After the harsh labor on Lunar New Year’s Day I passed out and slept through most of the day on February 20th. Now I understand why there is such thing called myoung-jeol who-yoo-jeung (명절후유증: holiday aftereffects) in Korea. In the past, holiday celebrations were held in much larger scale and women who were in charge from prep to cleanup must have suffered physically and emotionally throughout the holidays. Well, lucky me that nowadays at our family the traditions are kept minimal.
I would like to share one of the holiday foods that I made from scratch (for the first time!). Sanjeok Kochi (산적꼬치: skewered & pan-fried marinated beef and vegetables) found a place on my menu as the recipe looked easy at first. I soon realized that skewering takes time and skills but in the end I was glad that I chose to make this for my first charae-sang. The mini skewers looked nice and tasted great as well making a wonderful holiday addition.
500g of Hanwoo beef (Premium Korean beef) for sanjeok
3~4 oyster mushrooms
3~4 daepa (Korean leek)
small bamboo skewers
1/2 cup flour
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp maesil-cheong (plum juice)
1 tbsp soju or cooking liquor
1 tbsp corn syrup
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1. Slice the beef about 1/2 inch wide and 3 inch long. As the beef cooks it shrinks a little so make sure the length of the beef is slightly longer than that of the vegetables.
2. Mix all the sauce ingredients then add the sliced beef. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Clean and slice the vegetables. Same width but the length should be slightly shorter than that of sliced beef.
4. Place the flour on a plate. Crack the eggs in a bowl, whisk, then add a pinch of salt.
5. Skewer the marinated beef, mushroom and leek. You can add sliced carrot and/or imitation crab to make it more colorful.
6. Heat the pan over medium heat and add generous amount of oil.
7. Dredge the skewer lightly in flour then shake off the excess flour. Dunk in the egg wash then place it in the pan. Fry both sides until the meat is cooked to medium-well for about 1-2 min each. (Be careful as you flip the skewers! The ingredients might get ripped apart if you flip too fast)
8. Place neatly on the plate and serve.