Slow Cooker Shredded Korean Beef Burritos

I love the idea of fusion food. It goes along with my whole theory that everything that tastes good paired with carbs (rice/noodles/bread/etc) would taste good wrapped in a wonton and deep-fried. So far this theory has not been proven wrong yet, but I have yet to try some of my crazier ideas.

This time I decided to go the other way. Asian food in a tortilla. Not totally original though. I think there’s some ridiculously popular food truck in LA or something that makes Korean/Mexican fusion. I’ve never had it, but I think the truck has a pretty substantial Twitter following or something.

Anyway, this time I got approval from not one, but TWO Korean friends, so I’m going to say this recipe is a winner! Also, I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: I loooove my slow cooker. Slow cookers are amaaazing. You put meat and marinade in and surprise! 8-12 hours later you have delicious, tender, flavorful meat! I either put stuff in before I got to bed or before I leave for work… I wonder if the people on my floor ever wonder why the hallway smells like beef at 5am in the morning.

The parts of this creation came from various places. I took some tips on how to assemble the burrito from New Asian Cuisine, adapted the beef from Stephanie O’Dea’s A Year of Slow Cooking, the kimchi fried rice from Serious Eats, the sauce from my Korean lawyer (well, law student) friend who would probably sue me if I didn’t cite her here, and I served the burritos with some baked wonton chips from Sweetnicks. Phew! I think that’s it.

Ingredients
4.2 lb chuck roast
3/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup soy sauce
10-11 whole cloves of garlic
1 sweet onion, sliced thin
2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
kimchi fried rice
romaine lettuce (~8 large leaves), cut in half
1 cucumber, sliced thinly
gochujang
sesame oil
garlic powder
8 large flour tortillas
1/2 package wonton skins, cut in half into triangles
olive oil
salt
salsa or guacamole to serve with the chips

To make the burritos
Put the first 7 ingredients (up to “2 tablespoons sesame oil”) in the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-12 hours. Shred with a fork.

Make kimchi fried rice and set aside.

Mix gochujang, sesame oil, and garlic powder. I used about 3 parts gochujang, 2 parts sesame oil and a liberal sprinkling of garlic powder. It’s really just a matter of mixing the three things together, tasting and adjusting until desired taste is achieved.

To assemble, put rice, lettuce, cucumber, beef and gochujang sauce on the tortilla and roll. I’m really not an expert at rolling burritos, but these step by step instructions are pretty good.

To make the chips
Spray a cooking sheet with olive oil. Place wonton skins on, making sure they don’t touch. Spray tops with more olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Bake at 375 degrees (F) for 5-7 minutes or until brown. Serve with salsa and/or guacamole.

Kimchi Fried Rice and Bulgogi

Weekends always pass too quickly. It’s hard to believe that it’s already Sunday afternoon.

Not a lot has been going on here for me. Work has been pretty standard, the IV group I volunteer with just started up again for the school year, and my church is in fall outreach mode. So things have been busy, but nothing out of the ordinary to report on. I think the big news of the month is that I’m going back to my alma mater at the end of the month to attend the career fair. Yay! I’m excited to go back for a visit and see some old friends.

Anyway, this weekend marked my first attempt at making Korean food! Interestingly enough, the first time I had Korean food was my freshman year of COLLEGE when I was visiting my brother in NYC and he took me to a Korean restaurant. I didn’t even really like it that much back then. I’ve been noticing that my tastes have been changing a lot over the past years. On the list of things I never used to eat that I kind of like now: kimchi, eggs (sort of), mushrooms, zucchini, cabbage and asparagus. My mom would be so surprised if she knew I ate these things now cuz I never liked any of them when I was a kid.

So last night I tried my hand at kimchi fried rice and bulgogi (korean beef). Honestly I have never had kimchi fried rice before, so I’m not sure if it was “authentic” but I thought it tasted good. I got the approval of a friend who’s half-korean, so good enough for me. Haha. And I’m not sure about the bulgogi either because I’m not a huge fan of flank steak, so whenever I have bulgogi I always think it’s ok (I like the flavor but I find it too chewy), but not amazing. But I got the approval of a friend who doesn’t eat beef, so again, good enough for me!

