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We’re Grilling Korean BBQ To Welcome The PyeongChang Winter Olympics

Every four years, we suddenly become obsessed with skiing, snowboarding, figure skating, and yes, even bobsledding. The XXIII Winter Olympics starts today in the subfreezing temperatures of PyeongChang in South Korea—and we’re officially in a Korean state of mind, at least until February 25 when the Games end. To help us get in the mood, we’re sharing Chef Him Uy de Baron’s own version of traditional Korean barbecue or gogi gui, plus some banchan or side dish recipes as well. Korean BBQ is easy enough to prepare at home, but you’ll need to source some of the Korean ingredients at your neighborhood Korean grocery. Chef Him likes to prepare the BBQ meats as ssam or wraps. Just place some meat on a lettuce or shiso leaf, add condiments like sliced garlic slivers, pickled shiitake, batons of Korean pear, BBQ dipping sauce, and wrap it up. Then enjoy your ssam with your hands, happily sitting in front of the TV watching records being broken at the Olympics.

 

Korean Spicy Chicken BBQ

 

Serves 4

  • 1 kilo chicken thigh fillets

MARINADE:

  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup Korean miso
  • 3 tablespoons gochujang (red chili paste)
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons mirin
  • 1/4 cup spring onion, sliced 2 inches long
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons Korean chili powder

1. In a saucepan, add the marinade ingredients and bring to a slow simmer. Stir and cook for 8 minutes until well combined. Transfer and let cool down for at least 15 minutes. Pour the marinade over the chicken and marinate for at least 4 hours up to 12 hours. 

2. Preheat the grill, preferably using charcoal. Cook the chicken skin side down over low heat. Cook the fillet at least 6 minutes per side, brushing with the marinade in between flipping. Place cooked chicken on a chopping board and slice 1-inch thick each. 

3. Serve with shiso leaf, lolo rossa lettuce, sliced garlic slivers, pickled shiitake, batons of Korean pear, and BBQ dipping sauce (recipe below).

 

Korean Grilled Short Ribs

 

 

Serves 4

  • 1.4 kilos beef short ribs, preferably bought from a Korean grocery to get the right cut

MARINADE:

  • 1 medium Korean pear
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup sake 
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup spring onions, sliced 2 inches long
  • 5 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil

1. Place the pear and onion in a food processor and purée, or mash by hand. Transfer to a bowl and add the rest of the marinade ingredients. Pour over the beef and let marinate for at least 4 hours up to 12 hours. 

2. Preheat the grill to medium. Cook the ribs on the grill, cooking 3 to 4 minutes per side depending on the thickness and preferred doneness. You may brush the ribs with marinade before flipping. Remove the bone and slice the ribs into 1-inch bite size chunks.

3. Serve with shiso leaf, lolo rossa lettuce, sliced garlic slivers, pickled shiitake, batons of Korean pear, and BBQ dipping sauce (recipe below).

 

Korean BBQ Dipping Sauce

Makes about 1 cup

  • 4 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1. Dissolve sugar in the soy sauce. Then mix in all the other ingredients. 

2. Serve dipping sauce with spicy chicken BBQ and grilled short ribs (recipes above).

 

 

Crunchy Sesame Beansprouts

Serves 4

  • water, enough to cover bean sprouts
  • 2 cups bean sprouts 
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce

1. Boil enough water to cover the bean sprouts. Add salt. Blanch bean sprouts for 30 seconds then shock in ice water. Drain and remove excess water. 

2. In a skillet, heat sesame oil. Toss blanched bean sprouts with sesame seeds and soy sauce.

 

Blanched Spinach

Serves 4

  • water, for boiling
  • 2 cups spinach leaves
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/4 cup BBQ dipping sauce (recipe above)

Boil enough water to cover spinach. Add salt and blanch spinach for 60 seconds. Shock in ice water and drain. Remove excess water by squeezing spinach. Toss spinach in the dipping sauce. 

 

 

A longer version of this article first appeared in FOOD Magazine, August-September 2014

Recipes by Him Uy de Baron

Photos by Terry Uy

Food styling by Angelo Comsti