But most Korean restaurants here don't do steamed cabbage as an option of wrapping your meats. We've seen the dduhk (thinly sliced rice cake), the moo (thinly sliced radish), the ssangchoo (red leaf lettuce) but no steamed cabbage, which is a pity because it is simply so good. Steamed cabbage is slightly sweet so it really goes well with bulgogi as well as other Korean marinated meats. (Spicy pork or just pork belly with steamed cabbage is also great.)
Bulgogi Marinating Mini Lesson
Korean beef is generally based on a good marinade and if you have a good one, you can do a lot of things with it. The following marinade can be used to marinate , which then can be grilled and sliced across the grain for a really nice meat; flank steak, kalbi, or bulgoki can all use this marinade. Another trick to marinating and saving time - it doesn't hurt to do MORE and actually the effort to do more is well worth it - because it doesn't actually take more time to marinate more meat. I usually do a triple portion, and then I have enough to freeze two packs of whatever (kalbi, bulgogi or flank) and then I can quickly defrost it if I want to make something with it in the next month or so. So when you buy your meat, just buy extra with the thought that you'll freeze some to have ready for a quick meal later.
for about 3-4lbs of meat (easily doubled)
1/2 cup soy
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sake
2 T minced garlic (or more if you like it more garlicky)
1/4 green onions finely chopped
Mix all the marinade ingredients together. Have a clean storage container ready and dip each slice of bulgogi into the marinade and place into your storage container. Continue until you are done with all the beef.
There are two fry pan methods of cooking the beef - one that gives you lots of extra liquid (which husband LOVES) and one that gives you no liquid and just a really flavorful beef (which is what I love.) The liquid saucy version means that you have to cook the beef in a cold fry pan. Put the beef in a fry pan and then turn on the heat and cook it over medium heat until done.
The non-saucy, more caramelized version means that you start the beef in a HOT fry pan. Heat up your fry pan and then place the slices in there and cook over medium high heat, quickly until it is all cooked through.
It's a bit odd to me to be explaining how to steam cabbage, but if you've never cut one up to steam, it can be a bit strange. How do you cut it? What do you do with it? I thought I'd just show some pictures and explain.
Cut your cabbage head in quarters (with the core on the bottom.)
For the prettiest leaves, tear out the middle section of the cabbage as the leaves aren't flat and they are somewhat curly and not smooth. If you aren't concerned about it, don't worry - you can just use it all. If you want it to look more refined, remove the center core and use it in fried rice. Separate the leaves and steam in a steamer for at least TEN MINUTES. (sometimes it can take longer - you want the leaves to be nice and tender)