On a side note, my friend helped me with the fried eggs because when it comes to cooking eggs, I’m kind of a newbie. I never used to eat eggs, so I never really learned how to cook them. Last weekend I was making hardboiled eggs and I actually had to look up “how to hardboil an egg” on the internet. After getting home last night I found this article about how to fry eggs. I’ll have to try it next time.

Ok, I’m done. Now on to the recipes.

Recipes adapted from Allrecipes.com and Serious Eats

Ingredients for bulgogi
2 lbs flank steak
soy sauce
sesame oil
6-7 cloves garlic, minced
5 tbsp white sugar
3 stalks green onions, chopped finely
ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl/container. I didn’t really measure the soy sauce, sesame oil, or pepper though. For the soy sauce I just poured until the beef stopped soaking it up, for the sesame oil I poured for maybe 2-3 seconds, and for the pepper, I added about 1-2 teaspoons.

Let the beef marinate for at least an hour, but it’s best if you let it marinate overnight.

Cook on high (marinade and all – I literally dumped all the contents of the pot I was marinating the beef in into the pan) in a frying pan until meat is cooked through. (Be careful not to overcook!)

Ingredients for kimchi fried rice
2 cups kimchi (plus juices)
1/2 onion, cut into pieces no bigger than 1/2″
1 tbsp butter
1 green onion stalk, chopped finely
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp gochujang
5 cups cooked rice
1 egg for each person, fried
oil (I used canola)

In a frying pan, heat canola oil. Add the kimchi and onion and cook until the onions have softened. Add butter, green onions, sesame oil, and gochujang and cook until the butter is melted and mixed in well.

Add rice and mix thoroughly. Let sit on medium heat to make the rice a little crispy. Serve with a fried egg on top.

Fried Rice

Fried rice became a staple of my diet during my senior year of college. It’s easy and you can put whatever you want in it. At the minimum, all you really need is rice and soy sauce… of course that’d be a really boring plate of fried rice. When I was younger and incredibly picky about food (I still am, but much less so now), my mom used to make me fried rice with just corn (from now on we’re just going to assume that there’s rice and soy sauce).

At the core, I would say you at least need, eggs and peas. I usually like to also add carrots, corn and some form of meat. Normally that means chicken, but occasionally I’ll use other things like bacon (pictured above) or spam (I’m not a huge fan of spam… meat in a can? No thanks. But other people like it).

So over the last year, I’ve been perfecting my fried rice technique, and during senior week I got a review of “better than anything I’ve ever had at Sushi Thai” (the Asian place near campus) from a friend. Woohoo!

Anyway, here’s what I’ve got.

Ingredients
2 cups (uncooked) rice, cooked and cooled down
5 eggs
4-5 oz frozen peas
2 carrots, diced
8 oz corn
1/2 sweet onion, diced
soy sauce
vegetable oil
salt

if using chicken:
1 chicken breast, sliced thinly
garlic and/or onion powder
cornstarch
JES Yakitori sauce

if using bacon:
6-7 sliced bacon, cut into small pieces

Preparation
If using chicken:
Marinate chicken with vegetable oil, soy sauce, garlic powder (and/or onion powder), salt, and cornstarch. (See this post for *slightly* better instructions).

If using bacon:
Fry bacon in a frying pan. When crispy, remove bacon with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel. Leave bacon grease in the pan.

Saute onions either using vegetable oil or bacon grease. When onions begin to turn translucent, add peas, carrots and a pinch of salt. Cook until vegetables are of desired tenderness. Add rice and mix in the pan. Pour soy sauce in and mix, adding more soy sauce until the rice is a light brown or until the rice reaches your desired saltiness.

If using bacon:
Mix in bacon, then remove from heat and set aside.

Beat the eggs in a bowl and add a little salt and soy sauce. Scramble the eggs in the frying pan. Add eggs to the rice and mix.

If using chicken:
Coat pan with vegetable oil and heat. Add chicken in a single layer in the bottom of the pan and allow to brown until the side facing upward begins to change color. Turn and cook the other side, then add enough Yakitori sauce to cover the chicken and stir. Remove from heat and toss chicken with the rice.