I’ve always admired how my mom would take the same flavor palate that goes into her Korean cooking and incorporate it into Western dishes.
My American family and friends always LOVE my mama’s steak, and the big secret is her marinade. It is the same as the marinade for bulgogi, although the preparation is just a little less involved.
This marinade is excellent for beef, but it could also be used for chicken.
It’s only a few ingredients, and if you do any type of Asian cooking, you likely already have them in your cabinet. If not, these are all things you can find at your typical grocery store – no need to venture to the Asian food market. (However, that is encouraged for you to try from time-to-time!)
Korean foods, particularly meat dishes, perfectly hit the combo of sweet & savory. This marinade does the same. Now, many Korean recipes use sugar and my mom makes no exception, but since many of us try to reduce cane sugar intake, you can use freshly pureed fruits as an alternative. We’ve recommended Asian pear or kiwi, but you’re if you’re in a pinch you could even use apple or pineapple. To get the flavor right, you could use a sugar substitute like stevia or erythritol; however, it doesn’t have the same effect in tenderizing the meat.
Here it is – for every 1 lb of meat, mix these ingredients into a dish:
4 Tablespoons of soy sauce or coconut aminos
4 Tablespoons of water
2 Tablespoons of sesame oil, split
½ Teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons of sugar (or for a healthier option, put ½ of an Asian pear or ½ of a ripe kiwi into a food processor and add)
2-3 Garlic cloves, smashed and chopped (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder if you’re out of garlic)
Mix all of the ingredients into the bowl except for 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Add the meat and cover in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight. Right before cooking, add the last tablespoon of sesame oil so the flavor really comes through.
Before your next barbecue, try shaking things up with a little Korean inspiration! 맛있게 드세요! (Bon appetit!)
Mama Chong's Meat Marinade
Delicious, Korean-inspired meat marinade for beef or chicken.
- 4 Tablespoons of soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 4 Tablespoons of water
- 2 Tablespoons of sesame oil, split
- ½ Teaspoon black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons of sugar (or ½ of an Asian pear or ½ of a ripe kiwi pureed)
- 2-3 Garlic cloves, smashed and chopped (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
Place all ingredients into mixing bowl before adding meat. Let marinate for at least 1 hour, overnight if possible.
Right before cooking, add the last tablespoon of sesame oil.