I pretended this was a Korean sloppy joe: rich salty beef in lettuce cups. The lettuce I had on hand wasn't very cup-like, so combine that with Ben's rather caveman-like manners and that's why I picked up my camera.
I don't know if this recipe bears a resemblance to something that Koreans eat, but it is wonderful and easy and a change from the usual. I served it with jasmine rice (with some bulgur thrown in for health) and steamed snow peas; we also sprinkled some cilantro on top of the beef because I was trying to use up a bunch. I have some Thai basil in the garden which would be excellent here, too.
We all loved this beef, except for my husband who was away over dinnertime for work. After I stopped raving about how good it was, I promised him that I will make Korean beef often.
Also, I just adore this kind of cool crunchy salad element with hot rice and a rich meat. Proof: lettuce-tomato beef, cabbage and ham salad, and another meal that I see I haven't blogged about. It is meatballs, rice, chopped-what-have-you-Asian-veggies, and lime mayo. Oh! And Vietnamese rice noodle salad! I will cook and photograph and blog, I promise.
Easy Korean Beef - serves 4; adapted from Jennifer and from here
1 lb. ground beef
3 large garlic cloves, chopped fine
Add 2 tsp. sesame oil if your beef is very lean. Otherwise add it with the sauce.
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2" segment of fresh ginger, chopped fine
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 tsp. cornstarch
When beef is browned and broken up, turn heat to low and whisk in the sauce. Continue to cook over low and stir until sauce is clinging to beef and hot through, several minutes.
Turn off heat and stir in:
3 spring onions, diced
Serve warm or hot on rice or in lettuce cups.
The original recipe called for low-sodium soy sauce. I don't keep that on hand because I love salt. But the resulting beef is salty.
I have grassfed beef, so it's very lean. If your beef is fatty and you mind it, drain the fat from the pan after you saute the beef and garlic.