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Course: Mains
Keyword: Beef, Korean, Meats, Seoul Special

Seoul Special

Korean Seoul special dish with marinated beef, vegetables, and rice
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
This meaty mashup is a blend of an old San Francisco diner classic from the '20s called Joe's Special and a recipe from the other side of the Pacific that shares many of its ingredients: bibimbap. It's a late-night nosh I call Seoul Special, and it goes a little something like this.
This recipe first appeared in Season 1 of Good Eats: Reloaded.
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  • 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean red chili paste)
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated palm sugar or dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons rice vinegar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 6 ounces chuck roast, trimmed of excess gristle and silver skin, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes, and chilled
  • 6 ounces sirloin steak, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
  • 1 cup packed kimchi, thinly sliced, divided
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 5 tablespoons peanut oil, divided, plus extra if needed
  • 10 fresh shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 (10-ounce) box frozen spinach, cooked, drained, squeezed dry, and then picked apart again
  • 5 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias (1 cup)
  • 4 cups leftover takeout-style white rice
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Specialized Hardware

Food processor
11-inch straight-sided saute pan or 15-inch wok
Korean Seoul special dish with marinated beef, vegetables, and rice
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings


  • Whisk together the gochujang, palm sugar, 2 teaspoons of the rice vinegar, and the sesame oil in a medium bowl and set aside.
  • Pulse the chuck and sirloin in a food processor until it resembles a coarse, medium grind, 8 one-second pulses. Add the gochujang mixture and pulse two more times to combine. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Stir 1/2 cup of the kimchi together with the remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar, along with all of the ketchup and fish sauce and set aside.
  • Whisk the eggs with the soy sauce until homogenous.
  • Heat a large sauté pan or wok (about 15 inches in diameter) over high heat for at least 5 minutes, then add 2 tablespoons of the peanut oil, followed by the mushrooms and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Sear, undisturbed, for a minute and a half, then stir and continue cooking until the mushrooms develop well-browned, crispy edges, about 2 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Add 1 tablespoon more peanut oil to the pan, followed by the ginger, garlic and remaining teaspoon of salt. Count to three, and then add all of the meat and marinade. Cook, stirring constantly, until the meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. When the pan is almost dry, add the kimchi mixture and stir, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the spinach to the pan and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the eggs and reserved mushrooms and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until scrambled and set, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Fold in the scallions and immediately transfer to a large serving bowl. Set aside while you fry the rice.
  • Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of the peanut oil in the now-empty sauté pan over high heat just until it shimmers. Add the rice to the pan, mashing it into a thin layer, and cook undisturbed until you hear it start to crackle, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of kimchi and cook until just heated through, about 1 minute. Portion into 4 bowls, top with the scramble, and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve.
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