Here in Australia and I suspect many parts of the world Asian restaurant abound. But I can’t ever remember going to a Korean restaurant. I have had a bit of a look on the internet and they certainly exist where I live and the reviews on urbanspoon for Tosung Charcoal BBQ, the nearest one to where I live, are quite good. One of my favourite fellow Canberra food bloggers, Gary from Yummy Lummy reviewed Tosung Charcoal BBQ positively and I now feel I should check it out.
Isn’t it funny how certain cuisines take off in terms of popularity and others don’t. Thai, Chinese, Indian and Vietnamese restaurants abound here in Canberra and there is growing number of Malaysian restaurants not to mention a plethora of sushi places. Of course many of these are not necessarily very authentic but I like to think they at least give you a sense of the food from a particular country. But Korean has just not taken off.
Is it the barbeque thing? Australia is known for its barbeque so maybe people don’t see barbeque as a going out to dinner thing even though I am sure Korean barbeque is a whole different ball game. Though I am sure there is Korean food that doesn’t involve barbeque and kimchi is available in the supermarkets. You might think it had something to do with the background of the local residents, but according to the 2011 census there were more people living in Canberra who were born in South Korea than Thailand. Who knows why Korean restaurants aren’t everywhere.
Getting on to today’s recipe for Korean Beef Bowl, what the ramble above means is that I have no idea if this dish tastes like Korean barbeque or not. No idea at all. But when I was reading the recipe it met important criteria I have for good recipes, it was quick, the flavour mix sounded good and it is fairly low on the calorie scale. Plus it uses mince (ground meat) which normally makes it much easier to scale down the recipe. And it comes from Chungah from Damn Delicious and well her recipes are normally damn delicious (sorry,had to do it).
And as one of the commenters says on the Damn Delicious blog, who would think that something that requires this little effort could taste so good, but it does. It has the whole taste range going on with sweet from the sugar and chilli, smoky from the sesame oil, salty from the soy sauce and a lovely crisp crunch from the spring onions on top. Just delicious.
To make this for one I used the following ingredients:
- 1 tbs and 1 tsp of brown sugar
- 1 tbs of soy sauce
- 1 tsp of sesame oil
- About 1/8th tsp of dried chilli flakes
- A pinch of ground ginger
- 1 tsp of peanut oil
- 1 tsp of minced garlic
- 130g of minced beef (ground beef). I always use the premium stuff that is lower in fat content.
- 1 spring onion, sliced (a bit more than needed so feel free for a bit of pre cooking nibbling)
The only change I made to the recipe is that I didn’t drain the excess fat after the beef had cooked, mainly cause I had so little. I nearly always use minced beef that is low in fat so there was hardly any fat that came out of my beef as I cooked it. This is one of those dishes where if you are cooking for one you want to use a small skillet of pan or the sauce will just evaporate straight away as there is very little liquid.
Preparation time is about 5 minutes and it only takes 10 minutes to cook. I had mine with rice, which I normally just boil. I do have a rice cooker but it doesn’t do very well with the small serve I need just for myself. If you boil your rice, put your water on to boil and then do your prep and mix the brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and ginger together. Once the water is boiling, pop your rice in the pan, wait a minute or two and then get started on the cooking process for the beef. That way just as you are finishing the rice, the beef will also be done. So easy to have the whole thing done in around 20 minutes and about 300 calories without the rice.