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!

Nam Prik Kapi

Many of you may or may not have heard of Nam Prik Kapi. I was introduced to this funky Thai spicy shrimp paste dip years ago so I thought I would share it with you. Some of these ingredients may be foreign to you, especially the Thai shrimp paste (and trust me this stuff is funky but awesome).

Nam Prik Kapi Recipe
Nam Prik Kapi Recipe

The ingredients are minimal, but the flavor impact is something out of this world. A pestle and mortar works best for this, and I have not tried using a food processor, but feel free if you decide to make this recipe.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 15-20 Thai bird chili peppers, stems removed
  • 1 head of garlic, skin removed
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar (or light brown sugar if you do not have any)
  • 3 tbsp Thai shrimp paste
  • 2 whole shallots, skins removed, lightly chopped

As with many Thai dishes, you need to balance out the sour, spice, and bitterness. This one uses 20 Thai chilies, which if you can imagine is going to make it pretty spicy, but that’s how I like it. The goal here is to come up with a light and loose paste, nothing majorly thick.

Start by pounding your garlic, chilies, and shallots in a mortar and pestle. Your goal is to make a paste. This is the labor intensive part, as it takes about 10-15 minutes and will use some arm strength. Once you have a paste, add the shrimp paste and palm sugar, and continue pounding. I find it best to use a spoon along with the pestle to lift from the bottom and keep pounding.

Nam Prik Paki Recipe
Nam Prik Paki Recipe

The final step is to add the juice of the limes. Add enough lime juice to ensure a loose paste. Add more lime juice if you have to.

Now taste and adjust. It will be spicy. It will be tangy. It will be a bit funky.

Serve this alongside fried fish, omelettes, or lightly steamed vegetables. This stores nicely as well, and a little goes a long way. If you are looking for something new to try, give this one a shot. It’s probably one of Thai’s more famous dipping sauces. Hope you enjoy!

 

Enfrijoladas

Enfrijoladas. What the heck are enfrijoladas? I know this is something you probably never see on a menu, but these are essentially enchiladas, that have the corn tortillas dipped in a black bean puree, stuffed, rolled, and baked and are they ever so good. This is comfort food at its finest, and is not only easy to put together but super delicious. I’m always on a mission to get my wife and kids to not only try something new, but to also affirm that they really do like an ingredient whether they refuse to or not, and in this case, black beans. The picture is not the prettiest, but the flavor makes up for it. I stuffed mine with cheese and chicken, but you can roll them anyway you so desire.

Enfrijoladas Recipe
Enfrijoladas Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo (use 1-2 more if you like it spicy)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 2 chicken breasts, poached, and shredded
  • 1 whole onion, diced
  • 1 whole jalapeno, seeds removed, diced
  • 3 cups of monterray jack cheese
  • 12 corn tortillas, warmed and covered
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Mexican crema, optional
  • Cilantro, choppped, optional
  • 1 lime, quartered, optional

Start by making your black  bean puree. This is the real deal for this particular enfrijoladas recipe. To a blender, or food processor, add the beans, chicken stock, chipotle peppers, garlic, and salt. Blend until you have a smooth mixture that is not too thick, and not too thin. You want it to be almost like a thicker soup like a pea soup.

Add some of the black bean mixture to the bottom of a casserole dish, much like you would if you were making a lasagna. Pour the remaining puree into a bowl and dunk a corn tortilla into the black beans. Lay the tortilla in the casserole dish, add some chicken, onion, jalapeno, and cheese, and roll, keep the seal side down. Repeat, and compact those tortillas to fit as many as you can. I have to feed five, so I always think 2-3 per person.

Ingredients for Mexican Enfrijoladas
Ingredients for Mexican Enfrijoladas

Top with any remaining sauce (there should be plenty left over), and top with any remaining cheese.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes.

Scoop out, the best you can, the enfrijoladas, shower with some lime juice, crema, avocado cubes, and some fresh cilantro and dig in. It looks like a black bean puree mystery but once you dig in you will find out what all of this mystery is about. It’s good, real good, and for those in my family that said they did not like black beans, well, they were shoveling this into their mouths. Hope you enjoy!

Enfrijoladas Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo (use 1-2 more if you like it spicy)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 2 chicken breasts, poached, and shredded
  • 1 whole onion, diced
  • 1 whole jalapeno, seeds removed, diced
  • 3 cups of monterray jack cheese
  • 12 corn tortillas, warmed and covered
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Mexican crema, optional
  • Cilantro, choppped, optional
  • 1 lime, quartered, optional
Instructions
  1. Start by making your black bean puree. This is the real deal for this particular enfrijoladas recipe. To a blender, or food processor, add the beans, chicken stock, chipotle peppers, garlic, and salt. Blend until you have a smooth mixture that is not too thick, and not too thin. You want it to be almost like a thicker soup like a pea soup.
  2. Add some of the black bean mixture to the bottom of a casserole dish, much like you would if you were making a lasagna. Pour the remaining puree into a bowl and dunk a corn tortilla into the black beans. Lay the tortilla in the casserole dish, add some chicken, onion, jalapeno, and cheese, and roll, keep the seal side down. Repeat, and compact those tortillas to fit as many as you can. I have to feed five, so I always think 2-3 per person.
  3. Top with any remaining sauce (there should be plenty left over), and top with any remaining cheese.
  4. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes.
  5. Scoop out, the best you can, the enfrijoladas, shower with some lime juice, crema, avocado cubes, and some fresh cilantro and dig in.

 

Indian Style Spiced and Glazed Cashews

I thought of just posting photos of food, but that would just be Instagram or Facebook, right? There is a rhyme to my reason, and that being said is to have this as part of my virtual memoir for my family. It’s part of that story where one of them is going to say ‘what was that awesome food Dad made that one day?’. That’s what this is about. This particular is only due to the fact that I went to Costco (yep) and purchased a crap load of cashews. Not only were they great sampling, hence why I bought them, but I figured I was going to create something out of them. When I brought them home, my wife started snacking on them, like her daily dose of almonds. I knew I made the right decision, so when my family left to run errands, I decided to come up with a spiced up cashew snack that I knew she would love (my kids, not so much).  Indian style spiced and glazed cashews that were addicting.

Indian Spiced and Glazed Cashews Recipe
Indian Spiced and Glazed Cashews Recipe

Let’s get this started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of plain cashews
  • 3 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp curry powder (make your own)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup of water

Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees.

Next, on a medium heat on a large skillet, add the butter, and sugar. Toss in the water and nuts and cook on medium heat for about 7 minutes. You want the water to pretty much evaporate, and the butter and sugar to caramelize those nuts.

Indian Spiced and Glazed Cashews Recipe
Indian Spiced and Glazed Cashews Recipe

Excellente. Toss those suckers as well as you don’t want those cashews to burn. Adjust the heat as necessary but keep them from burning.

Once you have a great glaze on those cashews, remove them from the heat, and add them to a large bowl (or whatever holds the amount of cashews) and toss in the spice mix.

Toss well, or use a spoon to make sure the glaze and spice gets all over those nuts.

Line a baking sheet, or in my case a cast iron skillet, with parchment paper, and layer the spiced cashews.

Place into the oven and cook for about 12-15 minutes or until they look delicious and you cannot wait any longer.

You want to talk about great Indian spices, and an awesome nut, well sit around a small bowl of these and you have it going on. I hope you enjoy!