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These Kimchi-Bulgogi Sandwiches Take Lunch to the Next Level

Photo copyright © 2020 by Johnny Autry

The delicious recipe comes straight from the Phoenicia Diner cookbook, and features steak marinated in ginger, pear, and gochujang, among other ingredients.

Kimchi-Bulgogi Sandwiches

Serves 4

For the steak:

1 ripe pear (any variety), peeled, cored, and cut into chunks (about 1 cup)
7 garlic cloves
1 medium onion, cut into large chunks (about 1 cup)
3 scallions, roughly chopped, plus more, thinly sliced, for garnish
2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 packed tablespoons dark brown sugar
½ cup gochujang (see Note)
¼ cup soy sauce or tamari
¼ cup toasted sesame oil
1½ pounds flank steak
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For serving:

¼ cup mayonnaise
1 fresh baguette or 4 ciabatta rolls, cut in half lengthwise and toasted
2 cups kimchi, drained and roughly chopped
¾ cup whole fresh cilantro leaves


Photo copyright © 2020 by Johnny Autry

1. Prepare the steak: Combine the pear, garlic, onion, scallions, ginger, brown sugar, gochujang, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a blender and whizz until very smooth, stopping along the way to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Place the steak in a medium bowl or large glass baking dish. Season both sides with the salt and pepper. Pour the marinade over the top, turn over to coat the other side, and jiggle around slightly to cover the steak completely with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 8 hours, or overnight.

2. Heat a grill or grill pan over high heat until smoking hot. Meanwhile, remove the meat from the marinade, holding the steak over the bowl to allow excess liquid to drip off (if the marinade is clinging to the meat in globs, gently scrape off the excess). Grill the steak for 4 to 5 minutes on each side for medium rare, then take it off the heat and allow to rest 10 minutes.

3. Assemble the sandwiches: Spread mayo on half of the bread. When the meat has rested, cut it into ¼-inch-thick slices. Divide the meat evenly across the bread, then do the same with the kimchi, cilantro, and sliced scallions. Top with the other half of the bread and serve.

NOTE: Gochujang is increasingly accessible in supermarkets, but if you can’t find it at yours, it’s widely available online.

Reprinted from The Phoenicia Diner Cookbook. Copyright © 2020 by Catskills Diner Holdings LLC. Photographs copyright © 2020 by Johnny Autry. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.