Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Maligcong Break Journal: Something's Beefy Is Cooking

The joy of cooking outdoors over fire
Serving suggestion only

I promised Suzette I'll cook her and the brood my recipe for Korean Sweet & Spicy Beef Stew ala House of Kimchi when I get to come back to Maligcong.  I had to scale up the ingredients and modify my recipe a bit but here's what I did. 

Go ahead and try it.  It's pretty easy and very savory - you just have to have the patience to wait it out until the beef's really tender.  I tried using a pressure cooker before but didn't like the result so went back to plain old slow and long cooking. 

The secret is no secret - it's really a sense of taste as well as the patience of fighting fastfood urges.  Really good food takes time to simmer.  Don't be afraid to take risks and adjust the brew to suit your own taste buds.  If you have access to an firewood-fueled stove, the wood will impart an extra smoky flavor to your cooking as well as save you money from exhausting your LPG tank prematurely. Enough of the talk and here's my take on this spicy, savory stew.

Og's Korean Sweet & Spicy Beef Stew


  •  Beef (preferably brisket or chuck) - 2 kilos, cubed
  •  Beef bones - 1 kilo
  •  Water, about 2 liters
  •  Soy sauce - 3-4 cups
  •  Patis (Pinoy fish sauce) - 1/6 cup
  •  Sesame oil - 1/3 cup
  •  Sugar (brown or white) - 2 cups
  •  Garlic, chopped - 2 whole
  •  Onions, sliced - 2 whole
  •  Star anise - 12-16 pcs
  •  Black pepper - 2 tbsp
  •  Chili powder - about 1/3 cup (Or substitute sliced fresh chili pepper, 3 tsp)
  • Spanish paprika, 2 tbsp (optional)
  • Optional: Aji Ginisa mix - 3 sachets
  • Optional: Leeks, sliced - for garnish and extra aroma
  • Not optional: patience - about 3 hours worth of it

Chopsticks optional

• Toast sesame seeds and set aside.

• Lightly brown garlic in cooking oil and set aside.

• Saute onions in cooking oil.  When caramelized, add the garlic.

• Transfer onions and garlic in big pot. Add water, soy sauce, Aji seasoning, chili powder/fresh chilies, paprika, and sesame oil.

• Add beef cuts along with broth (If you have more time, boil beef bones separately for about an hour.  Else, just add the bones along with the beef cuts)

• Add patience in the mix - boil for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

• At the start of the 3rd hour, add the sugar to the water and stir the stew well.

• Simmer for another hour or so until you can cut the beef with a spoon. Do a random tasting of the brew every now and then and adjust the spiciness or sweetness (or both) by adding a bit of chili or sugar to suit your taste.

• Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and leeks before serving.

(Serves a whole family of about 6 :)) Should you have leftover broth, just cook some mami or bihon noodles in the stew.  We had the good fortune of being able to cook outdoors using firewood, hence, bringing additional flavor to the brew as well as saving on expensive LPG.


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