This is my Korean Cheesesteak Sandwich recipe. I use spicy bulgogi beef, and provolone to make this awesome dish. The idea came to me after I headed to the states for a vacation. I visited this amazing mom and pop (actually it was two brothers) shop that was known for their sandwiches. I was totally blown away by how delicious it was, so I immediately started thinking of ways I can make an Asian version of it, and this is what I got!
Like I said before the idea came to be when I was eating a cheesesteak sandwich in the states. I was thinking how I could make an Asian version of this dish. I wanted to keep the sliced beef and cheese in the sandwich, but I also wanted it something more unique than just add teriyaki sauce or soy sauce to it.
First of I need the flavour to match the cheese, which led me to the idea of using gochujang. I knew cheese and the spicy fermented red paste would go perfectly from my older tteokboki au gratin recipe. After figuring that out I automatically thought of using Korean BBQ as the flavour, specifically bulgogi since it uses sliced beef. Researching online, I created my own version of spicy bulgogi that uses the gochujang paste.
I added other elements of Korean BBQ into my sandwich as well since I wanted to make this dish more “fusion-y.” The addition of raw sliced jalapeno and lettuce is to represent how Korean people eat BBQ. What you do is grab a leaf of lettuce, add some raw garlic or sliced jalapenos, the cooked meat, some sauce like gochujang, and then you fold the lettuce up into a nice neat package. The lettuce wrap is suppose to be bite sized since they usually eat it in one bite. The cool part is that you can share this with your family and friends by feeding them the lettuce wrap.
The funny thing is that I learned this from watching this happen to my friend. We were at a Korean BBQ restaurant, and it was our first time. We ordered a combo of various meats and started cooking. They also started bring out all these condiments and washed lettuce, which confused us. We didn’t want to look silly and start eating raw lettuce by itself so we asked a waitress what we’re suppose to do. She smiled and said she would show us how to eat.
She grabbed the lettuce, meat, condiments, and made a nice neat wrap. Turned to my friend and said “ahhh.” My friend confused as what was happening tried to reach for the wrap, which the waitress reacted by pulling the wrap away from his reach and said “No. Ahhh.” So, he slowly opens his mouth, and the she promptly feeds him the lettuce wrap. All of us ended up bursting in laughter and thanked the waitress. And that’s how I learned to eat Korean BBQ!
I hope you try this sandwich, it is seriously very good. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of make the marinade yourself, you can totally just go to an Asian market and buy the premade stuff.
1lb sliced beef
3/4 cup asian pear
1/3 medium onion
4 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp minced ginger
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp red pepper paste
1/2 tsp black pepper
handful of mushrooms
1 medium onion
4 hotdog buns
Start by blending the pear, onion, garlic, ginger, green onions together. You can use a blender, or a food processor. If you don’t have either, you could try using a fine grater and grate everything. Watch out for the onion, you’re going to need tissues.
After you have a nice pulp, add the soy sauce, sesame oil, gochujang, sugar, and salt. Wish until everything is incorporated. In a large container mix the sliced beef with the marinade. Make sure everything is covered. Place it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Once 30 minutes has past you can start the cooking. Grab a nice skillet over high heat and add a little oil to it. Cook the spicy bulgogi until they have a nice caramelization. It’s a lot easier to cook these in batches.
Placed the cooked meat to the side to rest while we work on the mushrooms and onins. All you need to do is slice them up, and saute them over medium heat until they’re golden brown.
Now the assemble the sandwich. Grab the buns, add the meat, raw jalapenos, add the mushrooms and onions, some gochujang for more flavour, and the provolone cheese. Place it in the oven and broil for about 10-15 minutes or until the cheese has completely melted. Add some lettuce and kimchi to the sandwich and you’re done.