Joanna Gaines’ Mom’s Bulgogi with Cucumber Kimchi Salad recipe (no fermentation!) and Cookbook review: Magnolia Table

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Joanna and Chip Gaines fan? My husband bought me her cookbook, Magnolia Table, for Mother’s Day, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was very pleasantly surprised. I *love* this book! How is she so skinny?! Thank you to William Morrow Cookbooks for letting me share her recipe for Mom’s Bulgogi with Cucumber Kimchi Salad with you. If you haven’t made bulgogi before, it’s a really flavorful Korean beef dish. The beef is sliced nice and thin and then it sits in a delicious marinade while you go about your day. I love hers because you quickly grill it and pick up that gorgeous smokiness from the coal/wood instead of a skillet. The cucumber kimchi doesn’t require any fermentation, just a quick spicy pickling with rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, chili flakes, etc., and hangs out in the fridge while you grill. I’ll get to the review of the book afterwards – and you have to try the burgers with tomato bacon jam and that blueberry, buttermilk, croissant bread pudding – but first, let’s get that bulgogi going!

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Mom’s Bulgogi with Cucumber Kimchi Salad

Prep: 20 minutes, plus 4 to 5 hours marinating   Cook: 10 to 20 minutes   Cool: None   Servings: 6 to 8

Bulgogi
3 cups packed light brown sugar
1 ½ cups soy sauce
5 Tablespoons sparkling dessert wine, such as Banfi Rosa Regale, or sparkling grape juice
3 Tablespoons sesame oil
2 green onions (light and green parts), chopped, plus ¼ cup sliced for serving
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 to 5 pounds beef tenderloin, rib-eye, top sirloin, or sirloin steak, thinly sliced (see note)

Cucumber Kimchi Salad
2 English cucumbers, peeled if desired, cut into ½-inch dice
2 green onions (light and green parts), thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 to 2 teaspoons gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes; see tip)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
½ to 1 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste

For Serving
Steamed white rice
1 to 2 Tablespoons thinly sliced green onion (light and green parts) as needed, for garnish
3 Tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted (see page 79 ~ I put it after the recipe ~ Jen), for garnish

1.Marinate the bulgogi: In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, soy sauce, wine, sesame oil, green onions, garlic, and pepper until well combined. Add the beef and coat it completely in marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 5 hours.

2. To make the cucumber kimchi salad: In a medium bowl, combine the cucumbers, green onions, garlic, gochugaru, sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, and salt to taste and stir gently. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

3. Prepare a hot grill. If the pieces of beef are so small that they may fall through the grates, use a grilling skillet or place a sheet of foil on the grill.

4. Grill the beef on both sides until medium-well, 3 to 5 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking. Don’t crowd the skillet or foil, so do this in batches if necessary. As you finish each batch, transfer it to a serving platter and continue with the remaining beef.

5. Serve the bulgogi on top of steamed rice. Garnish with green onion and toasted sesame seeds and a spoon of the cucumber kimchi salad alongside.

6. Store the leftover bulgogi and cucumber kimchi salad in separate covered containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Note: My mom usually has the butcher slice the beef for this dish when she buys it. If you live near a Korean market, they often sell packages of sliced rib-eye or top sirloin; sometimes they’re even marked specifically for bulgogi. If you buy big pieces to cut yourself, freeze the meat for about 30 minutes before cutting so that it’s easier to slice thinly and cut against the grain.

Tip: Gochugaru, or Korean red pepper, is commonly used in kimchi. It adds precisely the right amount of heat and unique flavor to the cucumber salad. Authentic Korean brands are readily available at Asian grocery stores or online, and the McCormick spice company packages it as well.

Toasting nuts and sesame seeds instructions from page 79…

To toast on the stovetop: Place the nuts or seeds in a single layer in a dry skillet over medium heat and toast, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and fragrant, 4 to 8 minutes. Immediately transfer the nuts or seeds to a plate to cool.

To toast in the oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the nuts or seeds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven, shaking the pan once or twice, until lightly browned and fragrant, 10 to 12 minutes. Immediately transfer the nuts or seeds to a plate to cool.


