Friday, December 4, 2009

It's Raining Bulgogi

Have you seen
Ninja Assassin yet? This movie is NOT for the faint of heart, possibly the most violent movie I've ever seen, with buckets of blood and severed body parts flying everywhere. Gratuitous violence is not typically my thing, but I owed hubby Kris a movie after I forced him to watch New Moon (the 2nd movie in the Twilight series) with me last week.

While the plot kinda sucked and the supporting actors were really annoying, I found myself completely captivated by the lead actor, Korean R&B/pop mega-star
Rain (in his first starring role in an American movie). Although his lines were minimal and consisted mostly of 5-words-or-less sentences, I couldn't ignore his magnetic on-screen presence, although hubby would argue that I was just mesmerized by his sexy abs (hubba hubba). Seriously, Rain's body is SICK in this movie (I'm talkin' zero percent body fat, people!)

I guess I must've been living under a rock or something because prior to watching Ninja Assassin, I'd never even heard of Rain, who apparently is one of the biggest stars in Asia. He's also a frequent player on the
Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world - currently ranked #9, right below the Pope!

Over the past few years, Rain's been involved in a heated 'rivalry' with his Time 100 arch-nemesis, political satirist/comedian
Stephen Colbert. Check out the Colbert/Rain rivalry in this hilarious video from Comedy Central (be sure to stick around till the end of the clip for a dramatic 'Dance Off' between Rain and Colbert):

The Colbert Report
Stephen vs. Rain
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor

So wait a minute, isn't this blog normally about food? Hold on, I'm getting to it...

A couple days ago I had a sudden craving for
bulgogi so I decided to make it for dinner that night. I haven't made bulgogi at home in a very long time, so of course hubby got a little suspicious and accused me of craving Korean food only because I had "Rain on the brain". LOL! Guilty as charged :)

(Ninja Assassin-style, inspired by Rain)


4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/3rd cup soy sauce
3 Tbsp brown sugar
Juice from 1/2 of an Asian pear, grated
2 Tbsp mirin
2 Tbsp dark sesame oil
1/2 red onion**, roughly chopped

1 - 1 1/2 lbs thinly sliced ribeye steak***
2 tsp vegetable oil
splash of Coca-cola****
cornstarch slurry, 1 tsp cornstarch mixed with 1 Tbsp of cold water (optional)*****


Puree marinade ingredients till smooth in a food processor or blender.******

Place sliced ribeye into a gallon-sized ziploc bag and pour marinade over. Tighly seal bag and lightly 'massage' the marinade into the meat. Marinate for at least 4 hours, refrigerated, flipping the bag over half way through the marinating time.

Drain excess marinade from ribeye. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet/frying pan over medium-high heat. Stir fry for 3- 5 minutes till meat is is almost cooked through and edges start to caramelize a bit (if your pan isn't large enough, fry in two batches to avoid over crowding, you don't want to end up boiling the meat).

When meat is almost cooked, throw in a splash of coca-cola for some extra sweetness and flavor and let simmer for a minute.

If using the cornstarch slurry, add now and simmer for another minute.

Serve immediately, over white rice. Or make a bulgogi lettuce wrap with Boston lettuce, white rice, and a dab of Asian chili sauce (
kochujang, sriracha, or chili garlic sauce).


*this is not meant to be an authentic version of bulgogi, just a yummy one :)
**traditional bulgogi recipes usually use green onions/scallions but I find sometimes that gives the bulgogi an grassy unappetizing flavor so I use red onions instead
***I buy razor-thin frozen slices of ribeye at my Asian food market, if you can't find it pre-sliced, freeze your steak for 10 minutes to make it easier to slice thinly
****I just happened to have coca-cola around so I thought "Why not?!" Actually this isn't really that strange because I've seen people marinate their meat in 7-up or cola before!
*****totally non-traditional, but I like to thicken and shine up my sauce a bit with cornstarch, but you can leave the sauce thin and it'll still be delicious
******I puree the marinade because I hate having garlic or onion chunks in the finished product



Heavenly Housewife said...

Looks beautiful :). I love it that u put cola in it, how cool. Nothing wrong with making something traditional in a non-traditional way. My mother in law is the best cook i know and she uses things like mashed potato flakes to make shami tikis. Nobody makes them better.
So, if hubby gets to eat bulgogi when you see Rain, does that mean he might start liking him? :D

KennyT said...

Rain! Rain Rain Rain!! I wonder if you got Kris' approval before posting this blog post, hahahaha.

Jenn said...

Hahahaha....I love Colbert. Hilarious video. Yeah..that Rain fellow is big in the Philippines, too. My cousins are nuts for him.

Awesome bulgogi!!!

Phyllis said...

Heavenly Housewife: Yeah, the addition of cola makes it so ninja-badass ;) After the initial jealousy, hubby is slowly warming up to Rain, especially if I keep him well fed. And with Kris being a white-boy rapper/freestyle dancer extraordinaire, he can't NOT respect someone who's in the same industry LOL.

Kenny: RAAAAAAAAAAIN!!!!! Nope, Kris got to read it at the same time as everyone else (all 3 of you, LOL)

Jenn: Thanks! But you failed to mention whether you too are nuts for Rain, lol ;)

OysterCulture said...

I had no idea where you were going when you started with Rain - thought you had changed the format for your blog, but I can certainly see your point ;-) and I have to say ending with the Bulgogi was genius!

Fresh Local and Best said...

I love bulgogi. This looks like a very tasty recipe!

Anonymous said...

Bulgogi sound delicious, great flavors with the marinade!

Phyllis said...

Oysterculture: It's not often when I feel so passionate about something other than food, but Rain left such an impact on me I just had to write about him. He definitely inspired me to cook Korean food that night :)

Fresh Local and Best: Thanks, my recipe is a bit unorthodox but it's definitely tasty (at least my hubby thinks so)

5 Star Foodie: Yes, the marinade really makes it really sweet and garlicky!

Daily Spud said...

You may not have convinced me about going to see Ninja Assassin but you have started me craving for Korean food :) I see that I am going to have to do something about that!

Phyllis said...

Daily Spud: It was really all about the food anyways ;)

foodhoe said...

Dang, bulgogi, 6pak abs, Stephen Colbert, I love posts that cover so much territory! Whatever, now I'm craving bulgogi and putting that movie in my netflix queue!

Phyllis said...

LOL, foodhoe! I'm glad severed limbs and a silly plot haven't turned you off to Ninja Assassin. Definitely worth it just to watch sexy Rain kick some ninja butt :)