You don’t make friends with lettuce cups… unless they are filled with meat. Try these Korean-inspired marinated flank steak bites.
The recipe calls for some uniquely Korean ingredients, including Korean chili flakes. It also uses fermented Gochujang, which (rather confusingly) can be found both as a paste and sauce. I used a sauce for this recipe, so if you’re using the paste, dilute in water according to instructions to equal the cup amount that is called for in the recipe below.
I like to serve these with a quick pickle of julienned daikon and carrots. The accompaniment is a great fresh and slightly sour contrast, so helps cut through the fat and richness of the beef.
If you can’t find flank steak, you can also substitute with flat iron, skirt or bavette/flap steaks. All these types are fairly thin and so they will cook nice and fast.
And if the meat is the star, the best supporting actor are the savory ‘crunchies’ which are sprinkled on top of the assembled ssam. ‘Crunchies’ lend a wonderful texture that also has a boost of savory flavors. I make mine with crushed peanuts, wasabi peas, rice krispies, sesame seeds and fried shallot. I put the ingredients into a ziploc bag and smash them with a mallet until they’re sprinkle-sized. Then I store them in the pantry for use on a variety of dishes – in an airtight container they are good for a few weeks.
Finally, and most importantly, I thoroughly recommend you use a decent meat thermometer to ensure you cook to perfect temperatures. It’s a small price to pay for years of quality meat cookery. I use and recommend the Thermapen.Print