Dave’s version of Korean marinade for bulgogi and kalbi is quite versatile. Use it to marinate beef back or short ribs, sirloin or flank steak, boneless pork loin, boneless chicken breasts or thighs, tofu, and mushrooms.
Serves 4 - 6
- ½ cup light soy sauce
- ¼ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup brown sugar, light or dark
- 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp La Tourangelle Toasted Sesame Oil
- 2 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 Tbsp Taste #5 Umami Paste (optional)
- ¼ tsp Sriracha chili garlic hot sauce (optional)
- ¼ tsp The Epicentre Chinese 5 Spice (optional)
Whisk all of the ingredients together in a saucepan over medium-low heat until the sugar is desolved. Remove from heat; cool in the fridge before using. Before adding meat to the marinade, you may want to set some aside for basting. Always discard marinade that meat has been in to avoid contamination.
Kalbi: Korean BBQ beef short ribs
3 - 3½ lbs (1.4 - 1.6 kg) beef short ribs. Ask your butcher to butterfly the short ribs Korean style or check out this video: How to trim Korean Kalbi short ribs. Marinate a minimum of an hour to overnight. Remove meat, discard marinade, and pat dry to remove excess marinade. Cook directly on a medium-hot grill or under a broiler, turning once, until medium-rare, about 3 - 4 minutes per side. Serve with fragrant rice.
Bulgogi: Korean BBQ beef (use the same method for boneless chicken breast or boneless pork loin)
2 - 2½ lbs (900 gr -1.1 kg) beef ribeye or sirloin, thinly sliced (chuck and top round work well, too). Marinate a minimum of an hour to overnight. Remove meat, discard marinade, and pat dry to remove excess marinade. Barbecue in a grill basket over a medium-hot grill turning with tongs until medium-rare and a dark brown crust forms, about 4 - 5 minutes. You can also stir-fry the meat in a hot skillet or wok. Bulgogi is traditionally served with lettuce wraps, rice, and kimchi.
Flank Steak with Korean Marinade
2 - 3 lbs (900 gr - 1.4 kg) beef flank steak. Marinate a minimum of an hour to overnight. Remove meat, discard marinade, and pat dry to remove excess marinade. Cook directly on a medium-hot grill or under a broiler, turning once, until medium-rare, about 4 - 5 minutes per side, or an internal temperature of 130°F (55°C). Remove from heat and let rest under a tent of foil for 5 mins. Cut diagonally across the grain of the meat (across short side, not down the length) into ¼” thick slices. Serve on buns with kimchi or with rice.
Barbecue Beef Back Ribs with Korean Marinade
3½ - 4 lbs (1.6 - 1.8 kg) beef back ribs (½ rack per person for light appetities; 1 rack each for big eaters). Marinate a minimum of an hour to overnight. Remove meat, discard marinade, and pat dry to remove excess marinade. Cook directly on the grill at 250°F (120°C) for 1 hour. After an hour, wrap the ribs in foil and cook another hour. Remove from foil, place on the grill and glaze with reserved marinade for 30 mins. Serve
Korean Skewers (Chicken, Beef, Tofu, Veggie)
Beef sirloin or boneless chicken thighs are great for skewers. With either, slice thinly into long strips. Cubes of firm tofu or mushrooms work well, too. Marinate 1 - 4 hours. Remove from marinade, discard marinade, and pat dry. Place on skewers and grill over medium-high heat, turning often, until done. Baste with reserved marinade as they cook. You can skewer large chunks of bell pepper, sweet onion, and pineapple, brush with oil before grilling, and baste with the reserved marinade as they cook.
For a marinade shortcut, try Dave’s Gourmet Korean BBQ Marinade & Wok Sauce