Learning Kitchen: Meal Prep/Planning – Korean BBQ

Part of the idea behind eating healthy is making our own food, but it’s also a lot about eating food that is good for us. While red meat isn’t equivalent to fish or chicken in terms of healthfulness, it’s a lot better than bacon and hot dogs. Korean BBQ is a favorite meal with us, and when I focus on the meat and veggies rather than heaping servings of rice, I find that I feel better and more energetic the next day than after anything with pasta or potatoes.

Making Korean BBQ at home requires little to no real skill, save for cooking the meat without burning it. Buying the meat pre-cut from a good Asian butcher cuts prep time by over half – all you have to do is handle the side dishes (banchan), if any, plus any sauces and rice. I chose boneless short rib for our meal, as I find it juicier and more flavorful than other common cuts found at our local Korean butcher.

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I marinated a third of the meat in sesame oil, fresh cracked pepper, and water, and the other in a soy sauce-ginger-scallion-mirin-garlic mixture, seeking to recreate the classic yangnyeom-galbi (marinated short ribs) flavor that we love, but without the fruit or sugar found in most recipes.

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Cooking all the meat on our flat cast iron griddle left each piece tender, juicy, and seared nicely with just the right amount of char. I put some black pepper and kosher salt in a small bowl with sesame oil for one sauce, then used the sauce the butcher gave me for another (spicy-sweet) sauce. We also had kimchi, some rice, and leftover chigae for a super yummy meal at home.

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All told, it was about 562 calories each, which is pretty good – we felt as though we’d indulged without actually doing so. Perfect!

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