My friend David has been staying at our house for the last week. He’s a super famous and recently published doctor of physics at nearby Vassar College with a focus on acoustics. He just wrapped up a year long sabbatical in Germany and is working on settling back home. He’s a blast to have around and also a pain to go to the movies with (“The wavelength reverberations in this room are all off. They should totally be all blah blah physics blah blah”). He’s also a vegetarian, whose culinary integration into our home has truly tested the capacities of my refrigerator.
To say thank you for the temporary lodging, he made dinner for us last night. It left me a bit speechless because (A) it was delicious and (B) he cooked us meat. Legit, no soy involved, 100% grade A meat. To a perfect medium, no less (I chalk it up to beginner’s luck. Also to my telling him when it was ready and slicing it for him).
The star of the meal were his amazing Korean-style roasted Brussels sprouts. They were sweet, spicy, Brussel-y (in a good way), and flavored with his vegetarian secret weapon: gochujang (“go-choo-tjang”). Gochujang is a fermented soybean paste mixed with chili powder that’s a staple in Korean kitchens. Think of it like sriracha meets miso. Also think of it as the only way you’ll ever want to have Brussels sprouts ever again.
Korean-Style Brussels Sprouts with Marinated Skirt Steak
Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
For the Brussels sprouts:
2 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, cut in half
2 tablespoons peanut or olive oil
4 tablespoons gochujang
1/2 cup orange juice
1 small shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
For the skirt steak:
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1-inch knob ginger, finely chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sriracha
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pound skirt steak
1 tablespoon peanut or olive oil
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Spread the Brussels sprouts out onto a baking sheet and toss with the oil. Roast until beginning to brown, about 20 minutes. While the sprouts are roasting, whisk together the gochujang, orange juice, shallot, and garlic. Toss the lightly browned sprouts with the gochujang mixture and continue roasting until glazed and very tender, about 20 minutes more.
While the sprouts are roasting, in a medium mixing bowl or one gallon resealable bag, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, ginger, garlic, sriracha, and sugar. Add the steak to the sesame mixture and marinate for 20 minutes.
Place a large cast iron skillet over medium heat with the oil. Cook the steak in the skillet to your desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium. Let the steak rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
When the sprouts are finished, toss them with the butter and season with salt. Serve the sprouts with the sliced steak.
Note: Gochujang is available in most Asian markets and some grocery store aisles. If you’re having a hard time finding it, mix together 3 tablespoons miso with 1 tablespoon sriracha for a substitute in this recipe.
What I left out earlier in this post is the part where David, in true non-meat eater fashion, filled his plate with some tofu marinated in the same ingredients as the steak. If you want to do things his way, reach for some firm tofu, let it sit in the marinade for about an hour and then sear it off in a pan until heated through.
Patrick W. Decker’s life revolves around food. Always has, probably always will. As a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and past member of the culinary teams for Food Network stars like Rachael Ray, Sandra Lee and Paula Deen, he now works as a food stylist and producer in NYC by day and a food writer and recipe developer at his home in New York’s Hudson Valley by night. You can see what he’s up to by following his latest tweets on Twitter at @patrickwdecker or visiting his website at patrickwdecker.com.