I came to know about Stephen James through a friend of mine who lives in HK and told me about a contest that they were having. I ended up entering the rice pudding and by some crazy twist of fate, I ended up winning second prize. With that win, I politely asked if they might be willing to sponsor a giveaway and they completely have been generous and amazing to work with. Their products are organic, unusual, and unfortunately not available in stores in the US (they are in Hong Kong!) but you can find them on amazon.com.
The product I really enjoy using is their carazuc, which is a sweetener but it doesn't spike your blood sugar levels. I've used it as a one to one substitute in a lot of my baking with great success, but I wanted to experiment with it in my savory cooking, and so I decided to marinate some Korean bulgogi (thinly sliced ribeye) and the results were really wonderful. The carazuc adds sweetness and an depth of flavor to the meat and made for a delicious meal that my kids really loved. It dissolves in liquid similarly to sugar (probably a bit faster) and has a slightly smoky hint but tastes great with the meat.
I'm a traditionalist when it comes to marinating my bulgogi, so aside from the carazuc, I marinated the way that my mom taught me and the way that my family loves best. I always makes sure my marinade is fully mixed, carazuc/sugar fully dissolved before dipping each individual slice of meet into the marinade and then adding it to a separate bowl. My mom told me that this is the REAL way of making bulgogi and I have to say it's the only way I do it. I'm not tempted to try and dump everything all together in a bowl - it just doesn't make sense to do it that way. Your chances of getting a nice even marinade on each slice is drastically reduced.
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Now that you've entered the contest, definitely think about trying out this delicious marinade on your bulgogi. If you don't have carazuc (because you haven't won the contest yet) go ahead and substitute sugar, and then when you do WIN the contest, substitute the carazuc.
Bulgogi Marinade Sweetened with Carazuc
Serves 4 to 6 people
¼ cup soy
¼ cup carazuc or white sugar
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons sake
2 T minced garlic (or more if you like it more garlicky)
¼ cup green onions finely chopped
1 tablespoons ground sesame seeds
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 to 1.5 lbs thinly sliced ribeye (bulgogi cut, available at your local Korean market)
Mix all the marinade ingredients together making sure that the carazuc/sugar is completely dissolved.
Have a clean storage container ready and dip each slice of bulgogi into the marinade and place into your storage container. Continue until you are done with all the beef.
There are two fry pan methods of cooking the beef - one that gives you lots of extra liquid (which husband LOVES) and one that gives you no liquid and just a really flavorful beef (which is what I love.) The liquid saucy version means that you have to cook the beef in a cold fry pan. Put the beef in a fry pan and then turn on the heat and cook it over medium heat until done.The non-saucy, more caramelized version means that you start the beef in a HOT fry pan. Heat up your fry pan and then place the slices in there and cook over medium high heat, quickly until it is all cooked through.