One of the cool things about being in Korea is those unexpected synchronoisites between back home and out here. One of my favourite dishes in London is a steak tartare at The Wolseley. It is one of those perfect combinations of food, venue and hangover reduction.
I always thought that raw minced beef, egg and a few capers and onions – or steak tartare – was a uniquely European thing and then drunk one night at 3:00am someone said “do you want to go and get some raw beef?” and I learnt about yukhoe (육회). Now I think this a generic term for a raw beef dish but generally it refers to a Korean style steak tartare which is, quite frankly, better than the Euro version.
Now, despite my mediocreness at cooking I can actually give you a recipe so you can make this at home. It is minced fresh raw beef which has been marinated in sesame oil and mirin/ sweetener, egg on the side, matchsticks of pear and Korean seasame leaf to mix in. When good the meat so tender that it reminds you of premium grade tuna (chutoro) with the taste spot and softly on.
We went to a small backstreet place in Sinsa to eat it and I will upload the coordinates to my Gmap when I get a moment as it is worth trying. I knew I would love the restaurant as soon as I walked in. The grandma doing all the cooking behind the counter was rocking American Apparel pretty hard and the menu was pretty simple: raw beef with stuff with beer or soju on the side. I mean what is not to love.
We had the yukhoe mentioned above but also the raw beef in two other dishes: a yukhoe bibimbap (비빔밥) and naegmyeon (냉면). For those of you who are unfamiliar with Korean food that is basically raw beef mushed with rice and some leaves and raw beef with cold long noodles. Again a complete success and use of raw beef in ways I hadn’t expected.
- Name – 육회본좌
- Address – 101-24 Nonhyeon-dong , Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul / TeJc Gmap here
- Price – KRW20,000 to 30,000 a head