Many of the recipes from the Momofuku cookbook are a bit too complicated for a weeknight, requiring more time (and ingredients) than what's usually featured on Dinner Tonight. But with good timing, I'm happy to report, the famous ssäm lettuce wraps are well within reach. Preparing the condiments and rice while the steak took a bath in its marinade—apple juice, soy sauce, garlic, and sesame oil—I was able to pull this recipe off in under an hour.
If you're familiar with Korean barbecue, the flavors here are similar, though with a quick marinating time, a slightly more tender cut such as skirt steak works better. But the highlight might be what goes with the beef: a ginger-scallion concoction with a hit of sherry vinegar is surprisingly complex, and the genius idea of pureeing kimchi adds a whole other spicy, funky depth. Wrap it all up in crisp lettuce and things are looking mighty delicious indeed.
- 2 cups apple juice
- 1/2 cup soy sauce, plus 2 teaspoons
- 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon Asian toasted sesame oil
- 1 1/2 pounds hangar, skirt, or flank steak
- 2 bunches scallions, thinly sliced (white and greens)
- 1/2 cup minced fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup neutral oil
- 3/4 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- 1 cup kimchi
- 2 large heads bibb lettuce, leaves separated and washed
- 3 cups cooked white rice
In a freezer bag, combine the apple juice, 1/2 cup soy sauce, onion, garlic, and sesame oil. Add the steak and turn to coat. Marinate for 40 minutes at room temperature (or up to a 24 hours refrigerated).
While the meat marinates, combine the scallions, ginger, oil, sherry vinegar, and salt to taste in a bowl. Stir well to combine.
In a small food processor, process the kimchi into a puree.
Prepare a grill or heat a grill pan on high. Remove the steak from the marinade and grill to medium rare, 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the cut. For the first few minutes, baste with the marinade to infuse more flavor and glaze the exterior.
Remove the steak to a platter and allow it to rest for a full five minutes. Slice against the grain on a 30 degree angle into 1/4-inch thick pieces.
Serve the steak with the kimchi puree, ginger-scallion sauce, rice, and lettuce leaves for wrapping.