Thursday, March 13, 2014
Kat in the Kitchen: Korean Ground Beef and Quinoa Wraps
Okay, we are going to start this post out like most of my recipe posts with ... once upon a time, Becca taught me how to make ____ (insert something I will never be able to match ... I keep telling her to start a food blog!). So once upon a time (last summer), I had made our nightly meal and put quite a bit more effort in it than my usual daily dinners made with a sous chef battling me to see how much havoc we could wreck in the already messy kitchen. I was inspired by a sandwich I saw on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. We had salmon BLTs on ciabatta with my homemade pesto mayonnaise. It wasn't as good as I'm sure the actual sandwich on the TV show was, but it was good nonetheless. Chris would say that I think anything that I cook tastes great, but no! I don't think that. Anyway, it turned out that both Annie and Chris had already eaten some of what Becca had made earlier - Korean BBQ made from a roast. Being the pregnant woman that I was, I had to have some, too. It was delicious, and honestly, it was pretty addicting. I don't know how I had never had Korean BBQ before then?
Starting then, I started to attempt at replicating the recipe, but with my can't-mess-up favorite of ground beef. Sorry readers, if you come to my house, you won't be eating steak or if by some crazy chance you do, it probably will be tough and overcooked. I've been using the Korean Ground Beef recipe from Lizzy Writes for the past few months to great success. It is ridiculously easy and really, just delicious. The tip that she notes about Rachael Ray's trick to freeze half inch, peeled pieces of ginger until ready to grate in a recipe is very smart, too.
We have been trying to eat on the healthier side lately so last week when I put Korean Ground Beef on the menu, I tweaked it to make it fit into our meal plan. I'm not banning all sugar, grains, dairy or whatever else could be called bad by what is in style; I'm just trying to be better all around. When I read that brown sugar is really just refined white sugar with molasses added back in, I wondered, "Why not just use molasses?" And thus my new recipe for Korean Ground Beef was born.
(for the record, I still have never had actual Korean BBQ so maybe this should be titled Korean-inspired?)
I rounded out the healthy side by using quinoa instead of rice, and I made sure to purchase roasted seaweed wraps for $1.99 from my favorite Asian market. Want the recipe? I'll type it anyway:
Korean Ground Beef and Quinoa Wraps (serves 4 hungry people, 6 regular people)
adapted from Lizzy Writes
2 pounds ground beef
2 tablespoon sesame oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup soy sauce (or liquid aminos if you are going gluten-free)
1 teaspoon ginger minced
1 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cup water
1/2 cup vinegar
Roasted Seaweed wraps - 5 cut in quarters to make 20 small wraps
Optional: chopped green onions, crushed red pepper, pickled ginger on the side
Prepare quinoa by combining the uncooked quinoa, water and vinegar in a small pot, and bring it all to a boil. Cover the pot and turn the heat to low for 15-20 minutes until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Fluff.
Heat a skillet to medium heat and brown the ground beef, sesame oil, and garlic. Once meat is brown all the way through, turn off heat and drain most of the fat while taking care to keep most of the garlic in the skillet. Add molasses, soy sauce and ginger. Mix well over low heat to make sure that the molasses completely combines with the soy sauce. Simmer for 3-5 minutes. While the meat simmers, cut the seaweed wraps into quarters. Chop green onions, if using.
Once all the components are prepared, put a couple tablespoon of quinoa in the middle of a seaweed quarter followed by a couple tablespoons of ground beef and top with the chopped green onions and crushed red pepper. Enjoy!
If you don't have quinoa available, or are looking for even more of a budget meal, by all means, use rice! These can also be made into Korean Beef bowls easily if you just put some rice or quinoa in a bowl, add the meat and top with a crushed roasted seaweed or sprinkle on some rice seasoning. As you can see, this is a very flexible recipe.