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Course: Mains
Keyword: Beef, Korean, Seoul Special

Seoul Special

Seoul Special from Good Eats: Reloaded
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 10 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 freshly grated palm sugar or dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons rice wine 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 roast, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
  • 1 cup packed kimchi, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 5 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 10 shiitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 (10-ounce) box frozen spinach, defrosted, drained, and squeezed dry
  • 5 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias
  • 4 cups cooked white rice
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Specialized Hardware

  • Food processor
  • 11-inch straight-sided saute pan or 15-inch wok
Seoul Special from Good Eats: Reloaded
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 10 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 2 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 an 11-inch sauté pan or 15-inch wok over high heat for 5 minutes, then add 2 tablespoons of the peanut oil, followed by the mushrooms and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Sear, undisturbed, for 90 seconds, 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 any marinade remaining in the bowl. Cook, stirring constantly, until the meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. When the pan is almost dry, add the reserved kimchi-vinegar 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 meat, egg, and vegetable mixture; and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve.
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