Classic east meets classic west. So, to start off, I’ll say I’m not the biggest fan of Korean bulgogi or Italian pasta. I love eating Korean BBQ with my friends and family but bulgogi, a classic Korean BBQ meat, is not my favorite. Bulgogi, though is more traditional, is approachable to non-Koreans because of it’s sweetness but often ruined for me at Korean restaurants because of too much sugar added. Since I usually eat so many sweets throughout the day I don’t need it in my meals. Now with pasta, overall, I’m not the biggest fan of carbs, pasta included. Gasp, I know (unless I’m eating it in a cookie, cake, pie etc). I save my carb devouring for sweets so I don’t often eat it in my meals. To the irony, we went to Italy for our honeymoon
last year 6 months ago and after 10 days of eating bread and pasta, I finally got really really sick. My poor husband… I’m really not selling this dish very well am I?
Well, we picked up the most delicious olive oil from an organic farm in Florence and have been waiting to use it. Opening up the new bottle of olive oil, I was blown away by the aroma of olives tingling my nose. I excitedly used this into this pasta dish but the final result is, as a pasta and bulgogi infrequent eater, this pasta is good. But, don’t use your good olive oil. The strong olive scent in the olive oil is still faint enough that it will not shine through a strong Korean BBQ flavor BUT the dish in itself was delicious. I very quickly forgot about the olive oil. I’ll use that on some scrumptious crusty bread later.
The bulgogi marinade is sweet just enough that it’s not too sugary and the addition of the spicy red peppers really balances the meat well. Sometimes pasta with olive oil is a bit too much for me but here, again the red peppers and vegetables balance out the dish. The extra sprinkle of the cheese at the end makes it a winner! This will most be seen on our dinner table again. So easy to whip together and a good fusion dinner. Adapted from a Korean blog while looking for some easy Korean dishes. Enjoy!
- 2 Servings spaghetti (100 g per serving)
- 5 cups water
- pinch (1 tsp) salt
- 1/2 onion
- 1/2 bell peppers
- 2 shiitake mushrooms
- 2-3 spicy red or green peppers
- 4 + 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 – 2/3 Tbsp minced garlic
- 2/5 Tbsp salt
- parmesan cheese, to taste
- 2/3 lb (300 g) thinly sliced beef tenderloin, sirloin, or any tender prime beef cut
- 1/2 onion
- 4 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp mirim (rice cooking wine)
- 1 Tbsp honey (or sugar)
- 2 Tbsp maesil cheong (plum flavored extract)**
- 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
**Korean plum flavored extract is a popular sweetener made with Korean green plums (also known as Japanese apricot) and is often used in marinades or sauces to add a level of sweetness and tartness. It has become more popular in the last few years due to the wide-ranging health benefits of promoting better digestion, protecting the liver, providing energy and aiding in fatigue. It deepens the flavor for the dish and can often be found in Korean grocery markets but it can be substituted for about 1 Tbsp of sugar or honey and 1 tsp of lemon juice or vinegar to add the sweet and tart flavors.
1. Pat the beef brisket with a paper towel to get rid of some of the redness from the raw meat.
2. Puree the onion in a blender or food processor. Marinade the meat with just the onion for about 10 minutes.
3. Add all the meat marinade together and mix well with the meat. Set aside for at least 20 minutes.
4. Prepare the vegetables by dicing the onion, mushroom and bell peppers.
5. Add 5 cups of water and 1 tsp of salt into the pot and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, add in the spaghetti and cook until al dente (8-10 minutes).
6. In a medium sized fry pan, add 3-4 Tbsp of olive oil and saute the minced garlic and diced onions. Once the garlic starts to give off a scent and slowly turn to tan, add in the spicy peppers.
7. Add in the marinated bulgogi and saute until about half cooked through. At this time throw in the bell peppers and shiitake mushrooms.
8. From step 4, add in the spaghetti noodles with 1/2 cup and 2 Tbsp of the pasta water with another 1 1/4 tsp of salt.
9. Once all complete, plate into two plates and add 1 Tbsp of olive oil into each bowl (2 Tbsp in total). Sprinkle a bit of parmesan cheese to your liking and enjoy!