Tag Archives: Korean BBQ

April 8, 2010 – Recipe for a Korean BBQ Marinade, and Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwiches

8 Apr

2 pm


foot-long Subway Club on wheat

bag of sour cream Baked Lays

medium Diet Coke

8 pm

1 rib-eye steak with Korean marinade

fusilli col boco salad with baby asparagus

caesar salad

2 cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon

I was actually supposed to make steaks for four people on Tuesday, but two dropped out at the last second. So, my friend Lucy was the beneficiary of the other two pieces. “So how are you going to marinate the steaks,” she asked and I didn’t really have an answer. I like my steak simple, with just salt and pepper and cooked rare. At first, I was just going to cook it unadorned, since I was the chef. But I became intrigued by the idea and decided on a Korean BBQ marinade. Lucy likes Korean food, I’m Korean, so why not. It’s an extremely simple concept: two parts soy sauce, 1 part sugar, a good dose of sesame oil and two of the base Asian Aromatics (garlic and scallions. Ginger is optional). That’s the basic component, and other ingredients can be added to that as well.

1 1/2 cup soy sauce

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 sesame oil

5 cloves of garlic, minced

3 green onions, chopped thinly

1/2 yellow onion, sliced into thin strips

teaspoon of chili flakes

small handful of sesame seeds

I like my marinade on the sweeter side, so I’ll often add half an Asian pear or Fuji apple, grated, and a couple of shots of plum wine, if I have that around. Both are optional ingredients though and not necessary. I like the extra caramelization from the added sugar, so I tend to make my marinade sweeter than most. A lot of recipes call for meats to be marinaded overnight. I only do 8-10 hours at most, so it won’t get too overwhelming. And you can use this on other types of meat as well. Flank steak, chicken, pork, shrimp, mushrooms, old Chuck Taylors, adopted babies, it’ll work on almost anything.

So there you go. You can now replicate the stink of having your clothes smell like a Korean BBQ restaurant at home. It did at Lucy’s apartment. Glad her smoke detectors didn’t actually work!

10 pm


ice cream sandwich with brown butter-bacon ice cream and snickerdoodle cookies

This is what happens when I skip breakfast. After a giant steak dinner, I craved a Coolhaus ice cream sandwich for some reason. Of all the food trucks that fan out over LA, I’ve never actually been to Coolhaus before. But, I did sign up for their Twitter feed for some reason, and I saw that they had a “foie gras honey gastrique” ice cream sandwich.  “That sounds terrible,” Lucy said. “It does,” I agreed. “I think we should go and try it out though.” (ED NOTE: Lucy is good friends with the owners of Coolhaus) So I dragged her to their location in downtown LA and completely forgot that it was Art Walk. On the first Thursday of every month, all the various downtown LA art galleries open their doors and encourage people to gallery hop, and it’s an absolute clusterfuck. Thousands of people storm the sidewalks, ducking in and out of galleries and trying to find booze where they can. But as fate would have it, we found free parking. The foie gras ice cream sandwich ended up being twice as much as their regular fare, so I cheaped out. When I asked for a sample, the girl at the truck quickly shot me down. Ah well. The brown-butter and bacon ice cream was appropriately decadent and hit the spot.

Since we had free parking, we decided to check out a few galleries and inevitably ended up breezing through bars, restaurants, random apartments and a fire escape with weed-tokin’ hippies. And with that, I’m going to mention Martin Scorsese movie “After Hours,” since that captures the absurdity of the night best.

UPDATE: Lucy also wrote about this night. So many blogs!

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Dec. 16, 2009

16 Dec

9:30 am

1 bowl of Total Raisin Bran

1:30 pm


French dip sandwich

side of macaroni n’ cheese

1 large strawberry lemonade

This was my first full meal in 23 1/2 hours, so I ate everything in this picture in about 15 minutes. That includes that big bowl of beef juice. Comforting. In all my years of going to the Farmer’s Market in Los Angeles, I’ve never eaten at Magee’s because they only accept cash despite a rather pricey menu, which is an annoyingly archaic concept like separate water fountains for colored folks. After eating here, I didn’t really miss out beforehand. Everything was bland, but at least the serving size was huge. This lunch got delayed because my former co-workers got into a fender-bender in the parking lot. The guy who backed into my friend’s car looked exactly like Scott Storch, post-bankruptcy. Needless to say, his actions after the accident matched his look. How about you check your rear-view mirrors before backing up, douche-hole.

