Sunday, 21 September 2014

Slow Cooker Beef Bulgogi (Korean Beef)

Daddy Ladybug and I went to North Korea (DPRK) last summer with Koryo Tours (ya, you really can go to North Korea, it was perfectly safe!). As many of you know, my favourite part of travel is food - surprised?! The food wasn't very good there for the most part as they have such heavy sanctions that things we take for granted like spices and variety of food are not available to them. They are an extremely poor country and eat a very basic diet of rice, meat, and vegetables - only things they can grow. Everything comes from their country, it's hard to imagine that coming from a place where I can get anything I want from any country in the world. It was an eye opening trip for me to see the suffering, pride, ingenuity, and determination of a people who live in total self-sufficiency. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to meet North Koreans and to seem them as real people and not just the image we are given in our western media or by our governments.

We did have a few interesting meals along the way...Dog Soup...yup, we had to try that one. An Emperor's Meal with 12 different tiny dishes and rice served in bronze bowls (delicious and interesting), a make-your-own Hot Pot (yummmmm), a Korean BBQ, and Bulgogi. 

I've been trying to re-create the flavours of the Bulgogi we had and I think if my taste memory serves me right, I've done pretty good, it's great, my family loves it, and best of all, it's slow cooker friendly!

Slow Cooker Beef Bulgogi (Korean Beef) 
Serves 6

1.5 lb Beef Steak (sirloin or flank are good choices, but any thick cut will do)
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce or tamari
1/4 cup Beef Broth
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1 tsp Sriracha (chili sauce or 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes also work)
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp Fresh Ginger, Minced
Salt & Pepper (to taste)

2 Tbsp Cornstarch + a little water to make a paste
4 stalks Green Onion, diced
Sesame Seeds

Slice meat in thin strips & place in the bottom of the slow cooker. In a Separate Bowl, combine brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, garlic, ginger and salt & pepper. Pour over meat and stir. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.  Add Cornstarch mixed with a little water for the last 1/2 hour of cooking. Top with green onions and sesame seeds and serve with rice.

Freezer Instructions: Combine all ingredients except cornstarch, green onions and sesame seeds in a freezer bag and freeze. To use, defrost in a fridge for 24 hours. Empty contents of bag and cook as directed above.

Yum. A little taste of my travels on a cool rainy day.


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