With the Winter Games happening earlier this year, Amanda and I wanted to celebrate those South Korean flavors much like we did with the Summer Games in Brazil. There’s nothing quite like taking a huge bite of delicious food from the comfort of your couch while watching athletes in their physical prime work their hardest for gold. I know bulgogi is one of the best known foods from Korea, but to me it does have a special place in my heart.
Back when my preferences were only for chicken nuggets and french fries, my parents had a favorite sandwich place near our house that specialized in bulgogi sub sandwiches. They would often treat themselves to a foot-long and the aromas would permeate the air in the car as they brought them back home, often lingering for days. While anything with such a name I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole at the time, I remember loving that smell. Years later when my eyes were opened to the deliciousness of bulgogi, I still lament that I never had the chance to try that sub (and duh, anything that smells that great should taste so amazing). With this theming, this seemed like the perfect chance to create my version! I’ve come a long way since then; I mean I even added vegetables voluntarily! The fresh crunch of the veggies with the bold flavors of the mayonnaise and bulgogi really make this sandwich a memorable treat and I encourage you to try your own, even though the games are long over now.
- 2 lbs of thinly sliced sirloin or ribeye*
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 3 tbsp minced garlic cloves
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 1/2 onion, diced (4 green onions also work)
- Black pepper
*If you can’t find thinly sliced beef, you can pop your preferred cut into the freezer for 30 minutes and then slice as thinly as you can manage.
- Whisk together all of the marinade ingredients and pour over the beef in a shallow dish or zip-top bag. Allow to marinate for at least one hour, ideally overnight.
- When you are ready to cook, heat a skillet over medium-high heat and remove the beef from the marinade. Sear the beef in batched so as not to overcrowd the pan, until the beef is cooked through. At this point, bulgogi can be enjoyed over rice, as part of another dish or in the sandwich we’re making here.
Mayonnaise* Ingredients :
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 tsp gochujujang
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup grapeseed oil
- 1 cup olive oil
- Up to 2 tbsp water
- Using a food processor, combine the lemon juice, egg yolk, gochujang and grapeseed oil. Process on low until you have a thick consistency and the color has lightened.
- With the processor on low (you can also use a whisk), drizzle the olive oil in slowly to create an emulsion. This might take a few minutes. Once the oil is combined, the color has lightened further and you have a mayonnaise consistency you are ready for use. Add in the water to achieve your desired consistency, and add salt to taste. Allow to sit at room temperature for an hour or so and then you can store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
*If the idea of raw eggs isn’t your game, you can always try mixing gochujang with some store-bought mayo, proportions to your taste.
- Baguette or bread of your choice, although I’d recommend a sturdy one.
- Shredded carrots (I used slices made with a peeler but the pre-shredded ones could work as well)
- Mild onions, or you could try a quick pickled onion recipe
- Thinly sliced cucumber
- I like to spread a layer of the mayonnaise on the bottom half of the bread, topped with the lettuce to keep it in place. Then add your carrots, cucumber, beef and finally onions. Top with more mayonnaise if desired, add your top half of bread, and enjoy!
Wine Pairing: I think a Pinot Noir would go well with the beef as well as stand up to the spicy mayo. Enjoy!