I was talking to a close friend of mine who mentioned how much she loved Jang JoLim (Korean Soy Stewed Beef 장조림) but had no idea really how to make it. She knew the basic ingredients but had no idea about proportions or technique, so here I am with a mini-lesson on this great, basic side dish. This one is a great one to have around in your house because it lasts for a while, and for those of you with kids, it's great to mix up with hot rice and have almost an instant meal. Just add some green vegetables on the side. Old school Korean folk will tell you that the stewing liquid, mixed with hot rice and a freshly cracked egg is one of heaven's delights. My girls love it mixed with their rice and sometimes I mix it with rice and just throw in some sauteed spinach and it's an impromptu bibimbap.
For a quick vocabulary lesson, for those of you who are curious about exactly what this means. Jang - is from soy sauce (ganjang) and Jo Lim - means to REDUCE (as in the reduction of liquid.) So you have a soy reduction, which is essentially what the beef is cooked in. And you thought only the French did reductions of sauces! HA! I don't want to call this a beef stew, because Kalbi Ggim is more of that but the beef is cooked in a reduction of soy sauce and then served.
It is incredibly simple and straightforward, and having this in your fridge will probably mean that you can throw a meal together quicker than you had expected.
Jang Jo Lim 장조림 - Korean Soy Stewed Beef
(recipe can be halved)
1 lb flank steak, cut into 2 inch square portions
1 1/4 cups of water
1 cup of reduced sodium soy sauce (Kikoman with the green lid)
10 cloves of garlic (or less, but my kids LOVE eating it)
1 jalapeno (optional - for a slight bit of heat, but I leave this out when cooking for the kids)
4 eggs, optional
1. Soak cut flank steak pieces in cold water for at least 45 minutes. This is to drain out the blood. You'll notice the water getting pinker. Doing this step means you WILL NOT have to skim off yucky beef foam, and your soy sauce reduction at the end will be clean with no sediment. (A much more attractive reduction)
2. While flank is soaking, boil 4 eggs. In a pot, place eggs in cold water. Bring eggs to a rolling boil then REMOVE from the heat. Allow to rest in the heated water for 10 minutes. Drain and add cold water to the pot. Peel eggs. Set aside.
3. After 45 minutes drain flank steak. In a heavy saucepan add water, soy sauce, garlic, jalapeno (optional) and flank steak pieces. Place on high heat and bring to a hard boil with UNCOVERED. Once it boils, then cover and reduce the heat to a low simmer, and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Add boiled, peeled eggs to the pot. Cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
4. Remove from heat. With a chopstick, poke a piece of beef. The chopstick should go through very easily. If it doesnt, place back on heat and cook for an additional 5 minutes. When it has cooled enough, shred a piece of beef with your fingers into small pieces. Place on serving plate. Cut one egg into beautiful slices. Place onto plate. Pour a bit of the soy reduction sauce on top of the beef and serve.
5. The remainder put in an airtight container UNCOVERED and allow to cool. You will notice a layer of fat solidifying. Remove it. Then store in the refrigerator. Will keep for 1 week.
Flank pieces in a pot after having been soaked in cold water.
Flank pieces with soy and water. Enough liquid to cover all the pieces of meat.