Sesame Grilled Beef
Korean cuisine is probably the best kept food secret in Asia. From the moment Steven Raichlen and his wife landed in Seoul, they ate extraordinarily well. And despite the time of year (January) and the weather (frigid), they had barbecue everywhere they went. Most of the meat is grilled to order on a tabletop brazier, which helps warm your frozen fingers as you eat.
Korean barbecue comes in two main varieties, one of which is bul kogi. This type of barbecue consists of thin shavings of beef steeped in a salty-sweet sesame marinade and cooked until crisp on a charcoal grill that resembles an inverted wok. The sugar and sesame oil caramelize during cooking, giving the meat a candied sweetness. The dish takes its name from the Korean words for "fire" and "meat."
Bul kogi is eaten like moo shu or fajitas, using a lettuce leaf instead of a pancake or tortilla. You roll the grilled meat in a romaine lettuce leaf, dip it in the sauce and eat it. The result is a fabulous contrast of sweet and salty, pungent and fruity, crisp and chewy.