KOREAN BEEF SOUP WITH TOFU AND STICKY RICE (for four)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1-½ tablespoons dark sesame oil
3 scallions, trimmed and chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
one 1-inch piece fresh ginger, chopped
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 pound lean steak, preferably sirloin, sliced as thinly as possible across the grain (This is easiest to do if you put the meat into the freezer for 20 minutes before slicing. Let it stand for a few minutes after it is sliced to return to room temperature.)
3 tablespoons corn, grapeseed or other neutral oil
1 pound firm tofu, cut into ½ inch cubes
salt and black pepper to taste
sticky rice to accompany
- Mix together the soy sauce, sesame oil, scallions, garlic, ginger and sesame seeds in a large bowl. Add the meat, toss well to coat, cover, refrigerate and marinate for about 1 hour — longer if time allows, shorter if you’re in a hurry.
- Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Drain the meat, reserving the marinade, and brown it, turning once or twice. Add 6 cups water and bring to a boil; lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the tofu and reserved marinade and heat through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon some sticky rice, if you are using it, directly into each soup bowl and serve hot.
NOTE: For a heartier, and more time-consuming, soup, substitute 1-½ pounds beef short ribs, cut into 2 inch pieces, for the steak. Proceed as in step 2, adding time to brown the bigger pieces and at least an hour more of simmering to tenderize them. Remove the ribs and strip the meat from the bones; cut into bite-sized pieces, return to the broth, and proceed with step 3.