Thursday, May 15, 2014

Korean BBQ Shish Kabobs

Don't ask me why, but I had just been dying to try these for a while now!  Every time I see them in a magazine or travel show, it just seems like something you would grab and eat while you walk through some street vendor's stalls in an exotic shopping spree oversees.  Can you tell that I'm ready for school to be out and vacations to start?! 

Well making them doesn't have to seem all that exotic, because the ingredients are super common, and the technique couldn't be easier.  I took a traditionally cheap, "tough" cut of meat, cut it in a way that basically cheated it into being being super tender, marinated for a few hours to make it super flavorful... and the results were outstanding!  My family demolished every one of the skewers, so there were no leftovers to worry about.  And seriously, what kid doesn't like meat on a stick?! LOL!! 

Print this Recipe!

Ingredients:    
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce 
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 3 cloves finely minced garlic
  • 1 tsp white sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp black sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 pounds beef flank steak
Step-by-Step:
Let's prepare the marinade first so they can go straight into it when they are cut.  Just combine everything except the meat.

1/2 cup soy sauce + 1/4 cup brown sugar

2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger + 2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil

3 cloves finely minced garlic + 1 tsp white sesame seeds

1 tsp black sesame seeds.  This is how it all looks all mixed together.
Now we are ready to slice the meat.  Here is where we will trick the meat into being super tender.  This is the only place where you really need to pay attention.

See how there is a "grain" to the meat?  You can see the fibers of the meat running in the same direction as the grain of the wood of the cutting board.  Flank steak typically comes in a "roll."

1.5 pound beef flank steak
Now let's unroll the flank steak and turn it 90 degrees so that it is running left to right.
We are going to cut it "across" the grain.  Definitely NOT "with" the grain.  You want your knife to be oriented 90 degrees to the direction that the fibers of the meat are running.   (Otherwise, it may be like chewing shoe leather.)  In addition to this, can you tell that I am not cutting straight down into the board?  My life is angled at about 45 degrees to the cutting board.
I cut the flank steak into about 1/4" slices at the top, but by angling them, the flat broad surface came from the exposed inside.  It is important to get them as uniform as you can so that they will have uniform cooking times.  Tip - I didn't do this, but it helps if your meat is about 1/2 frozen as the firmness makes it easier to get more uniform slices.
Throw all the meat into a gallon sized zip top bag. 
Pour all of the marinade over the meat.
Why is this my favorite marinating container? You can shove it into just about any space without taking up much.... space!  You can squeeze out all the air, which puts the marinade in direct contact with the meat.   Now go find something fun to do for a few hours.  I let these marinate for 3 hours while we had some water fun... boating, playing on the beach, letting the kids kneeboard, etc.
After 3 hours, I threaded them onto bamboo skewers.  I used an over-under pattern.  I did not soak the skewers because these were going to grill so quickly that it was not going to be necessary.
Holy smokes it made a huge pan of them!!!

At this point, I handed them off to my husband to do the dirty work.  LOL!!!  He grilled them 7 minutes on side 1, 1 minute on side 2.  They were so incredibly tender!!!   In this photo, they are just one side 1, over the coals.
Ta-da!!!   Oh, and I also skewered some veggies and fresh pineapple.  We had some wild rice on the side.  A super delicious, healthy and flavorful meal!
I hope you enjoyed this simple and delicious recipe!
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Written Method:
Combine all marinade ingredients. 

We are going to slice the meat "across" the grain to trick it into being super tender.  You want your knife to be oriented 90 degrees to the direction that the fibers of the meat are running.  In addition to this, can you tell that I am not cutting straight down into the board?  My life is angled at about 45 degrees to the cutting board.

I cut the flank steak into about 1/4" slices at the top, but by angling them, the flat broad surface came from the exposed inside.  It is important to get them as uniform as you can so that they will have uniform cooking times.  Tip - I didn't do this, but it helps if your meat is about 1/2 frozen as the firmness makes it easier to get more uniform slices.

Throw all the meat into a gallon sized zip top bag.  Pour all of the marinade over the meat.  You can squeeze out all the air, which puts the marinade in direct contact with the meat.  I let these marinate for 3 hours.  After 3 hours, I threaded them onto bamboo skewers using an over-under pattern.  I did not soak the skewers because these were going to grill so quickly that it was not going to be necessary.  Grill them for 7 minutes on side 1, and about 1 minute on side 2.  They are super thin and cook very, very quickly!

10 comments:

  1. I am going to make this for my next barbecue. Great Idea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you.... I hope you and your guests enjoy!!! :)

      Delete
  2. I don't know if I can find all the ingredients like toasted sesame oil, regular sesame oil i abhor fresh ginger :) can I substitute ground ginger sparingly? these sound wonderful but everytime I try fresh ginger I'm yuck about it ..hmmm prob a mind thing, bought on the street not knowing but making them myself puts me into the yuck ;) I live in a very small midwestern town, so both colors of sesame seeds might not be available, suggestions? but they look delish

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure, Vicki... use ground ginger if you prefer. Toasted sesame oil is easier to find that you think. Do you have any Asian stores around? I'm pretty sure I picked mine up at Wal-Mart in the Asian section. But in the event that this doesn't work, EVERYthing is available now online. Same goes for the black sesame seeds. That said, the black sesame seeds don't really taste different than the white ones, they just look really cool in my opinion. I purchased those from the regular grocery store as well.

      Delete
  3. PS last post rambled but I do appreciate how you showed to cut the meat! That always baffled me!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is so good! Best match with pineapple and capsicums, yummy!

    ReplyDelete
  5. These look amazing! Couple questions:

    1) Could you replace this with chicken, cut into pieces or strips and skewered? Would the flavour still be good?
    2) How many skewers did this yield?

    I just stumbled upon your blog and it is so wonderful! Keep the asian-inspired dishes coming:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, interesting question!
      Let's think this through. You could take the easy way out and use pre-cut chicken tenderloins, but you wouldn't quite achieve the same effect. For this "ribbon" type of effect.... you would need to freeze the chicken breasts (at least about halfway through), then cut them into very thin slices as I have done with the beef. Since the protein is a lot more delicate, I think the 3 hours marinate time would be too long and could turn the chicken to mush, so I probably would go for around 1 hour. I'm sure the flavor would be fine. Please take into consideration I'm making all this up as I type!!!! :o

      How many did it make? Ummmm..... I don't remember.. Two big pans FULL... maybe 30 - 40? Sorry, I was so tired of threading them on there that I didn't count. I tried counting the ones in the photo, but it's been cropped, so you can tell, there are a LOT from that flank steak. So for chicken, it would be completely different.

      Please visit the Recipe Index for more Asian-Inspired dishes!
      Best wishes, Julie

      Delete

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