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updated: 6/14/2011 1:54 PM

Korean Barbecued Beef

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  • It's yin. It's yang. And it's delicious: Korean Barbecued Beef from Nina Simond's "A Spoonful of Ginger."

      It's yin. It's yang. And it's delicious: Korean Barbecued Beef from Nina Simond's "A Spoonful of Ginger."
    Courtesy of Knopf


1 pounds boneless sirloin steak, trimmed of fat and gristle

cup soy sauce

⅓ cup rice wine or sake

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon hot chile paste, optional, see note

8 whole scallions, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch lengths

1 head Boston lettuce, rinsed and drained

Cut the beef, with the grain, into long strips about 1 inches wide, and place in a bowl.

Mix together the soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, garlic, sesame oil, pepper and chile paste (if using). Add one-third of this mixture to the beef, tossing lightly to coat. Cover and let marinate for at least 1 hour at room temperature, or longer in the refrigerator.

Mix the remaining one-third of the mixture with the scallions, and place in a saucepan. Bring to a boil for one minute, stirring often. Set aside.

Separate the lettuce leaves, trim the stems, and lightly flatten the leaves with the broad side of a knife or a cleaver. Arrange in a serving bowl.

Prepare a medium-hot grill. Remove the meat from the marinade, discard the marinade, and grill the meat 3 to 4 minutes per side, until medium-rare. Alternatively, cook on a lightly oiled, very hot skillet for about 2 minutes per side. Cut the meat across the grain into thin slices. Reheat the sauce with the scallions, and pour into a serving bowl.

To eat: Each diner arranges several meat slices on a lettuce leaf, spoons some of the sauce on top, folds the leaf over, and eats the bundle with the fingers.

Serves six.

Cook's note: Hot chile paste is sold in many supermarkets, sometimes as "chile paste with garlic."

"A Spoonful of Ginger" by Nina Simonds (2011 Knopf)

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