

Cost: 5 out of 5 – super cheap and inexpensive…especially when you pretty much already have all of the ingredients. A lot of times, Flank or Skillet Steaks are a cheaper alternative to individual portioned steaks since you end up getting leftovers most of the time. It’s also great cold as leftovers or eve in sandwiches.

Overall Rating: 4.25


  1. That sounds like a killer dish.. I would only add rice wine vinegar to help tenderize and at least a tablespoon of fresh minced ginger, depending on preference, for more flavor.. also try nixing the black pepper altogether and throw chili-garlic paste and some white pepper

    Definitely try making some asian-braised short ribs some time.. I've only made them once but they rocked my own socks off

  2. Thanks Matt! I'll pass on this info to Jesse and we can experiment with it next time. Because there will definitely be a next time on this one. We have another recipe we may also try.

  3. Matt, that sounds amazing! Even better that I think we have it all in our pantry already.