Right now some warm, California sun and everything else that goes along with it sounds like perfection! Partly that’s because we have hit that point in the winter when we’re all kind of fed up with the freezing temps and forced indoor time and partly because we are suffering from the dread fever virus/cold that seems to be knocking pretty much everyone I know down for the count and we need a break from regular life. So today, we’re taking a virtual trip to southern CA, specifically Korea Town with this delish Beef Bowl. courtesy of Gaby Dalkin and her wonderful California-inspired cookbook, What’s Gaby Cooking. Time for a little Famous Fridays escapism!
Gaby writes a popular blog with the same name as her cookbook also dedicated to showcasing recipes inspired by the California lifestyle and the amazing year-round fresh produce it offers everywhere (once on a vacation we literally stopped along the highway and bought the most luscious strawberries—I think they were the best I’ve ever had!) But back to Gaby—not surprisingly, a ton of her recipes feature the avocado (it’s the state fruit) in fact, she’s already written a cookbook entirely dedicated to them, Absolutely Avocado, but this book branches out and explores putting to good use lots of other fresh CA produce in dishes like Rainbow Summer Rolls, Breakfast Flatbread with Ricotta and Strawberry-Basil Jam, Sesame Miso Market Salad, Fish Tacos with Pineapple-Mango Salsa and more. And the photos are just so gorgeous too—makes you feel inspired to hit the produce section at your market and cook up a healthy storm. It was really hard to pick just one recipe to feature here today—everything I’ve made so far has been absolutely wonderful, but in the end, I went with the bowl ‘cause it seemed so light and CA to me. I’ve never been to K-town but if this beef bowl is any indication of what’s out there, I am making it a mandatory stop on our next trip to LA. Guys, this is seriously YUM!
And not difficult to make at all!
And so interesting! Full of different textures and flavors!
There’s the thinly-sliced marinated sweet and spicy beef that gets perfectly seared so that it’s crispy but still juicy.
And there are not one, but two little mini salads. The first is simply a mixture of Persian cucumbers, carrot, red onion and rice vinegar. It comes together in a snap and then sits around so that the veggies get sort of pickled. Crunchy, sweet and good for you too! Ingenious!
The other is an easy-peasy scallion salad with an Asian-based vinaigrette that adds even more color and flavor.
While you’re doing all this, you simply throw on a pot of rice so that when everything’s done, you can assemble your bowl.
Everything is just so fresh and feel-good, which is exactly what we need around here now…that and more tissues!!
So pick up a copy of What’s Gaby Cooking and connect with your inner CA self—I promise you’re going to love it. And have a good weekend—cook up something yummy and avoid me like the plague (ha ha!). See you next week, hopefully a lot healthier!!
What’s Gaby Cooking’s K-Town Beef Bowl-Famous Fridays
Makes 4 servings
Prep Time: A few hours but most of this is letting the meat and veggies marinate—there’s really not a whole lot of hands-on work
For the Beef
1 pound skirt steak
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 ½ tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
A few shakes of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
For the Quick Pickle
3 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
¼ red onion, finely chopped
½ cup rice vinegar
For the Scallion Salad
8 scallions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
2 cups cooked rice (you can put this together while you are cooking the meat)
1-2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 cup store-bought kimchi (optional-I didn’t use)
1. To make the beef: Freeze the meat in the package for 30 minutes—you want to be able to cut it into very thin slices and that’s what this will allow you to do. Use a sharp knife.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and brown sugar in a medium bowl and whisk together. Add the thin slices of beef and toss to coat. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour or cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
3. To make the Quick pickle: Mix the cucumber, carrot, onion and vinegar together in a bowl and let sit at room temp for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
4. To make the Scallion salad: Mix the scallions, parsley, sesame oil, vinegar and sesame seeds together in a bowl. Season with a pinch of kosher salt
5. To cook the beef: Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove half of the meat from the bowl, letting the excess marinade drip off back into the bowl and lay the meat in a single layer in the pan. Season with a little salt and let the strips cook for about 1 minute, without turning or moving them, so that they can get a nice sear. Then turn and let cook for another few minutes, until meat is cooked through, browned and crisped around the edges. Transfer to a plate. Add the remaining oil to the pan and cook the rest of the meat.
6. To serve the bowl: Toss the rice with the rice vinegar and divide it between the bowls. Top with the beef, quick pickle and scallion salad (and kimchi, if using.)
Note: Recipe adapted from What’s Gaby Cooking by Gaby Dalkin. I tinkered around a bit. Left out the fresh ginger from the marinade, if you you’re a fan, add 2 tablespoons of grated, peeled ginger, also subbed skirt steak for hangar cause I couldn’t find it in the store, subbed in parsley for cilantro and mint in the scallion salad and used regular white rice instead of the jasmine rice.