I have a little secret- I love those reusable bags that you buy at the grocery store. I have about a dozen of them. You know what kind I'm talking about- Raley's, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods-- pretty much every place sells them or gives them away. The problem is I never remember to take them to the store with me. Instead I use them for everything else- carrying food/ingredients to Mr.S' casa, transporting my laundry, returning books to the library, even throwing wet clothes in there after a day at the beach. Mr.S used to make fun of me when we first started dating because he thought the bags were pretty dorky (especially my purple one from Whole Foods with a giant eggplant on it and the enthusiastic statement of, "I Love Veggies!" but he confessed to me a few years ago that he started looking forward to those bags because it usually meant I was going to cook something delicious at his house. And last year, he even bought a few himself...now whether he actually takes them to the store or not, I have no idea...but who am I to judge?☺ Anyhow, I used the bags recently to bring the ingredients over to his house to cook Korean ground beef. Both he and Kidlet #1 gave it the thumbs up, as did my friend Michelle when I gave her some. This is a super versatile recipe and I'm pretty sure I'll be making it a lot now that I'm working. It's easy to throw together and you can use it in tacos, rice bowls (this works fantastically in bibimbap) or in lettuce wraps. You will need some gochujang sauce though- a Korean red pepper paste containing chiles, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, salt (and sometimes a sweetner). You can find it as most Asian supermarkets. It usually comes in a jar or a plastic tub and some brands are spicier/sweeter than others. Gochujang tastes great when used to make marinades, stir-fries or stew. Sometimes I like to mix it with peanut butter and few other condiments and use it as a dressing.
Korean Ground Beef
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 - 1.25 lbs. ground beef
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 scant cup brown sugar
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced (I just use my microplane)
1 heaping teaspoon gochujang
salt and pepper
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon toasted white sesame seeds
1. In a large non-stick skillet, heat up your sesame oil over medium heat. Add your garlic. Cook until fragrant. Add your ground beef. Cook, stirring to break up the crumbles. When it's no longer pink, drain the fat.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together your brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger and gochujang.
3. Add the mixture to the beef. Simmer for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
4. Sprinkle in green onions and toasted sesame seeds. Stir. Remove from heat.
5. Serve over rice, with lettuce leaves or with tortillas.