I love that Nicholas knows what Bool Gogi is. Not only does he know what it is, he requests it. Yesterday at the grocery store, since I didn’t menu plan for this week (planning on doing 3 weeks on, 1 week off), I was standing in front of the meat counter, trying to decide on dinner tonight. Nicholas piped up with “Bool Gogi! Bool Gogi!” And so it was.
I heard a passing reference to Bool Gogi ages ago and made a mental note to look it up (you can get more details here about the background of the dish). When the mental note didn’t work, I wrote it down. I’ve never made Korean food before, so this popular beef dish is I hope the first of many. Translated into “fire meat” in Korean, it refers to the cooking method, as it is typically grilled. It’s not spicy at all.
A marinade of soy sauce, sesame oil, water, sugar, garlic, diced pear, onion, sesame seeds, rice wine vinegar, pepper and scallions and some time in the fridge, and you are ready to go. Although it’s suggested that it marinate overnight, I usually do it for a few hours. When I looked up the Wikipedia info, I noticed that it also mentioned a Bool Gogi fast food hamburger, where the patty is marinated in this mixture … and that totally has my mouth watering. Still trying to decide what to make for company on Saturday and that just might be the ticket. But with three more days to decide … and change my mind … who knows?
This dish is usually served alongside rice, and that’s the way we’ve been eating it. The first time I made it, I left it for the boys to eat as I was heading out. When I called to say goodnight to Nicholas, I asked about dinner, and it turned out that he hosed three plates of the stuff down. It doesn’t get better than that.
Aside from the pre-marinating part, the recipe comes together very quickly, so if you toss the marinade together the night before, it will make a quick and tasty weeknight meal when you come home from work. Just get the rice going, and while it’s cooking, start the Bool Gogi. They’ll both be done in about 20 minutes. Take that Rachael Ray!
P.S. I love recipes that are fun to say or that have unusual names, and this is certainly one of them. Pronounced bull-go-gee (as in geese).
P.P.S. Regarding the how-to-handle-just-ok-recipes topic from last week, I’m going to postscript them, so that I’ve passed on the information, but not devoted a whole piece to a recipe that didn’t pass muster in the O’Malley household. And the first one? Rachael Ray’s 18 Carrot Cupcakes from the October 2008 issue of her magazine. I made a batch for two birthdays last week. Not bad, but just ok. Next!
P.P.S.S. Book #19. Discovering an old children’s classic for the first time.
Bool Gogi (Bulgogi)
Recipe from Korean Cuisine
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1-1/2 tb sesame seeds
1 tb sesame oil
3 tb sugar
1-1/2 tb minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 tablespoon rice wine
3-4 green onions
1/2 yellow onion, small dice
1 Asian pear or apple, small dice
Combine ingredients and add approximately 1 lb of top round, sliced very thinly. Sometimes, to get the slices extra thin, I lightly freeze the meat first, which makes it easier to cut. Marinate overnight. Panfry the Bool Gogi in a skillet and serve with steamed rice.