or, So much flavor! So easy!
So it’s just over a week until Thanksgiving, the holiday that centers around family, friends and, of course, food. Not just any food, mind you, but a traditional menu of roasted turkey and stuffing, potatoes, rolls, cranberry sauce and a green vegetable or two. Plus pie. Most of us prepare a variation of this feast, but the main characters remain the same year-to-year.
The real question (also posed by this month’s Bon Apetit) is what to cook for the other 29 days. Actually, it’s probably only 25 or 26 other days because you know what you are having for several days after Thanksgiving: turkey enchiladas, turkey tetrazzini, turkey sandwiches, some sort of layered turkey and stuffing casserole. Maybe a takeout pizza somewhere in the mix. Am I right?
Because of all of this Thanksgiving fare, the days prior should ideally focus on super-flavorful foods, preferably without an overabundance of breads and potatoes. Maybe a veggie or two. Just read that list again and you will know what I’m saying.
This is the second week in a row I’ve made a dish from ba’s “Fast, Easy, Fresh” section, and both are definite keepers! This one presents an entirely different profile of spicy-sweet-salty by using an Asian marinade on super-thin cut beef. A quick marinade and 3 minute cook time then served with Kimchi on a lettuce wrap, it is a recipe for a super flavorful Pre-Thanksgiving meal. Not a potato or bread in sight!
It isn’t super-spicy but rather is super-flavorful. You won’t regret making this!
Korean Lettuce Wraps (serves 4, easily doubles)
(Adapted from Bon Appetit, November 2015)
1 lb hangar steak (you could also use boneless short ribs or any other tender chicken or pork)
1/4 pear, grated
1 garlic clove, grated
1 T fresh grated ginger
1 T light brown sugar
1 T Sambal Oelek fresh chili paste (or gochugaru Korean red pepper)
2 T soy sauce
1 T toasted sesame oil
1 T vegetable oil
For garnish and serving:
10-12 Lettuce leaves for wrapping
1 jar Kimchi (in the refrigerated section of the grocery)
2-3 chopped green onions
In a large zipper-lock bag, place pear, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, chili paste, soy sauce and sesame oil. Squish it around a bit to mix ingredients.
Very thinly slice the steak into small strips. Add to zipper bag. Seal bag and massage marinade into the meat. Let marinate at room temperature 30-60 minutes.
Heat large Saute pan to medium-high. Add the vegetable oil. Working in batches, first add a single layer of marinated meat. Salt well. Heat for approximately 1 minute. Then turn over and continue to cook until pieces are slightly crispy and a rich beautiful color. This should take about 2 more minutes.
Transfer to serving plate. Continue cooking batches of meat with additional oil if necessary, until all meat is cooked. Garnish with green onion pieces.
Serve wrapped in lettuce leaves with spoons of kimchi.