The secret to tender charred Korean beef is a marinade with nashi pear. Thinly sliced beef, cabbage, kimchi and Asian herbs are wrapped in soft lettuce leaves. Serve all of the ingredients at the table so everyone can make their own wraps. You can even use a tabletop grill and let them cook their own marinated beef slices.
600g (1.3 lb) centre-cut beef eye fillet
2 tbsp brown sugar
¼ cup light soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
2 tbsp finely grated nashi pear
2 tbsp mirin*
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp black sesame seeds
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
¼ cup sliced spring onion
1 red oak or butter lettuce, leaves separated
finely shredded cabbage, to serve
perilla leaves* or mint leaves, to serve
bean shoots, to serve
kimchi, to serve*
Wrap the beef in cling film and place in the freezer for 30 minutes then cut into 5mm thick slices. Use your fingers to press and flatten each piece of beef to about 2.5mm.
In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, nashi pear, mirin, sesame oil, sesame seeds and pepper. Add beef slices and toss to coat. Set aside to marinate for 20-30 minutes.
Heat a non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the vegetable oil and add the beef. Cook on one side until liquid evaporates and beef caramelises. Turn beef slices over and cook for a further minute. Transfer beef to a serving platter and top with spring onion.
To serve, place the beef, lettuce leaves, cabbage, perilla or mint leaves, bean shoots and kimchi in the middle of the table for everyone to make their own lettuce wraps.
– Mirin is a Japanese rice wine.
– Perilla is a herb with a minty, anise flavour but it can be difficult to find so use mint instead if it’s unavailable.
– Mirin, perilla leaves and kimchi are available from Asian supermarkets.
Tips & Tricks:
– Putting the beef in the freezer makes it firmer, which means it’s easier to slice thinly.
– If you’ve got a tabletop grill you can have your guests cook their own beef just like in a Korean BBQ restaurant.
– Slices of chicken or pork can be used instead of beef.