Steak & Salad, Fusion Style
Refreshing vinegar-based drinks are very popular in Korea--and, curiously, they're a lot like "shrubs," the vinegar-spiked fruit drinks of colonial America that are having a revival. Both inspired this sweet-tart cocktail by Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, chef-owners of Joule and Revel restaurants in Seattle. It's good as a mocktail too, with club soda instead of soju.
1. Make blueberry shrub: Bring vinegar, sugar, and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in berries. Let cool, then chill airtight at least 4 hours and up to 1 week.
2. Fill 4 tall glasses one-third full with ice; arrange cucumber sticks in them. Pour 1/2 cup soju into each, followed by 1/3 cup shrub (liquid and fruit). Taste, then add more shrub and a splash of club soda if you like.
*A liquor traditionally made from rice, soju can also be distilled from wheat, barley, tapioca, and sweet potatoes. The Japanese style is generally smooth, clean, and subtle; the Korean tends to have a fuller, stronger flavor. Find it at well-stocked grocery stores and liquor stores.
Sunset MAY 2012
These appetizer pancakes are a bit like latkes—moist inside and crispy at the edges. At Revel restaurant in Seattle, Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi serve them in summer as one of a rotating list of savory pancakes. You'll need an 8-in. nonstick frying pan.
1. Preheat oven to 250° and set a baking sheet in it. Mix flour, baking soda, and 1 tsp. salt in a medium bowl. Add egg and 3/4 cup water and whisk until smooth. Stir in zucchini, onions, and basil shreds.
2. Heat an 8-in. nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp. oil, and swirl. Spoon in one-quarter of batter and quickly spread even. Cook until underside is deep brown, 2 minutes; flip. Add a little oil if pan looks dry; brown second side. Transfer to oven. Make more pancakes the same way.
3. Quarter pancakes, garnish with basil sprigs, and add more salt if you like.
Sunset MAY 2012
Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, chef-owners of Joule and Revel restaurants in Seattle, like to play around with all kinds of radishes, including daikon and black Spanish radishes, when they make this colorful salad. For the thinnest slices, use a mandoline.
1. Cook peas in a medium pot of boiling water until tender-crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain, cool in ice water, and pat dry.
2. Whisk vinegar, chili paste, sugar, and oil in a large bowl to blend. Pour about 1/3 cup of the dressing into a small bowl. Toss peas, radishes, onion, and mizuna with dressing in large bowl. Transfer salad to plates and serve immediately, with salt and more dressing to add to taste.
*Made from red chiles, sugar, and fermented soybeans, this spicy-sweet chili paste is great in meat marinades, smeared in lettuce wraps, and stirred into soups. Buy it from an Asian market or from hmart.com; it keeps for months in the fridge. Find colorful radishes at farmers' markets and gourmet grocery stores. Get mizuna, a type of mustard green, at Asian markets and farmers' markets.
Sunset MAY 2012
Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi serve these juicy, well-marbled boned short ribs with housemade kimchi at their restaurant Joule, in Seattle. For grilling the kimchi, you'll need a metal rack (the kind for cooling cookies works well) or perforated grill pan.
1. Whirl pear, onion, ginger, garlic, sake, mirin, and soy sauce in a blender until puréed. Pour into a deep bowl, add short ribs, and chill 3 to 4 hours. Drain marinade and let meat come to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat grill to medium (350° to 450°) for a gas grill or hot (450° to 550°) for a charcoal grill, with a burner turned off or an area left clear for indirect heat. In a bowl, toss kimchi with oil and set aside. Grill meat, covered, over direct heat, turning once, until marks appear, 4 minutes total.
3. Transfer meat to indirect heat area and set a metal rack over direct heat, crosswise over grates. Cook steak over indirect heat until a thermometer reaches 125° for medium-rare, 6 to 8 minutes. Meanwhile, grill kimchi on rack, turning once, until lightly charred, about 8 minutes total. Set kimchi on a platter with steaks on top, and serve with rice if you like.
*Short ribs don't come already boned, so you can ask a butcher to do it, bone them yourself (3 3/4 lbs. yields 1 1/2 lbs. trimmed "steaks"), or substitute boneless beef country-style ribs, a cut from the chuck eye roll that's similar in flavor, though less marbled. Find kimchi in grocery stores' refrigerated foods section and at Asian markets.
Sunset MAY 2012
Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, chef-owners of Joule and Revel restaurants in Seattle, have taken a favorite Korean dessert—shaved ice with sweet syrup--and turned it into a ginger-flavored granita.
1. Bring 1 1/2 cups water and the sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove syrup from heat.
2. Meanwhile, whirl ginger in a food processor to mince. Add 3/4 cup water and whirl about 1 minute to extract juice. Pour mixture into a fine strainer set over a bowl and press to extract liquid; discard ginger. Stir liquid into syrup, pour 1/2 cup of mixture into a small bowl, and pour the rest into a 9- by 13-in. pan. Let liquids cool. Chill the 1/2 cup ginger liquid, covered, until used.
3. Cover pan with foil and freeze until slushy at edges, about 2 hours. Stir well with a fork, breaking up any lumps, then freeze until solid, at least 3 hours.
4. Meanwhile, stir apricots into liquid in bowl, then chill at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
5. Scrape frozen mixture with a fork to make large flakes. Spoon ginger ice into bowls and drizzle each with some sweetened condensed milk. Drain apricots, then spoon over desserts. Garnish with mint sprigs.
Sunset MAY 2012
Cucumber, Soju, and Blueberry Shrub Cocktail
Zucchini and Thai Basil Pancakes
Summer Radish Salad with Sweet Chili Vinaigrette
Short Rib "Steaks" with Grilled Kimchi
Ginger Shaved Ice with Apricots and Sweetened Condensed Milk
From two rising Seattle chefs, this Korean-American twist on a classic steak menu brings the best of both cultures to the table. Basil pancakes, grilled kimchi, and a ginger-infused dessert make for a flavorful, party-ready menu.
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