It’s not incongruous, simply an effect of eclectic food tastes, that on a day when I’ve prepared blintzes for tomorrow’s brunch, we’re having Korean Pork Kebabs for dinner tonight. Still basking in the long-awaited experience of grilling after the winter of our discontent, I’ve been craving these succulent skewers of tender marinated pork for months.
The recipe for this marinade is an adaptation of a Korean bulgogi recipe posted on Epicurious by a longtime member, Marlon Delno, a few years ago. I’ve used it on sirloin tips, London broil, and even chicken thighs, but once we tried it on these pork kebabs it was an instant favorite.
The marinade is simple once you have the ingredients on hand (that trip to the Chinese market continues to reap rewards). This works for anywhere from 1-2 lbs of meat. First step for the kebabs, cut into chunks about 1-1/2″ and toss with 2-1/2 T of sugar. Then combine the following and pour over the meat to throughly coat it: 4-1/2 T soy sauce (mushroom soy if you can find it, nice depth of flavor); 1/4 cup minced scallions; 2 T sesame oil; 1″ piece of ginger minced (the original recipe called for much less, but I love ginger) ; 2 plump garlic cloves minced; 2 T sesame seeds whirled a bit in a coffee grinder; and a grinding of black pepper. Marinate for as little as an hour, or all day if you wish – there’s no acid in the marinade to turn the meat mushy.
Grill these to a slightly pink center for about 8-10 minutes and you’ll have a lovely crust on the outside, and juicy deliciousness within.
For sides tonight, we’re having a simple steamed jasmine rice to capture all the juices, and a salad of romaine, cucumber, tomatoes, onion and radish with that wonderful carrot dressing they serve at Japanese restaurants – something I could absolutely just eat with a spoon. Really easy to make in a Vitamix, since no peeling or dicing of the vegetables is required – it just pulverizes everything in a flash, but any blender or food processor can work for this. And with only 1/2 tsp of sesame oil, it’s about as low-fat as you can get. Courtesy of Moosewood Low-Fat Favorites:
Combine in a blender – 1/2 cup chopped carrots; 2 T mirin; 2 T cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar; 1 T Dijon mustard; 2 T minced white onion; 1 T soy sauce; 1/2 t sesame oil; 1 T minced ginger root/ Blend until smooth and chill. If you don’t use this all at once, it will kep for a few days in the fridge.