If you thought cube steak was made for chicken frying, end of story… well, welcome to a new, flavor packed chapter. This approachable twist on traditional bulgogi swaps the budget-friendly cut in for skirt steak, resulting in an incredibly tender and flavorful beef dish—perfect for piling over white rice or into lettuce cups with kimchi. Because of its being pounded into a thin steak, cube steak absorbs the marinade incredibly quickly; while this makes for great flavor, you don’t want to leave the meat in your marinade for too long as the beef will begin to break down. We found 2 hours to be plenty of marinating time, but if this doesn’t work in your schedule, do your best to avoid letting the beef marinate for more than 6 hours. We also found that reserving part of the marinade for a finishing sauce ties the dish together beautifully. Pro tip: Do not fear a screaming-hot skillet; your pan needs to be hot in order to achieve a nice char on the beef, which will help give the dish that “barbecued” flavor that bulgogi is known for.
4 Tbsp. peeled and chopped Bosc pear (from 1 pear)
4 Tbsp. soy sauce
3 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves
4 scallions, thinly sliced, divided
1 lb. cubed steak, sliced into 1/2-in.-wide and 2-in.-long strips
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper, divided
2 Tbsp. canola oil, divided
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
Butter lettuce leaves
How to Make It
Combine pear, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and 2 of the sliced scallions in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped, about 15 times. Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade mixture in a small bowl.
Combine sliced steak, remaining marinade mixture, and 1/4 teaspoon of the crushed red pepper in a medium bowl. Cover and chill 2 hours.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high. Using tongs, transfer half of the steak from marinade to hot oil in skillet; cook, stirring often, until steak is cooked through and edges are crisp. Transfer to a serving platter. Repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and remaing steak. Drizzle reserved marinade mixture over steak. Sprinkle steak with salt, sesame seeds, and remaining 2 sliced scallions and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper. Serve with rice, cucumbers, kimchi, and butter lettuce leaves.
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