I remember the first time Victor and I walked into a little Korean Hot Pot restaurant a half a block from where we lived in SF.  The menu was just overwhelming.  The waitress, seeing the confusion on our faces, started asking questions, and then just said “Will you trust me?  I will bring you dinner.”  And she did.  We had a feast, had no idea what most of it was – but it sure did taste wonderful.  Plate after plate of food, scores of little tiny condiment bowls with tiny portions of delicious things.  I was hooked.

We were regulars from that day forth.

Fast-forward about 15 years, and I have finally found a recipe that almost tastes like the marinade they used to use for their beef.  Almost.  At this point I’ll take a close approximation!  Living out here in burbia, I really miss my honest, authentic, frequented-by-ethnics-ethnic-restaurants.  Whiskey Chicken from Panda Express just doesn’t cut it…

This, however, does.  I made it with boneless short ribs.  White rice and broccoli on the grill.  Perfect.


  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine (sake or sherry)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 scallions minced
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Mix all ingredients well.

Thinly-slice beef and marinate.  Cook over hot gril, being careful that thin strips don’t fall into the fire!  It’s gonna cook fast!

Serve with:

  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons scallion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste (more or less as desired)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients and serve atop beef.

My stomach is smiling.