Many people believe that Korean food = Korean BBQ and bibimbap. My hope is that with the recipes in this book, you will realize that like all other cuisines, Korean food is more than its most known dishes, in this case, grilled meat and rice bowls. That said, a Korean cookbook—even a vegan one—wouldn’t be worth its salt if it did not include some grilled deliciousness. Bulgogi translates into “fire meat.” It’s usually made with flank steak, rib eye, or other cuts of beef. In order to re-create that texture, I use Soy Curls, which are just soybeans that have been cooked and then dehydrated. Soy Curls hold up exceptionally well against the rich and intense flavors of the marinade and the heat of the grill.
- Soak the Soy Curls in water for at least 1 hour. Drain and squeeze out any excess liquid. At the same time, soak the shiitake mushrooms to rehydrate, then chop.
- In a large zip-top plastic bag or reusable silicone bag. place the Soy Curls, barbecue sauce, scallions, red onion, bell pepper, and shiitakes. Make sure all the Soy Curls are submerged in the sauce. Place it in the refrigerator and marinate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
- Preheat a grill or a grill pan (or a cast-iron skillet). Slightly oil the grates or pan. When the grill is hot, place the marinated soy curls, scallions, onions, and mushrooms on the grill pan or grill topper, basting with the remaining marinade.
- Drizzle with the sesame oil and garnish with the sesame seeds before serving.
- Make the marinade: In a high-powered blender, combine the red onion, scallions, garlic, soy sauce, brown rice syrup, rice vinegar, mirin, Korean pear, bell pepper, ginger, sesame oil, and pepper and blend until smooth and frothy.
- Make the sauce: Transfer the marinade to a medium pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook the liquid until reduced by about one-third, about 20 minutes.
- n a small bowl, stir together the mushroom dashi into the potato starch to create a slurry. Gradually stir the slurry into the cooking marinade and continue stirring until the sauce thickens.
- Once the sauce has thickened, remove it from the heat and let it cool (allowing it to thicken a little more). Once cooled, store it in the refrigerator for use in the next several days or freeze it for future use.