Tired of Turkey? Bring on Bulgogi!

If you’re American, are you tired of turkey yet? I’m not, but then again I look forward all year to Thanksgiving food. Granted I’m an adult and I could make Thanksgiving happen any time of the year, but it wouldn’t be the same. There’s so much nostalgia (and a touch of preparation anxiety) attached that making it outside the official Thanksgiving week would simply deliver a gluttonous feast versus a delightfully traditional potluck smörgåsbord cobbled together by and eaten next to those you hold near and dear.

I can admit however that not everyone is like me. Some people grow tired of turkey the second the black Friday deals are all sold out. For those, this Basic Bulgogi from Bon Appétit magazine hits the spot just fine! By the way, if you’re looking for some serious inspo and step up your kitchen game, they’re currently running a special on their subscriptions! Only $10 for one full year of both print and digital!

Bulgogi is a Korean dish of thin-cut marinated grilled/roasted meat. For this we used beef short ribs lovingly shaved right off the bone for me (bones reserved for bones broth later!) by The Mr. Beef in a season of poultry is always a nice break! You have the option to use a variety of different meats, but short ribs just seemed right. I think I would opt for slivered pork loin next time just to switch things up!

We served ours with plenty of chopped green onions and with some Lotus Organic Red Rice cooked in Better Than Bouillon Roasted Beef Base. The inherent nuttiness of the red rice complemented the sesame oil in such a harmonious way. Years ago, I switched from cooking grains in water to cooking grains in broth. The flavor has a chance to cleave to the individual grains and stick around this way. If you do this with white rice, you won’t end up with pretty snow-white rice, but it’ll sure be delicious!

I didn’t have any gochugaru, but we pretty much always have crushed red pepper on hand since it’s The Mr’s favorite Italian food finisher. Thankfully this was an offered substitute! I didn’t have toasted sesame oil, but we did have some decent Lee Kum Kee Pure Sesame Oil which we used not just for the marinade, but also in place of the vegetable oil called for in the pan searing. I like it because it’s mild enough to use more liberally, but still delivers that distinct nutty sesame flavor.

I savored the dichotomy between the sweet nuttiness and spicy, umami finish of the marinade on the beef. It was still comforting and seasonally appropriate, but awakened the palate in a new and interesting way… and a nice reprieve from all of the turkey and stuffing. What are some of your favorite dishes to interject during the holidays to refresh your appetite?

Currently Reading: The Apocrypha

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