If you've ever wondered if Korean households have dining tables with built in bbq holes, like the ones at Korean bbq restaurants, the answer is “no”. The historical antecedent for modern restaurant tables are traditional Korean kitchens with round stoves (agungi) that were fueled by wood or large cylindrical charcoal briquets. If you clicked on the link, you probably figured out why Korean bbq pans are dome shaped, rather than square or rectangular.

Or, perhaps, you've never wondered about any of this. Humor us anyway, we wrote three articles for Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia and critiqued a scholarly paper on nationalism and Korean airline food. We live for moments like this. However, we completely understand that you're probably more interested in Chef Jason Kim's soy and Coca-Cola flank steak marinade for Forage in Silver Lake. Turn the page for his recipe.

Forage's Soy and Coca-Cola Flank Steak

Recipe: From Jason Kim, Chef and owner of Forage in Silver Lake

Notes from Jason Kim: Don't be afraid of all the garlic in the recipe. Koreans eat lots of garlic. When I was growing up my mom would make her marinade by pounding the garlic in a mortar with pestle. She would chop the other ingredients really well by hand. When she poured the marinade over the meat, it looked really cool. I use a blender because my version of this recipe is for a restaurant and we have to serve a lot of flank steak. It may not look as cool, but in some ways it might be better because the meat gets to marinate in all the ingredients evenly. At the restaurant, we use the marinade for our grilled flank steak. For service, drizzle on the vinaigrette, and sprinkle with sesame seeds and thinly sliced spring onions cut on the bias.

Makes: Enough for 5 pounds of meat.


5 garlic cloves

1 piece of ginger about the size of your thumb

1/4 cup sesame oil

1 cup soy sauce

1 cup MexiCoke

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1 whole jalapeño pepper, including seeds, remove stem

1. Puree all the ingredients in a blender for approximately 20-30 seconds, or until smooth

2. Pour the marinade over the flank steak, cover and place in the refrigerator, for a minimum of six hours, preferably overnight. Before cooking, rub off the marinade, otherwise it will burn when you grill.

3. Heat bbq grill to 500F, sear flank steak on both sides for approximately 2-3 minutes or until nicely browned. If you're using a grill with a thermostat, reduce the temperature to 400F and cook both sides for 2 minutes more or until the internal temperature is 130F.

4. Let rest for approximately 5 minutes before carving. The carry over heat during resting will bring the internal temperature up to 135F or medium rare.


Finely mince garlic

Grated ginger

Sesame oil

Soy sauce

1. Drizzle over flank steak before service.


2- 3 spring onions, top half thinly sliced on the bias

Sesame seeds

1. Sprinkle over flank steak before service.

Susan Park is a food historian and the Program Director of Ecole de Cuisine, follow her on Twitter or join her on Facebook.

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