I recently threw a California Korean barbecue party, aka my version of what I have enjoyed at many Korean barbecue restaurants in Los Angeles. I think it is the perfect way for people to share a meal in a casual and relaxed environment.
The barbecue must be super-hot so that when the meat hits the heat it begins to caramelize. While most Korean barbecue restaurants serve either boneless short ribs or thinly sliced flanken with the bone, I prefer to use skirt steak. Something about the texture of the meat and the marinade comes together to produce a succulent, flavor-packed steak. I like to grill the pieces whole, and then thinly slice them and serve them on a cutting board or a platter.
Alongside the meat I offer fresh crisp romaine leaves, store-bought kimchi (fermented cabbage), shredded daikon radish and carrot salad, spinach with sesame oil and, of course, a big bowl of vegetable fried rice. And nothing goes better with this meal than ice-cold Korean beer.
Grilled Korean-Style Skirt Steak
Serves 8 to 10 people
4 pounds skirt steak
For the marinade:
1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup dark sesame oil
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
16 medium cloves minced garlic (about 3 tablespoons)
2 scallions, white and light green part, thinly sliced
1/4 cup peeled and grated ginger
3 tablespoons hot sauce like Sriracha
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl, and mix to combine.
- Place the skirt steak in a large plastic lock-top bag. Reserve 3/4 cup marinade, and add the rest to the meat. Seal the bag, making sure to get all of the air out, and move the meat and marinade
- around to coat all of the meat. Marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Make sure to turn the bag a few times to evenly distribute the marinade.
- Prepare the barbecue for high heat. When the barbecue is very hot, place the flat skirt steak on the barbecue and grill about 3 minutes or until the meat is dark and caramelized. Turn meat over and grill another 2 to 3 minutes or until the outside is slightly charred and caramelized.
- Place on a wooden carving board, and let sit for 10 minutes. Thinly slice the meat and accompany with the reserved marinade.
Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks, including “Seriously Simple Parties,” and a James Beard Award-winning radio show host. You can contact her at www.seriouslysimple.com.