Korean seasoned raw beef (yukhoe) is a delicious, fantastic totally unique dish: cool, garlicky, nutty, a little sweet and of course meaty! It makes for a great side dish for drinking. My recipe uses a lot of garlic, so plan in advance for garlic breath!
This recipe has been a favorite in my family for a long time. Over the years I’ve tried many different versions in restaurants and experimented with ratios, but I always come back to this one. I love the contrast between the strong garlic, sesame oil flavor, sweetness, saltiness, and cool beef.
Many Korean restaurants add an egg yolk to the middle of the plated dish, but I’ve never liked that method. I don’t alway want egg yolk on my yukhoe. But recently I’ve come to enjoy a yolk on the side, and this way you can ask your guests if they want a yolk of their own, instead of putting it on the dish for all to share. Give your family or guests a little freedom, let them dip their yukhoe in a yolk, if they like!
One of the keys to this dish is to buy fresh, good quality beef that’s tender and has almost no fat. I find it best to talk to my butcher directly and tell him I’m going to eat it raw, so he (or she) can recommend the most suitable cut. If you can’t talk to your butcher, you have to be careful to buy the freshest you can get from a place you trust.
The other key is to make sure everything is cold. I keep my beef in the freezer for an hour or two before making yukhoe from it, that way it’s a little icy, easier to cut, and really cold when it’s mixed with seasoning sauce. Try not to handle it too much with your warm hands when you cut it, so it stays cold. I chill my serving platter too, by putting it in the fridge.
- 8 ounces (226 grams) of fresh tender beef. Choose any tender cut of beef without fat: flank steak, filet mignon, round, etc.
- ½ of a Korean pear (or 2 bosc or anjou pears)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 cups of cold water
- 6 or 7 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ of green onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of honey (or sugar)
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- a pinch of ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 7 or 8 pine nuts
- 1 egg yolk per person (optional)
- Freeze the beef for 1 to 2 hours.
- Make the seasoning sauce by combining garlic, green onion, soy sauce, honey, ground black pepper, toasted sesame oil, and sesame seeds in a bowl. Mix it well.
Soak the pear
- Mix 2 cups of cold water and 1 tablespoon sugar in a bowl with a spoon.
- Peel the pear and cut it into matchsticks. Soak them in the sugar water for about 10 minutes.
- Drain the pear sticks and dry with paper towel. Put them on a plate, clearing out a spot in the center to put your yukhoe.
- Take the beef out from the freezer and rinse it in cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels.
- Cut the beef into thin matchsticks and then Mix it with the seasoning sauce.
- Place the yukhoe in the center of the plate of pear matchsticks.
Sprinkle with pine nuts and serve right away as a side dish for alcohol, or as a snack or appetizer. An optional egg yolk for dipping can be served to each diner.