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Momofuku Marinated Beef Skirt Steak Ssam

30 mins Cook
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In the bustling metropolis of New York, a city perpetually in pursuit of the newest and most extraordinary, no chef has stirred up as much excitement as David Chang. The founder and proprietor of Momofuku, David Chang has forged a reputation for crafting distinctive, budget-friendly, and utterly captivating fusion Asian cuisine that leaves his patrons raving long after their visits to any of his restaurants. Here’s a dish from his repertoire that is remarkably straightforward to prepare yet delivers a powerful flavor punch.

Momofuku
nomnomwow.com Momofuku Marinated Beef Skirt Steak Ssam

David Chang himself is a fascinating character, an unapologetic devotee of ramen, known for his idiosyncratic, daring, and rebellious spirit. These descriptors barely scratch the surface of this Korean-American chef who has emerged as an unexpected superstar in the culinary realm. Named one of Time’s Top 100 Most Influential People in 2010, he’s gained notoriety for his “bad boy” approach, including policies like “no reservations” and “no vegetarian options,” and his audacious claim that Californian chefs simply “put figs on a plate.” For anyone reading this post, that assertion surely brings a smile.

What sets David Chang and his cuisine apart? I’ve had the privilege of dining at his New York establishment, Momofuku Noodle Bar, and Sydney’s Momofuku Seibo. The experience of securing a reservation alone could fill its own tale—perhaps one for another day. But the true essence of David Chang’s culinary prowess lies in his inventive cuisine. He has essentially propelled Korean cuisine into the Western spotlight with his modern and imaginative interpretations of traditional Korean dishes. Take, for instance, Ssam—meat wrapped in lettuce leaves. His Pork Bo Ssam is nothing short of epic. The Pork Belly Bun may seem unassuming at first, but one bite will send your taste buds into ecstasy. His Kimchi Stew is a flavor explosion unlike any other, and even his chicken wings, seemingly ordinary, will have you pondering, “Why on earth are these so incredibly delicious?”

Even his side dishes are spectacular. Corn with Miso Butter and Bacon is unequivocally the finest corn I’ve ever tasted. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Fish Sauce Vinaigrette might raise some eyebrows, but withhold judgment until you’ve tried it—it’s a revelation. For those who profess to dislike Brussels sprouts, be prepared for a conversion!

I could devote countless pages to David Chang, his dining establishments, and his culinary artistry. However, let’s get down to business—the Marinated Skirt Steak Ssam. This is the first recipe I embarked upon from his cookbook, Momofuku. In the book, there are two sauces suggested to accompany this dish: the Ginger Spring Onion Sauce (which I’ve included) and the other, pureed Kimchi (a Korean pickled chili cabbage). While I appreciate the pureed Kimchi, I truly adore the Ssam sauce used for his Pork Bo Ssam, so I’ve opted for that instead. It boasts a robust salty, chili flavor akin to a Korean version of miso and chili paste, and it pairs flawlessly with the succulent beef slices and crisp lettuce.

Apart from tracking down Kochujang (Korean Chili Paste) and Ssamjang (Korean fermented bean and chili paste) at the Asian grocery store, all the other ingredients are readily available at your local supermarket. However, I’ve also included instructions for the Kimchi puree in case these two ingredients prove elusive.

This dish is deceptively simple to prepare. Many assume that renowned chefs exclusively craft intricate dishes, but David Chang’s recipes often focus on a unique interplay of flavors rather than complexity.

Here, you’ll find a fantastic classic Korean marinade that’s perfect for grilling beef, chicken, or pork. I hope you’ll consider giving it a try!

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Momofuku Marinated Beef Skirt Steak Ssam

Momofuku Marinated Beef Skirt Steak Ssam

maimoona
In the bustling metropolis of New York, a city perpetually in pursuit of the newest and most extraordinary, no chef has stirred up as much excitement as David Chang. The founder and proprietor of Momofuku, David Chang has forged a reputation for crafting distinctive, budget-friendly, and utterly captivating fusion Asian cuisine that leaves his patrons raving long after their visits to any of his restaurants. Here's a dish from his repertoire that is remarkably straightforward to prepare yet delivers a powerful flavor punch.
prep time
10 mins
cooking time
30 mins
servings
2
total time
40 mins

Equipment

Ingredients

  • BEEF AND MARINADE

  • 2 lb / 1 kg skirt / flank / hanger steak (Note 1)

  • 2 cups apple juice

  • ½ cup light soy sauce

  • 5 garlic cloves , minced

  • 1/2 brown onion

  • 1 tsp sesame oil

  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • GINGER SPRING ONION SAUCE

  • 8 oz / 250 g shallots/scallions , thinly sliced

  • 5 g fresh ginger , finely chopped or minced

  • 4 tbsp grape seed oil (or another neutral oil)

  • 1 1/2 tsp light soy sauce

  • 3/4 tsp sherry vinegar

  • 3/4 tsp salt (adjust to taste)

  • SSAM SAUCE

  • 1 tbsp ssamjang (Korean fermented bean-and- chili paste, available in many Asian stores)

  • 1/2 tbsp kochujang (Korean chili paste, available in many Asian stores)

  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar

  • 1/4 cup grape seed oil (or another neutral oil)

  • TO SERVE

  • 3 small heads of Bib Lettuce , leaves removed, washed and dried

Instructions

1
Combine the beef with the marinade, ensuring it marinates for a minimum of overnight and up to 24 hours.
2
Retrieve the beef from the marinade. Preheat your outdoor grill or a heavy-based stovetop skillet over high heat, aiming for an intensely hot surface.
3
Cook the beef to your desired level of doneness (refer to notes for guidance).
4
Once cooked, remove the beef from the heat, lightly cover it with foil, and allow it to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
5
Prepare the Ginger Spring Onion Sauce by mixing the listed ingredients until well combined.
6
Create the Ssam Sauce by combining the ingredients and stirring until a smooth consistency is achieved.
7
Slice the beef into thin, 0.5cm / 0.2-inch thick slices, cutting against the grain.
8
Present the beef alongside lettuce leaves, with Ginger Spring Onion Sauce and Ssam Sauce served on the side.
9
To enjoy, place a slice of beef in a lettuce leaf, add a portion of each sauce, then fold the lettuce over and savor the delightful flavors.

Notes

You have the flexibility to replace the skirt steak with other beef cuts, but what makes this recipe truly special is its use of skirt steak—a thrifty cut of beef that transforms into something extraordinary. It's advisable to select a steak cut that isn't excessively thick, as a thinner cut allows the marinade to permeate the meat more effectively. In David Chang's "Momofuku" cookbook, the original recipe features a Kimchi Puree as the second sauce, instead of the Ssam sauce. The Ssam sauce, also sourced from his cookbook, is typically served with his renowned Pork Bo Ssam. It's a remarkable sauce that pairs exceptionally well with this recipe, which is why I've opted for it over the Kimchi Puree. However, if you prefer the Kimchi Puree, you can easily prepare it by blending 250g/8oz of Kimchi into a chunky paste. The provided nutritional information assumes a serving size for six individuals and accounts for the entire quantity of sauce (which contributes a significant portion of the calories due to the oil content). However, in reality, you may not use all of the sauce, so the calorie count is likely overstated. Skirt steak itself is a lean cut, with the meat alone containing approximately 250 calories. The remaining calories predominantly stem from the sauce. Nutritional Details for Momofuku Marinated Skirt Steak Ssam
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