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Yukhoe – Tartare with a Twist

raw beef tartare

Both my husband and I are frequent and fanatic travelers. Of course, the thing we like most about exploring the wonderful, wide world is to discover its different foods and related traditions.

One of Daniel’s absolutely favorite trips, speaking of the food, was a month in Korea. He seemingly admired – and ever since fondly remembers – every single bite and sip of those four weeks. So when I stumbled upon “Growing up in a Korean Kitchen” by Hi Soo Shin Hepinstall (Ten Speed Press), a cookbook packed not only with recipes but stories, memories and clear info on products and techniques, it immediately came home with me.

We have cooked many dishes out of this book, and liked every single one of them. But one recipe has become our favorite and by now, in a slightly adapted way, is a staple on those nights we have to work late but still want to enjoy a nice supper at the end of it all. This raw dish requests a little prep and a few hours of rest in the fridge. That’s it. Very convenient.

sesame oil, rice vinegar, spring onions, spices

Yukhoe is a fine and somehow lighter interpretation of the classic Beefsteak Tartare. Even though the original recipe suggests to fold in an egg just before serving, we found out – simply by forgetting about that last step one night – that we like the egg less version better. Ha, us egg nuts, of all!

The Korean Tartare uses sesame oil, rice wine, juiced garlic and ginger to hold the whole mass together. The meat is not ground but hand cut, which takes a bit of time, but is totally worth it. Also the intense and patient massaging of the meat – with, besides the mentioned liquids, sesame seeds and spring onions – pays off: The meat stays moist, and those manually worked in flavors later just burst out.

This is one simply beautiful taste and texture combination. With or without the egg, for once.

beef sirloin for korean tartare

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