These grilled Korean beef skewers are a little sweet, a little spicy from the gochujang (which is a Korean chili paste), and full of umami. The best part is that you can have them on the table in about a half hour.
I’ll never forget the first time I ate Korean food. We were visiting my mom’s friend in Los Angeles and she took us out for Korean barbecue. My first taste of kimchi, banchan, and bulgogi and I was hooked.
I live in California where great Korean food is not difficult to come upon, but in 2012 I learned I would have to be gluten free for the rest of my life. Instead of saying goodbye to my favorite foods, I set about learning to make them at home. Korean food was one of the first cuisines I tackled.
I love serving these skewers with rice, kimchi, and some extra gochujang on the side. For a real treat, wrap everything up in a sheet of nori for a Korean taco, like in the photo below!
Korean Beef Skewers
These Korean beef skewers are best when cooked on a grill, but they are also great cooked on the stovetop. Use a very hot cast iron skillet and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side.
If you can't find gochujang or you don’t like the ingredients in the store-bought stuff, use miso in the marinade instead or make your own. It’s an indispensable condiment in our house!
- For the steak:
- ¼ cup tamari or soy sauce
- ¼ cup mirin
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons gochujang or light miso
- 1 1/2 pounds skirt steak (flap steak or flank steak works well here, too)
- Canola or other neutral oil
- To serve (optional):
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- Cilantro or mint leaves
- Extra gochujang
- Cooked rice, optional
- Nori (seaweed sheets), optional
Whisk together the marinade:
In a large bowl, combine the tamari (or soy sauce), mirin, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and gochujang (or miso) for the marinade. Whisk until the ingredients are well-combined.
Marinate the steak for 20 to 30 minutes:
Cut the skirt steak into 2-inch wide strips. Add the strips to the bowl of marinade and stir until evenly coated. Marinate the strips of beef for 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature. If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 20 minutes.
Preheat the grill for at least 20 minutes while the meat is marinating:
The grill is hot enough when you can only hold your palm over the grill grates for a second or two.
Grill the beef skewers:
Thread meat onto the skewers and brush with oil. Grill the skewers for 4 minutes. Flip and grill another 3 to 4 minutes on the second side, until the steak reaches your preferred doneness.
Serve the skewers:
Sprinkle the skewers with sesame seeds and cilantro or mint, if using. Serve with rice, kimchi, nori, and extra gochujang