Korean Style Beef Kebabs

I’ve no idea about Korean food, but Ken Hom says these are Korean style so I’ll take him at his word. Either way, these tender kebabs are divine, and should you have the ingredients to hand (I had to shop for the mirin and the spring onions) are a snap to make. I couldn’t taste the pineapple juice in them, but I think it does add to the underlying sweetness and apparently helps tenderize the meat.

Enough to serve 4 with rice and salad

  • 450g steak – rump steak, sirloin or even frying steak
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp pineapple juice
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp 5 spice powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped spring onions
  • 2 tbsp crushed garlic

Chop the steak into chunks roughly 1 inch x 2 inches. Mix the rest of the ingredients together and pour on top of the steaks in a non-metallic bowl. Leave to marinade for about an hour at room temperature.

Thread onto kebab sticks (either metal or if using bamboo, soak them in cold water for 30 minutes prior to using) and preheat your grill. When your grill is hot, put the kebabs in and cook for 3 or 4 minutes on each side.

동. 즐기다, 즐겁게 시간을 보내다.


Fast Food: Friday Night Chicken Kebabs

Two or three years ago, there used to be a show on BBC called Take on The Takeaway. It was a fairly mediocre show, honestly, but in principle it was fairly thoughtful. Essentially the chef would turn up at a house, where the participants apparently had an unhealthy reliance on takeaway food. For the purpose of the show, they usually have a favourite takeaway and the chef would show how it was possible to beat the takeaway on speed, price and yumminess. This show didn’t really teach me anything, the chefs weren’t cooking anything particularly spectacular, but as someone who is fairly lazy, it did encourage me to think about why I was wasting time and money on takeaway food, where most likely I could do far better on all three counts myself. On a day like today, I’m a perfect candidate for a takeaway – its the friday night of a tough week at work, I’m tired, cold, pissed off. I’ve got homework to do. I just want to sit on the sofa until it’s time for bed. Ordering takeaway, seems like the logical choice, no? Ok, no. Happily I had most of the ingredients for this meal at home. If you don’t have a blender, actually maybe a takeaway would be easier.

For the Kebabs

  • 2 large chicken breasts (free range, minimum)
  • juice of one lemon & one lime
  • tbsp chopped mint
  • tbsp chopped parsley
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 to  heaped 1 tsp chilli flakes*
  • 1/2 to heaped 1 tsp ground cumin*
  • 1/2 to heaped 1 tsp paprika*
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp plain yoghurt
  • 2 red peppers, cut in to chunks roughly the same size as the chicken

*depending on how spicy you want it, but try to keep the quantities roughly equal.

Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces. Put the rest of the ingredients into your blender and whizz until you have a fairly unattractive liquid. Pour this over the chicken. Leave to marinade from anything from 30 mins – 12 hours.When you’re ready to cook, thread the meat onto four skewers (if they’re wooden ones, please remember to soak them in water for thirty minutes or so previous to this) occasionally alternating with the chunks of pepper. Preheat the grill and then cook, under a medium  high heat for 15 minutes or so, turning occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, but not cremated.

For the mint and garlic sauce:

  • 100ml natural yoghurt
  • 3 tbsp mint, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • juice of half a lemon

Place all the above ingredients into the (now clean) blender. Whizz until mostly smooth.

Total time in the kitchen: 21 minutes. Total Effort 4/10 Expense: 7/10 (but organic chicken breasts) Taste:9/10 . No kebab house could have beaten that tonight. Serve either in toasted pitta, tortillas, or flatbread with salad and pickled chillies. Scoff!

And here’s a picture of my ‘hood in the snow. Not for any culinary reasons, just because I think its mighty purty: