Street Food: Korean – The “It” Food

Street Food: Korean – The “It” Food banner image

Playing with FoodKorean food is definitely the “it” food of the moment. More and more Korean restaurants and popups have been opening over the last year, with a number of Korean cookbooks on sale or about to be published. The draw is that, while similar to other East Asian cuisines, it is distinctive, spicy and fresh. As such, I thought I should include it in this street food series.

Normally I wouldn’t make Korean at home. As much as I like East Asian food, I find the making of the sauces and pastes, etc. tedious, but recently the UK’s first set of Korean sauces for the home have come to the market. In sale only at Sainsbury’s, the range is created by Yogiyo and backed by Dragons Den’s Peter Jones. It consists of three sauces: Galbi – a fruity sauce perfect for marinating meat and veg for stir-fries, and two variants of Gochujang – a Korean chilli sauce – one for cooking and the other is a dipping sauce, to use their parlance.

I can’t recommend the sauces enough, particularly the Gochujang dipping sauce. Having used them a few times I thought I’d suggest some dishes you could make easily and quickly should you fancy a bit of Korean at home anytime soon.

The first dish I tried was marinating a rump steak in the Galbi sauce for anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hour and then frying it as you would any other steak. Serve it with whatever you like, but I would suggest a simple baby gem lettuce salad in a Korean style dressing, my recipe for which is simple:

  • Combine 1 tablespoon of soy sauce with 1 dessertspoon of toasted sesame seed oil, 2 teaspoons of honey, half a teaspoon of chilli flakes, pinch of pepper, 3 spring onions finely chopped and 1½ teaspoons of Yogiyo’s Gochujang dipping sauce.
  • The Gochujang is great as a condiment on steak or for chips; it could best be described as similar to a spiced Asian version of brown sauce.

I have also tried a Korean-inspired chicken burger. Again, a very simple dish to make.

  • Marinate 2 deboned and skinned chicken thighs per person in the Gochujang cooking sauce for 1 hour and then fry for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until cooked. Build the burger with a few leaves of baby gem lettuce, topped with a Korean inspired version of coleslaw and then the chicken. You could also top with a bit of sriracha hot sauce.

The coleslaw is simple to make and can be done while the chicken is marinating.

  • For 1 person combine – 1/8 of a shredded white cabbage, dessertspoon of mayonnaise, salt, pepper, 1 crushed garlic clove, 3 finely chopped spring onions, ½ a teaspoon of chilli flakes and 1 dessertspoon of the Yogiyo’s Gochujang dipping sauce.