Korean BBQ Platter
with bulgogi / cucumbers / kimchi / rice
This BBQ platter is the Korean version of a taco bar. Set out the components - sweet / savory beef, rice, pickled cucumbers, crisp greens, and hot sauce - and let everyone make their own bowl at the dinner table.
Smarts: Gochujang is a Korean hot sauce that is less spicy and has much more flavor depth than other hot sauces. It's worth tracking it down if you can!
- Steak, sirloin or boneless ribeye - 1 lb , thinly sliced (sub skirt or flank steak)
- Garlic - 2 cloves , chopped
- Ginger - 1 tsp , grated
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 1/3 cup
- Brown sugar - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Oil, toasted sesame - 2 tsp
- Cucumbers - 10 oz , cubed
- Vinegar, rice - 2 Tbsp
- Sugar - 1/2 tsp
- Rice, uncooked white or brown - 2/3 cup
- Lettuce, romaine - 1 heart , shredded (sub iceberg)
- Carrots - 6 oz , shredded (look for pre-shredded)
- Green onions - 2 stalks , chopped, green and white parts combined
- Oil, toasted sesame - 2 tsp
- Vinegar, rice - 2 tsp + 2 tsp
- Sugar - 1/4 tsp
- Gochujang - 4 Tbsp (Korean hot sauce)
- Sesame seeds, black or white - 1/2 tsp
- Kimchi - 1/2 cup
Chill beef - This step is optional, but will make the meat easier to slice. Put beef in the freezer for about 15 minutes so it is very cold but not frozen.
Marinate beef - Chop garlic and grate ginger. Thinly slice beef against the grain. Combine garlic, ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, and toasted sesame oil (portion for beef) in a bowl. Add beef and marinate for at least 20 minutes and up to 2 days. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
Rice - (Skip if rice was made ahead for Wednesday.) For white rice, rinse until clear. Fill a saucepan or Dutch oven (or rice cooker) with rice, water (use 2:1 ratio for water to rice), and some salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once water boils, stir, lower heat to a low-medium, and cover. Check white rice after ~20 min; brown at ~45 min. Rice is done when it's absorbed all the water. If it's not done, leave the cover on until all water has been absorbed. Take cover off to release steam and fluff with a wooden spoon after 5 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Pickle cucumbers - Cube cucumbers. Toss with vinegar and sugar (portions for cucumbers). (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
Lettuce / Carrots / Green onions - Prep as directed. Combine lettuce and carrots. Combine green and white parts of green onions. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
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In a large bowl, whisk together toasted sesame oil, first portion of vinegar, and sugar (portions for BBQ platter). Add lettuce and carrots. Wait to toss until right before serving.
In a small bowl, whisk together gochujang and second part of vinegar (portion for BBQ platter).
Heat a wok over medium-high. Add beef and marinade and cook until beef is cooked through and marinade is bubbling, 2 to 3 minutes.
Drain liquid off cucumbers and season with some salt.
Reheat rice if made ahead.
Toss salad in vinaigrette and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
Set out salad, rice, beef, gochujang, pickled cucumbers, kimchi, and green onions. Let everyone assemble their Korean BBQ bowl at the table. (The crisp, cool salad is great mixed together in the bowls with the warm ingredients but feel free to enjoy it on the side if you prefer.) Enjoy!