kruizing with kikukat

Monday, September 17, 2012

Almost 12th Avenue Grill: Kim Chee Steak

Last week was a really bad week as far as work was concerned.  Lotsa feathers ruffled, lotsa feelings hurt, and all started because two people made three poor decisions, and a flurry of bad behavior ensued.  I'm embarrassed for them (no, its not me, and I am not the receiver of the verbal venom  either), and I hope there will be some "coming-to-the-senses" coupled with some much-deserved apologies issued sometime this week.

What kicked all this shit off was frustration behaviors (eye-rolling, loud sighing, etc.), being perceived as disrespect.  I liken this to looking into the window of someone else's house and seeing a person with a cleaver raised in a position about to strike. . .without the peeping Tom knowing there is a cutting board with a Hong Kong style roast chicken in need of carving.  People who don't see the whole picture should keep their mouths shut!  The High Commander always preaches, "know the context."  She is so right!

The hotness flaring at work has quite possibly made me ono for Korean food.  Between us, the Help and I have eaten bi bim bap at 3 different places in the past 2 weeks.  All the banchan that gets served alongside the main dish just makes my mouth water.  I love cucumber kim chee. 
I was going to make chap chae, but I lacked the gumption to go digging in the freezer for thin-sliced rib eye (I know I have some from Costco).  I thought for a moment about making family-style bi bim bap, but I didn't wanna deal with preparing all the vegetables.  So I had to think hard for something Korean to make.  Then it hit me. . .kim chee steak.  Let me give you the background:

A few years ago, I went to 12th Avenue Grill on a hot date and ordered kim chee steak with a side of macaroni and cheese.  First of all, 12th Ave Grill has one of the best macaroni and cheese dishes I've ever tasted (tied with Kincaid's macaroni and cheese with lobster).  Studded with ali'i oyster mushrooms, the creamy sauce cradles every bit of pasta real estate. Yum.  But today's blog is not about macaroni and cheese.  Its about kim chee steak.

Not knowing what to expect, I ordered kim chee steak, thinking I'd see chunks of meat stir-fried with pieces of won bok kim chee.  What arrived at the table was far from that.  It appeared to be an unassuming grilled steak, but after the first bite, I realized this was no ordinary steak.  The flavor was like "kal bi on steroids".

12th Avenue Grill uses flank steak for their kim chee steak, so I knew I had to do the same.  In my best attempt to recreate the flavor, I started with a kal bi-ish marinade then used kim chee base to give the steak a Korean twist.  The final product tasted very much like the original.  As you can tell from the pics, I ate it with fried rice.  Macaroni and cheese research will be saved for a much later time.

Praying this will be a better week. . .

 click on recipe title for printable recipe
Kim Chee Steak

     1 flank steak, 1-2 lbs
     1/2 c shoyu
     2 tbsp brown sugar, packed
     1 tbsp honey
     1 tbsp sesame oil
     2 tbsp Momoya kim chee base
     1" piece ginger, grated
     2 stalks green onions, chopped
     dash of pepper

Combine all ingredients.  Marinate steak for at least 6 hours.  Grill steak on hibachi, reserving marinade.  Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing thinly across the grain.  While steak is resting, boil marinade until reduced to half.  Use as sauce for steak slices.

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