6:45 pm

Hae Jang Chon

all-you-can-eat meat platter (pork belly, 1 squid)


Pacheon (Korean kimchee pancake)

kong namul (bean sprouts)

1 24 oz. bottle of Hite beer

It’s probably best that I don’t have a picture of this meal. My dinner companion gave the following glowing review of Hae Jang Chon; “It’s good, but it gave me a run of diarrhea.” Food that produces a liquid stream of feces? Neat! Now I’m the type of eater who likes his steak rare, burgers medium rare and eggs cooked right at 158 degrees. In other words, I’ll willingly risk sickness for good food. This place was a block from my friend’s place and she said the food was tasty, so why not. A 30-minute bathroom time-out is a decent trade-off. I can finish reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo while I’m in there. Hae Jang Chon has a giant stone tablet on the table where you cook all kinds of meat, kimchee, vegetables and pancakes into one unholy concoction. That tablet is specifically designed to not drain any fat away. And it’s all you can eat! Eating a tub of Crisco with Tapatio sauce in front of the TV is healthier. Anyway, the food was OK, not bad but not too compelling. And if you’re wondering, I did not get a run of diarrhea afterward. It was more like that giant iceburg hurtling itself toward Australia.

9:30 pm

See’s Candies

1 dark chocolate toffee brittle

1 chocolate buttercream

10 pm

Wetzel’s Pretzel

1/2 large cherry lemonade

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Dec. 4, 2009

4 Dec

9 am

1 bowl of Total 100% Raisin Bran cereal

12:30 pm

Oaks Gourmet

BLT sandwich

side of peppadew cole slaw

1 can of Coke Zero

2 pm


1 tall nonfat mocha

8:20 pm

Don Dae Gam

Pork neck meat

various banchan

1 Hite beer

2 shots of rice liquer

2 shots of raspberry liquer

You might’ve noticed that I ate half a pig today. Sweet, sweet porcine goodness. As much as I would like to go on and on about how much I love pork, I simply can’t wax poetically about the pig’s heavenly goodness as well as this classic Simpsons clip: Vodpod videos no longer available.

I blame my neighbor who cooked bacon that morning. TEMPTRESS! How can I resist your siren call. I immediately walked down the street to get a BLT from Oaks Gourmet. Look at those bacon slabs. It’s 1/4 inch thick. None of that flimsy Oscar Meyer shit for me. BUT, Oaks Gourmet overcooked their bacon. It’s extremely dry and leathery. No fat or flavor. Hell, it was actually jerky. I love jerky, but not if I want bacon. Too bad, because the rest of the sandwich, with heirloom tomatoes, avocados, camembert cheese and aioli, was delicious. You drop the ball there, Oaks.

No time to be disappointed though, not with dinner at Don Dae Gam planned. The sign outside has a fat, happy pig. That’s nice knowing that your meaning in life is to be eaten, bringing joy to others in the process. Don Dae Gam, run by the same people who own the heavily-hyped Park’s BBQ, specializes in pork. Awesome. Pork belly, pork spareribs (which are prepared just like kalbi) and the favorites for my friend Bobby and his wife Frankie, pork neck. The meat from that area is barely pink and opaque. “That’s the fat,” Frankie marveled, “It’s just like toro.” And it truly is a beautiful sight. When you slap it on the grill, the pork neck pieces curl up as the fat oozes out. But there’s still enough fat in there to remain juicy. Bobby, Frankie, their friend Marian and I plowed through three platters-worth. We didn’t opt for the spareribs and the pork belly, both of which I’ve had on a previous visit. They belly’s sliced thin and cooks quickly. Most other Korean BBQ places gives you thick slabs, which is more reminiscent of the bellies that are in every other restaurant now. I prefer thick slabs but it’s a matter of personal opinion. Whatever. We ate more necks than… no, I can’t make a vampire reference. It’s all “Twilight” right now and that’s pretty gay.

11:30 pm

2 glasses of Saurus malbec wine

handful of Pop Secret kettle corn

1 piece of German advent calendar chocolate

It seems that I spent five days in Berlin this past summer without going to the largest chocolate store in all of Europe because I was unaware of it. GAH!

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