Four years ago, I shared how I made Korean mandu with turnip greens on Simple, Good, And Tasty. I’m bringing it back because it’s too good to get lost in the shuffle.
Kale seems to get all of the glory. But as far as leafy greens go, I much prefer the flavor and texture of collards, beet greens, dandelion greens, and turnip greens. Raw turnip greens can sometimes feel prickly. Once you cook them down they have a silky texture and savory, earthy flavor. They’re perfect added to these fried Korean dumplings.
This post is sponsored by Farmer Girl Meats.
When Leslie, a third-generation beef producer and owner of Farmer Girl Meats asked if I wanted to partner on a recipe post, I gladly said “Yes.”
Farmer Girl Meats offers a delivery service for Kansas and Missouri pasture-raised meats including beef, chicken, pork, and turkey. Or, if you live near her farm in Warrenton, MO, you can also pick-up your order. Leslie offered to send me two pounds of ground beef from her family’s farm where their cows feed on native prairie grasses. Meat delivery to St. Louis costs $5 per order, or $25 per year, unlimited. She let me try it out for free. Learn more about delivery here.
“Can we eat more kimchi?” Jake asked the other week.
Growing-up as an adopted Korean in the southern suburbs of Minneapolis-St. Paul, I was introduced to kimchi at Korean Culture Camp. We ate kimchi during every lunch and I never gave a second thought to liking it. My family did not like kimchi, but was always willing to buy a jar from Cub Foods when I requested it. Now, kimchi & gochujang are all the rage. A lot of us already knew how awesome Korean food is but I can’t complain the cuisine is increasing in popularity.
I’m mad about bulgogi.
For picky eaters, it’s probably the “safest” dish people can order at a Korean restaurant. There’s really nothing to dislike about thin slices of beef cooked in a sweet and savory soy-based sauce. It’s kind of like chicken teriyaki. My family occasionally visits Dong Yang in Colombia Heights, MN, and, while the rest of us go for spicy squid or seafood pancakes, my dad always orders beef bulgogi. I’d totally make fun of him if beef bulgogi wasn’t so delicious.
Back when I was a new college grad living in a little studio apartment in Uptown (Minneapolis), this was my favorite meal to prepare. I’d also make a big batch of cream cheese wontons that I’d enjoy with the leftover beef over the course of the week. Now that I have to share with Jake, the leftovers don’t go quite as far these days. This makes this meal even more of a treat, I suppose.
My batch of Korean beef tasted especially delicious because I prepared it with beef raised on Sugar Creek Farm located in the neighboring town of Osage, Iowa. The wontons pictured below are baked, but you can also try the steam-fry method.
Gingery Korean Beef
I always wing this dish, so the measurements are not exact. Don’t worry because you really can’t go wrong with this combination of flavors. Plus, you can adjust the seasoning after the beef is cooked by adding more soy or honey. Just go easy on the sesame oil because too much can overpower a dish.
About 1 lb. of steak (I used two small ribeyes)
Soy sauce or tamari
1 small onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
Honey or brown sugar
1 clove garlic, grated
Fresh ginger, grated (about a teaspoon)
Black pepper, to taste
Rice wine vinegar, a splash (or whatever you have)
Toasted sesame oil
Optional: Cayenne, rushed red pepper or fresh chili.
1 package of mushrooms, large ones quartered, small ones halved
- Trim steaks of excess fat (I leave a little for flavor). Slice thinly, against the grain.
- Place steak in a plastic or glass container. Drizzle with enough soy sauce to coat the slices of meat.
- Add the slices of onion, a drizzle or two of honey, grated garlic, grated ginger and as much black pepper as you’d like.
- Add a splash of rice wine vinegar, a small drizzle of sesame oil, a small drizzle of vegetable oil (I like peanut) and cayenne.
- Marinate in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or longer.
- When it’s time prepare your meal, remove beef from the refrigerator and set aside on the counter.
- Saute mushrooms in a large skillet over medium heat in some vegetable oil. Season with a little salt. When the mushrooms are cooked, set aside.
- Add a little more oil to the same pan and cook your marinated beef and onions. When the beef’s halfway cooked, add the mushrooms back to the beef.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and serve with steamed rice and your favorite vegetable.
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White meat or dark meat?
Jake and I differ in our preferences. While Jake is far from a picky eater, he prefers boneless skinless chicken breast while I prefer the drumsticks and thighs. I often find boneless skinless chicken breasts inedibly dry unless they are heavily marinated or fried.
One evening, Jake asked me if I could make a Korean version of a blackened chicken sandwich with the gochojang I brought back from United Noodles in Minneapolis, MN. Gochujang is a fermented chili-soybean paste that’s frequently used in Korean cooking. It’s widely available in most Asian grocery stores.
This spicy chili paste is intensely flavored and adds a Korean flavor to any dish. I’ve used spoonfuls of gochujang to season fried rice, ramen noodles, beans & rice, and short ribs. I am dreaming of more gochujang possibilities like chicken wings or a spicy gochujang-mayo. Maybe gochujang will become the next Sriracha.
The marinated chicken in our sandwiches tasted more like a Korean twist on teriyaki than anything blackened, but dinner a success. I soaked the chicken in the marinade for four hours. This process helped it remain juicy and flavorful after we cooked it on our little Foreman grill.
Garnish your grilled chicken sandwiches with lettuce, tomato and red onion and a little mayonnaise. This combination may sound a little strange, but will hit all of your favorite sweet, savory, and spicy notes.
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (our pack contained three)
Soy sauce, enough to coat the chicken breasts
Brown sugar or honey, a little less than the amount of soy sauce used
Sesame oil, a small drizzle
1 clove grated garlic
Grated ginger with the juice, about a teaspoon
Gouchujang paste, about one tablespoon
Garnishes: Lettuce, tomato, onion, mayonnaise
- Place the chicken breasts in a ziplock bag.
- Add the soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, black pepper, and gochujang.
- Squish the bag together so that the marinade combine and coats the chicken. You can also whisk the marinade in a bowl first and then marinate the chicken in a container. Allow the chicken to marinate for several hours or a day.
- Grill the chicken breasts and create a sandwich with your favorite garnishes.