Monday, March 09, 2009

Korean Beef - The Valentines Day Dinner

I had been gifted with a large tray of Korean beef and it was Valentines Day. Back in university, I used to host this annual Lonely Heart's Club, a little tongue-in-cheek (given none of them were actually single) and just for my girlfriends so we could indulge in baking strawberry shortcake and watch Audrey Hepburn movies.

This year, I decided to hold the Lonely Hearts Dinner for friends the day before Valentines and it turned out to be a good Friday night catch-up. My Boston housemate brought me a cast iron skillet pan which makes the loveliest grill marks and I finally got another reason to put it to some use. Not exactly very romantic, as we were all standing around, in the smoke of the outdoor grill but the beef was superb.

It was also a good reason to hunt down the Korean supermarkets in Singapore. I had been to the one in the basement of Cineleisure (I always thought this was a weird location for a Korean supermarket, given the movie mall's young and skvvy looking teenager crowd) but I found that there was one at the back of Amara Hotel in Tanjong Pagar and also another in a shophouse near George Street and Raffles Place.

The proprietors are all none too friendly but finally I managed to walk out with pajeon mix (for seafood or hae-mol-pajeon) and home-made kim chi. Rather than risk making my own short ribs (Gal-bi) marinade, which involves Nashi pear or apple juice, I bought two different bottles of commercial marinade. They were very good. I paired the beef with sushi rice (steamed with sesame seeds), stir-fried spinach, crispy seaweed and frisee lettuce for wraps.

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