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If you’re a fan of Korean food, then you’ve probably eaten Korean pancakes or “jeon”. In Hawaii, you’ll find meat jun at any Korean plate lunch restaurant. These thin pieces of tender beef are marinated in a shoyu base, then dipped in flour and egg to create the outer layer. Combine some shoyu, water, sesame seed oil, sriracha, and gochugaru for the dipping sauce and you’re all set. You can use any type of beef, but Mom prefers to butterfly and tenderize the beef herself so she often goes with chuck steak since the price is good.
For some reason, Mom doesn’t make meat jun often. She’ll rotate through most of her main dishes in one or two months. But meat jun we will only see maybe once or twice a year. When I asked her how she learned to make meat jun, she said it was when she was a waitress for a small Japanese restaurant before I was born. She’d watch the chef prepare meat jun and every so often she’d replicate the dish at home and get Dad’s opinion on it. It took several months, but one day Dad said “that’s it!” and Mom’s meat jun recipe was born.
Aloha with love,
- 2 cloves garlic Minced.
- 1 tbsp cooking wine
- 2 tbsp brown sugar 2 tbst + 1 tsp
- 3½ tbsp shoyu Soy sauce, Kikkoman.
- 2 lbs beef Mom used chuck steak.
- 1 c flour
- 4 eggs
- ⅓ c shoyu Soy sauce, Aloha.
- 2 tbsp water
- ½ tsp sesame seed oil
- 1 pinch Korean chili pepper flakes Gochugaru.
- Sriracha To taste.
- Combine the shoyu, water, sesame seed oil, Korean chili pepper flakes and sriracha (optional). Leave in fridge to cool as you prepare the meat jun.Note: These measurements are estimates as I wasn't able to witness how much was put in, so use these as a guide and taste as you go.
- When cutting the chuck steak, you want the meat to be rather thin so that it's easy to eat. Butterfly the chuck steak and tenderize by hitting the meat with the blunt edge of a heavy knife. You can also slice the meat thinly, but hitting it flat will make the meat easier to chew.
- Marinate the meat with garlic, cooking wine, brown sugar, and shoyu for at least 30 minutes. Leave this in the fridge.
- Ready a large pan on high heat with ¼ cup of cooking oil. Add the flour into a bowl and dip the meat into the bowl one by one. Make sure the flour covers the meat all over so that the egg will stick to the meat.
- Add the eggs into a separate bowl and scramble them. Dip the floured meat completely into the eggs so that they stick onto the flour. Transfer to the pan.
- It will only take a few minutes to cook the meat jun because the meat is so thin and eggs cook fast. Adjust the heat as needed and add oil when necessary while cooking.
- Flip once and cook evenly until both sides are brown. The outer egg layer will not be a bright yellow because of the beef and marinade. Meat jun can be served as is, but in Hawaii we typically see this sliced to bite-sized pieces so that they're easy to eat and dip into the sauce.