Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Now I'm Glad I Didn't get the Salsa

This last Christmas, a coworker gave me this. She gave the other coworkers salsa. As everyone else dug into their salsa, I sat staring at the jar, wondering what the hell it was. She didn’t actually know either, but heard it was good from “another Asian lady” (she meant well so I wasn’t offended). I put it in my pantry with every intention of finding out what it was, but it got pushed to the back of the shelf, and eventually I forgot all about it. Then a couple of days ago, hubby found it while looking for a snack.

After doing a quick Google search, I believe it’s Gochu-jan, or Korean chili paste (anyone in the know, please correct me if I’m wrong). Proceeding under that assumption, I found a recipe for a Korean-style grilled beef (yes, this is the second one this week) and let me tell you, it was good. Click here to see the original recipe on, courtesy of Ming Tsai (an old culinary hero of mine).

Korean-style Grilled Beef
  • ½ cup Korean chili bean paste (also called gochu-jan)
  • 2 tbs minced garlic
  • 1 tbs minced ginger
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • 1 ½ bunch chopped scallions
  • ½ bunch chopped cilantro
  • 1 tri tip steak (about 1 ½ to 2 lbs)
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal for garnish
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds for garnish
  • 1 portion dipping sauce (recipe below)
Put everything, except the meat and oils, into a food processor and blend. As you’re blending, slowly add in the oils. Reserve at least ½ cup of the marinade for making the dipping sauce. Use the rest to marinate the meat overnight. Take the meat out of the fridge about an hour before grilling. Season with salt and grill to medium-rare. I actually seared the beef on cast iron and finished it in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.

The original recipe used 3 lbs of hanger steak, which is not easy to find. I used tri tip. If you can’t find those, flank steak would be another option. These three cuts of beef should not be cooked more than medium (optimally medium-rare), otherwise they will be dry. Please let the meat rest for at least 10 minutes before you cut into it, especially the tri tip. It is a thicker cut of beef and needs time for the juices to settle. Slice the meat thinly and against the grain. Another tasty option would be to use pork sirloin or tenderloin.

Serve with Japanese rice and kimchee (see the original recipe for cucumber kimchee). And don’t forget the dipping sauce!

Dipping sauce:
½ cup of reserved marinade
½ tsp salt
juice of 1 lemon

Mix everything in a bowl and enjoy. It’s great for dipping tofu too!


Stefania Pomponi Butler aka CityMama said...

We call it kochu jang (jang meaning something like "sauce"). If you google that term you'll find lots of uses for it. It's in the marinade for that pork you used to like at brothers and it also is often mixed with soy sauce and vinegar to make a dipping sauce for fried foods. Koreans also stir fry with it. The base of the sauce is fermented rice, then its mixed with chili pepper. I think you would really like the Eating Korean cookbook I have on my blog. She's around our age and the recipes are EASY.

dp said...

Thank you for the info! When I tasted the marinade, it reminded me exactly of that pork dish at Brothers. I had some left over marinade, so I made a stir fry today with pork, and it was good. In the last 6 days, I've had Korean food three times!

I'm definately going to check out the cookbook. Can you believe I don't have one Korean cookbook, but I love the food?!