This wild dish, a favorite at the many Korean restaurants springing up across America, has one of the strangest textures imaginable
2/3 pound very fresh lean flank steak
2 1/2 tablespoons thin soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon finely chopped scallion
2 teaspoons very finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, ground to a powder
2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
1 medium Asian pear
1 jumbo egg yolk
4 leaves of red-leaf lettuce
1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts, finely chopped
1. Freeze the flank steak until just firm, about 1 hour. Using a sharp knife, slice beef across the grain into broad slices. Then, cut each slice into thin strips.
2. In a large bowl combine the soy sauce, sugar, scallion, garlic, ground sesame seeds, and sesame oil. Add meat and mix gently. Peel and core the pear, and cut into strips the same size as the beef strips; toss strips with the beef. Toss beef with the egg yolk. Taste for seasoning.
3. Arrange the lettuce leaves on 4 plates, and top each leaf with one fourth of the beef mixture. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and serve immediately.
Note: An alternative way to serve this dish is to leave out the egg yolk, but top each plated portion with a raw quail's egg yolk; then, each individual diner stirs his or her small yolk into the beef salad.
This wild dish, a favorite at the many Korean restaurants springing up across America, has one of the strangest textures imaginable: the beef is partially frozen, then thinly sliced, then served while still partially frozen! The chill certainly adds a bracing cleanness to raw beef. Serves 4 as a first course