Help me track down components for a "Korean Braised Beef" sandwich
October 19, 2013 3:36 AM   Subscribe

A local food on wheels truck makes a sandwich with "Korean braised beef". This seems like an overly generic label that will net quick results on About, etc without getting anywhere near the right neighborhood. Maybe you've had the Mustang and can describe it better than all these folks on Yelp (who do pretty well in bits and starts). I'll summarize below.

In case you are playing at home, the main ingredients of this sandwich are:

* "Korean Braised Beef", darkish, maybe salty-sweet. Our #1 mystery ingredient Next time I should to buy a second for proper disscetion. Pulled like pork. A glamour shot by someone unrelated here (thanks 21st century!).
* Kimchi, fresh and pretty mild, may be considered taking liberties.
* Sirarcha and wasabe "aoili": I'm not sure whether that stretches the term or not, those dudes are kind of serious but its also a fussy way of saying "sauce" without having anything to do with aioli. Then again, that photo suggests its a lot of it for now not in-your-face with either flavor it is.
* Obscene bread, buttered obscenely and grilled to obscene crispness (I mean, right? Everything going for you here)

I need to make some sort of home version part of my repertoire as the truck just isn't right down the block as it needs to be (==until I am composed mostly of braised beef sandwich). Hope me, culinary hive mind!
posted by Ogre Lawless to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My bet is that for the meat, at least, you basically want bo ssam beef. I'd use the recipe from here, ignoring the brown sugar glaze at the end and replacing the pork butt with--a chuck roast, maybe? Pork done this way is unbelievably delicious, and it sounds so close to what you're looking for that it actually took me two reads to pick up on the fact that you're looking for a braised beef sandwich, not pork.
posted by MeghanC at 4:34 AM on October 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

"Korean Braised Beef", darkish, maybe salty-sweet. Our #1 mystery ingredient

I will wager bulgogi for the beef. You may wish to try this recipe. I can't vouch for it because we're usually lazy in my sauce and just buy sauce from the store. It may also be shredded kalbi.
posted by Tanizaki at 4:52 AM on October 19, 2013 [3 favorites]

It doesn't exactly look like bulgogi, but I guess you could shred it up a bit. What matters, though, is the marinade, which gives it exactly that flavour. The sauce looks like bibimbap sauce, which is surprisingly not-in-your-face as Korean flavours go.

(Oh man, I miss the place that did a toasted sesame bagel with bulgogi and bibimbap sauce. It was too good to survive.)
posted by scruss at 5:12 AM on October 19, 2013

That looks like american-style BBQ beef brisket made with bulgogi sauce instead of regular BBQ sauce.
posted by empath at 6:30 AM on October 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

The beef does sound like bulgogi, other than the shredding. If you have a Korean grocery near you, they often sell pre-marinated bulgogi which is super easy to cook.
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:32 AM on October 19, 2013

And, btw, bulgogi + kimchi is excellent on tortillas as well.
posted by empath at 6:32 AM on October 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Your description and the pictures of the beef indicate they are referring to Korean braised short ribs, or Galbijjim. Maangchi has two versions, traditional and simplified. The braising liquid and slow cooking technique should also work on other cuts of beef that are not too lean and benefit from long slow cooking. (Some of my relatives use a slow cooker for making Galbijjim)

Do not use sliced bulgogi beef for this. Korean grocery stores will have beef ribs cut suitably for Korean dishes such as this.
posted by needled at 6:44 AM on October 19, 2013 [11 favorites]

I would use the simplified recipe Needled links to (make sure you puree all the non-beef ingredients like it shows in the picture before adding to the pot - the written recipe doesn't mention it), but with a piece of brisket as empath suggests. It will likely need way more than the 1.5h it calls for though. You'll know it's ready when it pulls apart like it does in the sandwich. It will only taste better if you wait a day to reheat and eat it, btw.

The "aioli" is almost certainly just mayo with a little sriracha and wasabi mixed in.
posted by STFUDonnie at 7:39 AM on October 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

Came in here with my Korean radar tingling to say the same thing as needled. The "braised" part of the description was the key!
posted by spamandkimchi at 10:23 AM on October 19, 2013

needled has it. If you get close but not quite, the Drewskis folks are pretty nice, I bet if you asked for some hints they'd share.

And empath is right about kimchi and bulgogi on a tortilla. In a similar vein, Gogi's at 15th and L makes a pretty good Korean BBQ short rib burrito.

If you need a Korean market you could try Koreana Plaza in Rancho.
posted by elsietheeel at 12:50 PM on October 19, 2013

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