1 tablespoon ajimirin (also known as mirin, a sweet rice cooking wine; can also use any white wine)
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
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1/4 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 green onion, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound bulgogi beef (or eye round), thinly sliced
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the beef and mix well, until the sugar dissolves.
Add the beef, turn to coat, cover and
refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
Just before serving, grill, pan-fry or broil the beef to the desired degree of done-ness. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Note: Marinade can also be used for
short ribs, chicken or tofu; if using short ribs, substitute 1 cup honey for sugar. Short ribs and chicken can be broiled in the oven, and tofu can be pan-fried or added raw.
Don't want to cook? Try mixing it up at these local eateries:
Kuma. 4441 Wisconsin Ave. NW. 202-537-3717. This new Japanese-Korean restaurant boasts five premium sakes to accompany your $10.95 bibimbap ($12.95 for teolseot).
Samwoo Restaurant. 1054 Rockville Pike, Rockville. 301-424-0495. www.samwoorestaurant.com. Traditional bibimbap ($8.95) and teolseot ($10.95) are offered here, but there's also a vegetarian hot-stone version in which the beef is replaced by a bevy of steamed vegetables.
Sorak Garden. 4308 Backlick Rd., Annandale. 703-916-7600. With its dark wood furniture and abundance of Asian antiques, this restaurant provides great atmosphere for a special occasion. It offers bibimbap ($10.95) and three varieties of teolseot ($12.95): beef, galbi (boneless ribs) and a seafood version with clams, shrimp, squid and scallops.
Todam Village. 7331 Little River Tpke., Annandale. 703-941-3400. If you want to immerse yourself in Korean culture, this 1900s-style farmhouse, with its ancient Korean decor, is the place. Bibimbap is $8.95, and hot-stone-pot bibimbap is $9.99.
Yeehwa. 1009 21st St. NW. 202-833-1244. www.yeehwa.com. This establishment, whose name means "flower of a pear tree," does a regular bibimbap ($9.95) that can be made to order, with or without an egg or beef, etc. Hot-stone-pot bibimbap is $10.95.