My review of the book…

51aQB0srlxLMagnolia Table
By Joanna Gaines
Edition: Hardcover

My husband bought this book for me for Mother’s Day. I had no idea what to expect and I’m delighted with it. It’s a collection of their family recipes from both sides, so it’s a great blend of mostly southern comfort food, with a few Syrian and Korean dishes with a family friendly, yet sophisticated vibe. Her recipes are easy, flavorful, and call for everyday ingredients. I think she has a slight crush on Gruyere cheese. I’m fine with that because I do, too.

My thoughts and pics of the dishes we’ve tried:
2wm1-2) Gaines Brothers Burgers – p 81 with Bacon-Tomato Sweet Drip Jam – p 82. These were great burgers! They were huge, so next time, I’m making them 6 oz each instead of nearly 11! The tomato drip jam makes enough to make this dinner twice. I considered scaling it back, but I’m so glad I didn’t because it’s soooo good!1wm
3) Layered Arugula Salad with Pear Vinaigrette – p 121. Beautiful and lovely flavor balance. The punch of the blue cheese is perfect against the sweet pears and candied walnuts, and the tart pomegranate arils are a nice contrast. 3wm
5wm4-5) Stew with Jalapeño Cornbread – p 261. This is delicious. The beef stew has tons of flavor. The cornbread isn’t sweetened at all beyond corn’s natural sweetness. The corn kernels, jalapeños, and pimentos make it really yummy, and not too spicy, and the texture’s great. This dinner’s a total keeper.4wm
6-7) Buttermilk Blueberry Puff – p 291. So rich and sweet. This is easy peasy, but a wonderfully decadent croissant bread pudding for brunch. (I think she has it in desserts.) I prepped it the night before and let it come to room temperature while I gave the oven plenty of time to preheat. It added a few minutes to the baking time, but worked really well.6wm7wm
8) Potato Gratin Mini Stacks – p 179. As yummy as they are cute.8wm
9) Beef Tenderloin with Pickled Jalapeno Sour Cream – p 249. This is delicious. The marinade’s great, and we loved the jalapeno sauce. 9wm
10wm10) Roasted Asparagus with Red Wine Bernaise Sauce – p 163. This was really good. The sauce should be silky. You wont stop whisking to answer your darling child’s text, so you wont break your emulsion, and yours will be much more aesthetically pleasing. Lol!
11) I sliced the leftover tenderloin paper thin and piled it on hoagies toasted with butter and garlic salt with a little thin extra sharp cheddar melted on it, and spooned that jalapeno cream over it. That was a fantastic sandwich! 11wm
12) Mom’s Bulgogi with Cucumber Kimchi Salad – p 240. Fantastic bulgogi. It marinates for 5 hours then gets a short spin on the grill. Her cucumber kimchi doesn’t require any fermentation. It’s a lovely, spicy, crisp, fresh, pickled tasting salad.IMG_1803wmIMG_1804wm

Some others I have flagged to try: Jojo’s biscuits – p 18 with Bob’s Classic Gravy – p 21 * Garlic Cheese Grits – p 31 * Eggs Benedict Casserole – p 35 * Syrian Donuts – p 45 * Quick Orange Walnut Sweet Rolls – p 57 * Cinnamon Squares – p 65 * Curry Chicken Salad with Toasted Nuts – p 79 * Country Potato Soup with Crumbled Bacon – p 103 * Sausage and Kale Soup – p 109 * White Cheddar Bisque – p 111 * Autumn Butternut Squash Soup – p 113 * Brussels Sprouts Salad – p 115 * Peach Caprese – p 117 * Deviled Eggs – p 133 * Party Queso – p 135 * Baked Brie – p 150 * Sheet Pan Nachos – p 151 * White Bean Hummus – p 153 * Souffled Broccoli Casserole – p 171 * Creamy Squash Casserole with Green Chiles – p 177 * Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas – p 193 * Chicken Pot Pie – p 197 * Dedication Casserole – p 197 * King Ranch Chicken with Mexican-Style Jicama Salad – p 207 * Jo’s Fatayar with Lebanese Salad – p 244 * Broiled Honey Thyme Peaches with Ice Cream and Aged Balsamic – p 281 * Chocolate Orange Bread Pudding – p 293


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Magnolia Table

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