Korean Bulgogi Lettuce Wraps

If you have never had Korean bulgogi, essentially super tender and delicious pieces of thinly sliced beef or pork, marinated and grilled, well, then you have got something to look forward to. Korean bulgogi, in a sense, reminds of of Filipino barbecue (another favorite in this house), and something that is not only easy to make, but something that everyone loves.

You can use Korean bulgogi served over rice, on tacos, quesadillas, and in my case lettuce wraps.

Korean Bulgogi Lettuce Wraps
Korean Bulgogi Lettuce Wraps

Let’s get started.

Ingredients for the marinade:

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 whole onion, finely minced or grated
  • 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium sized gala apple, skin removed, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 whole stalks of green onions, ends trimmed, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 2 lbs beef sirloin, thinly sliced on the bias
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds

Ingredients for the Lettuce Wraps:

  • 1 head of bib lettuce
  • 1 bag of coleslaw
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • Cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper thinly sliced and sauteed (optional)
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced and sauteed (optional)

Start by blending the following:

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 whole onion, finely minced or grated
  • 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium sized gala apple, skin removed, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dark sesame oil

Take this mixture, and marinate the beef into a mixing bowl, and mix well. Next add in the green onions, sesame seeds, and mix well. Marinate this mixture for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.

Korean Bulgogi Ingredients
Korean Bulgogi Ingredients

The following day, remove the beef marinade, and let it come to a bit of room temperature, just something to knock the chill off.

I like to grill my Korean bulgogi, but all means you can do this on large skillet. I just like the additional flavor from the grill.

Get your grill going. Once the grill is nice and hot, add the beef slices and cook until about medium. These will go quickly. As you can see I had my oldest manning the grill. Place the cooked slices of beef in a bowl, and repeat until all of the beef is cooked.

Korean Bulgogi Ingredients
Korean Bulgogi Ingredients

Form your lettuce wraps by taking a piece of lettuce, add in a piece or two of beef, tuck in some cucumbers, slaw, onions and peppers, and dig in. You want to talk about beef that is loaded with flavor and is perfect for summertime grilling, well this is the one. Hope you enjoy!

Sesame Fried Bologna Sandwich

You know that time when no one is around and you are the only one home, and hungry to boot? Well, when that happens to me, I often come up with some crazy thing to eat, and this sesame fried bologna sandwich is no exception. For one, I am a huge fan of a fried bologna sandwich, and one that needs to get more attention on menus, and when you add a twist of sesame oil, and a great bagel, well then you are are in for pure pleasure.

Sesame Fried Bologna Sandwich Recipe
Sesame Fried Bologna Sandwich Recipe

Let’s get started.

  • 1 1/2 thick inch of beef bologna
  • 1 tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 1 whole shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 slices of yellow American cheese
  • 1 onion bagel, or thick slices of bread, toasted
  • pickled onions, optional but trust me, they make this sandwich pop

Start by heating a skillet on medium heat. Add the bologna and get a nice sear on one side. Lower the heat a bit, and add the sliced shallots. Next, drizzle the sesame oil on and around the bologna. After you have achieved a nice sear, flip over, cooking the onions and cook for about 5 minutes on medium-low heat.

Sesame Fried Bologna Sandwich Recipe
Sesame Fried Bologna Sandwich Recipe

Add the slices of American cheese, cover and let the cheese melt. During this time, toast your bagel.

Once the cheese has melted, add the bologna onto the bagel, top with pickled red onions (if using), and dig in. Yes, I’m a bit guilty of having this as one of those defined ‘closet sandwiches’ where you devour the heck out of it when no one is looking.

I loved everything about this creation. The subtleness of the sesame oil, along with those shallots and pickled onions, whoa, stop me now. This was a real winner, so the next time you are at the deli, don’t forget to get a slab of bologna and give this one a shot. Enjoy!

Thai Style Beef Jerky

My kids go nuts over beef jerky, or heck any type of jerky for that matter. It almost sits on the fence of borderline ridiculous as if they have a bag of eat, they pretty much would devour the entire bag, and let’s face it, beef jerky is not that cheap. With that being said, I wanted to introduce them to a Thai style beef jerky that you often find in Asian markets, homemade to say the least. Thai style beef jerky, in my opinion, is a bit sweeter and is lightly coated with sesame seeds. Not only that but once dried, it is lightly fried giving it a wonderful chew. My kids don’t know it yet, but this stuff is a great game day snack and pairs perfectly with a cold beer. (Note, I don’t have the final photo as my kids pretty much devoured the entire batch. Regardless, you get the idea from the photos, I hope.)

Thai Style Beef Jerky Recipe
Thai Style Beef Jerky Recipe

Let’s get started.

  • 2 lbs of beef eye of round roast, or something lean
  • 1 head of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp Maggi seasoning
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • .5 oz of sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup canola oil

Start by trimming any fat away from the beef. Once removed, thinly slice the beef into about 1/8 inch slices, not too thin, but definitely not too thick. I find it best to lightly freeze the beef before slicing, and using a sharp knife as well.

To a mixing bowl, add the ginger, sugar, garlic, salt, Maggi seasoning, soy sauce, and sesame seeds. Add in the beef, and using both hands, mix really, really well. Wash those hands, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to marinate overnight.

The following day, preheat your oven to the lowest temperature. Mine only goes down to 170, and that is fine. You can also air dry this, laying the beef on your oven racks, and using a fan to constantly blow air on them. Or, you can use your food dehydrator if you have one. I don’t, but really, really want one.

Take your oven racks out. I used all three of mine, and lay the beef along the racks. Some of my cuts were shorter, others longer, but just make sure they are not touching one another, and that they lay on the rack. This can be a bit messy, so I laid paper towel on my counter to make cleaning up a bit easier.

Carefully place the racks back into the oven, and slowly cook these for about 3-5 hours on low and until they are the texture of beef jerky.

When you are ready to make them, after the jerky phase, heat a medium skillet on medium heat, adding the oil, and place however many pieces of jerky that can fit, into the heated oil, and lightly fry for a few minutes per side. Remove, place onto some paper towel, repeat, and then dig in.

My kids were so stoked, not only that there was almost an endless amount of jerky, but a new jerky at that. The sweetness from the sugar, and that balance of ginger and garlic really make this jerky a real winner. Hope you enjoy, and if you want to donate a dehydrator for me, that would be awesome! Kidding.

Mexican Tlayuda

I know what you may  be thinking right off the start. T-what? Tlayuda. It’s essentially Mexican street food, in particular of the pizza descent. Think of great Mexican ingredients loaded onto a cooked, large flour tortilla. This is typically street food, and good Lord is it ever good, and fun to eat. This is a popular snack food, but let me tell you, it can be turned into a meal depending on the ingredients you put onto it. Typically a single tortilla, I was super hungry and decided I would go full force and make this a ‘double tlayuda’. Think of it as an open faced pizzadilla. You can make these with all sorts of your favorite proteins, but I wanted chorizo, a classic Mexcican ingredient, and in particular on the tlayuda. The classic uses some drizzle of lard, but I’m not into that as I am getting enough from smashed black beans cooked in some oil, garlic, and onions.

Mexican Tlayuda Pizza Recipe
Mexican Tlayuda Pizza Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large flour tortillas (You can use one if you prefer)
  • 15 oz can of black beans, drained, cooked, lightly mashed
  • Approximately 1 cup of Mexican chorizo, fat strained, and cooked until a bit dry
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of raw slaw
  • 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • your favorite hot sauce or salsa
  • 1/2 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz bag monterray jack cheese

Start by getting a small pot on the stove on medium heat. Add in the oil, then toss in the onions, cooking a few minutes until lightly softe

Mexican Tlayuda Pizza Ingredients
Mexican Tlayuda Pizza Ingredients

ned, then add in the garlic. After about a minute, toss in the black beans and water. Cook for about 15 minutes on medium to medium-low heat. Once the beans have softened a bit, use a fork, or potato masher, and start to mash the beans. I do not go for a few refried blend on these as I like some texture from the beans. Go about 50/50 on that mash.

OK, next step. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take a flour tortilla, smear some black beans on it, some cheese, and some jalapenos to your liking, (again I  used two on this one as a stack), and place it on a sheet pan and place in the preheated oven. Cook for about 2 minutes, just to cook it slightly to lightly brown.  Once the cheese is slightly melted, remove from the oven.

Stack another tortilla on top. Gently press. Add enough bean mash to lightly coat the the entire top tortilla, then a generous amount of cheese to cover the top, then more jalapenos (if ou desire). Spread the cooked chorizo all over the top tortilla, along with a generous amount of cheese, and place back into the oven. Cook until the cheese is nice and melted, the tortilla nicely browned, and then remove.

Once you remove, shower with some of the raw coleslaw, fresh cilantro, and drizzle your favorite salsa or hot sauce.

Now you can fold this, or you can slice into wedges. I’m a wedge man. Wedges are good.

Mexican Tlayuda Pizza
Mexican Tlayuda Pizza

Holy Moly. If you think about this all together, well you are going to drool. When you eat it, it makes you want to be alone and devour the whole thing so no one is looking. It’s so good, and something that should probably come off the street and onto Mexican restaurant menus. Spice, cheese, crisp, soft, veg. What’s not to love. Make it (stacked or not), and I’m sure you will love it. Enjoy!