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These Korean BBQ Steak Rice Bowls are almost criminally simple to make. Simply marinate a flank steak in some excellent Korean BBQ sauce (like the one from Not Your Mama’s Canning Book) and you’re almost all the way to a filling, flavourful Korean inspired rice bowl adorned with another drizzle of Korean BBQ sauce, kimchi, pickled carrots, cucumber slices, green onions, and toasted sesame seeds.
It’s no secret that I love food. While my favourite dish can vary with the day of the week and time of the day you ask me, I do have a pretty steady list of foods that I would happily elbow past you to get at any given moment. Firmly in my consistent Top 10 Dishes I Adore is any variation on a rice bowl -rice, protein, vegetables, and sauce- in general, but these Korean BBQ Steak Rice Bowls in perpetuity. You have hot, tender Korean style sticky rice, cold and crisp-tender kimchi and pickled carrots, fragrant green onions, and flavourful Korean BBQ Sauce. What makes the sauce so special is that you have the umami power of soy sauce and gochujang combined with a hint of sweetness from pear and the pungent presence of garlic and green onion. The interplay of textures, temperatures, and flavours in combination with the ease of preparation is what brings me back again and again to Korean BBQ Steak Rice Bowls.
How easy is it? Well, if you can make rice according to the package instructions and cook a flank steak, you’re more than 3/4 of the way done. All that’s left is to pop open some pickled carrots or steam some carrots, chop some green onions, and crack open a fragrant jar of kimchi. Arrange the rice and all of the toppings, sit down and tuck in to a Korean BBQ Steak Rice Bowl; a dish sure to make it into your Top 10 Dishes You Adore. What are your Top 10? Or Top 5? Which dishes are impossible for you to resist?
- The base for these Korean BBQ Steak Rice Bowls is good rice. Because I’m using Korean inspired flavours, I want to use Korean style rice, too. My preference is for sweet brown rice (which really isn’t sweet at all, if you haven’t had it), but sweet white rice is also very nice here. They both have the characteristic sticky texture of Korean rice which makes it easier to eat with chopsticks. The truth is that you can use whichever rice you like best (unless it’s instant rice), but I definitely prefer the sweet brown rice.
- Let’s talk barbecue sauce for a moment. I highly recommend making the Korean Barbecue Sauce from my book “Not Your Mama’s Canning Book“. The flavours are robust and delicious and you can use it immediately after it’s been made. If you’re afraid of canning, you can even store it in the freezer instead of processing it. If you’re just plain out of time, there are nice commercial counterparts available.
- The flank steak should be marinated at least 6 hours before grilling, but can sit in the marinade up to 24 hours before being cooked. I like mine cooked medium rare to medium, but you can do this anywhere you prefer on the doneness spectrum. As a reminder, remove the beef from the heat 5°F before it reaches your target temperature and let it rest on the cutting board. RARE=125°F, MEDIUM RARE=135°F, MEDIUM=145°F, MEDIUM WELL=150°F, WELL DONE=160°F.
- I highly recommend using my Sweet and Spicy Asian Style Pickled Carrots or the slight variation on them -Ginger Pickles Carrots- from Not Your Mama’s Canning Book. If you can’t make them and can’t find a commercial equivalent, you can substitute steamed carrots.
- Korean BBQ Steak Rice Bowls make a marvelous lunch. To pack as a lunch, keep the rice, cucumbers, carrots, kimchi, and beef in separate containers. Bring little condiment cups of the barbecue sauce, green onions, and sesame seeds and assemble right before eating.
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Use these things to make Korean BBQ Steak Rice Bowls
- Meat carving knife
- Grill pan
- Wooden cutting board
- Chef’s Knife
- Sweet Brown Rice or Sweet White Rice
- Gallon Zipper Bags
- Korean BBQ Sauce or Not Your Mama’s Canning Book to make your own for a fraction of the price!
- Optional: A mandoline slicer to get paper thin slices of cucumbers for the best cucumber roses.
- Bowls that show off their beautiful contents.
- Small condiment cups for packing toppings separately to take Korean BBQ Steak Rice Bowls for lunches.
Korean BBQ Steak Rice Bowls
For the Flank Steak:
- 2 to 3 pounds flank steak
- 1 cup Korean Barbecue Sauce
For the Korean BBQ Steak Rice Bowls:
- 2 cups uncooked sweet brown or sweet white rice cooked according to package instructions
- 2 cups kimchi
- 2 cups cucumber slices or 16 cucumber roses
- 2 cups pickled carrots or steamed carrots
- 8 green onions trimmed of the roots and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup Korean Barbecue Sauce
To Marinate the Flank Steak:
- Place the flank steak in a resealable zipper top bag and pour in the Korean BBQ Sauce. Squeeze the air out of the bag, seal the bag, and squish the steak around so that it is completely coated in the Korean Barbecue Sauce. Refrigerate for at least 8 but up to 24 hours.
To Cook the Flank Steak and Assemble the Korean BBQ Steak Rice Bowls:
- Preheat a grill pan over a high burner. Remove the flank steak from the bag of marinade, letting the excess drip away. Place the flank steak on the grill and let it stay exactly where you put it, undisturbed, for at least 3 minutes. Flip the steak over when it has beautiful browning and grill marks and again leave it undisturbed for 3 more minutes.
- Flip the steak again, rotating 90° to make grill marks perpendicular to the first set. Grill 3 more minutes, then flip 1 final time, grilling a final 3 minutes or until the steak reaches your desired doneness. Use the tongs to transfer the steak to a cutting board or plate to rest for 10 to 15 minutes while you gather the rest of your ingredients.
- Place 1 cup of cooked rice in each bowl. Arrange 1/4 cup of kimchi, 1/4 cup of cucumber slices or 2 cucumber roses, and 1/4 cup of pickled or steamed carrots on the rice. Set aside.
- Slice the flank steak diagonally across the grain and add about 6 to 8 slices of the beef to each rice bowl. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the Korean Barbecue Sauce over each bowl, then sprinkle a sliced green onion and some sesame seeds over each bowl. Serve immediately.
To pack this dish as a lunch, keep the rice, cucumbers, carrots, kimchi, and beef in separate containers. Bring little condiment cups of the barbecue sauce, green onions, and sesame seeds and assemble right before eating.