Meat on a Stick

Kabobs have got to be one of my favorite summer foods – easy to make, quick to grill, and damn tasty to boot. This time I did a batch of Korean bulgogi and some spicy chicken thighs. I served them up with my take on Alton Brown’s Asian Slaw.

Step 1 – Get Everything Marinating

Bulgogi

1 1/2 pounds ribeye steak
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon rice wine
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
1 green onion (white and green parts)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Slice the steaks across the grain into thin slices. This works better if the steaks are still a little frozen.

Put the sugar, garlic, and ginger in a food processor and pulse until the garlic and ginger are minced. Add the remaining ingredients, except the steak, and give them a whirl until everything is well-combined.

Put the steak in a zip-top bag and cover with the marinade.  Toss to coat. Squeeze the air out of the bag, seal it, and put it in the fridge to marinate for at least 4 hours, overnight is better.

Spicy Tamarind Chicken Thighs

10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup tamarind concentrate (ready-to-use, not paste)
1/4 cup Sriracha (a.k.a. Rooster) sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Put the salt and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the garlic is minced. Add the remaining ingredients, except the chicken, and give them a whirl until everything is well-combined.

Put the chicken in a zip-top bag and cover with the marinade.  Toss to coat. Squeeze the air out of the bag, seal it, and put it in the fridge to marinate for at least 4 hours, overnight is better.

Step 2 – Assemble the Slaw

You can make this a day in advance to let the flavors blend.

8 ounces rice noodles, cooked according to the directions on the package, then drained and cooled
1 1-inch piece ginger
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce (nuoc nam)
Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 head cabbage
1 red bell pepper
1 small cucumber
3 green onions, cut on the bias, all of white part and half of the green
2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
2 tablespoons mint, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Set a box grater in a large bowl. Using the fine holes of grater, grate the ginger. Switch to the coarse side and grate the cucumber. Switch to the slicer side and grate the pepper and cabbage. Remove the grater. Add the noodles, green onions, cilantro, mint, red pepper, and black pepper to the bowl and give everything a stir to combine.

In a small bowl, combine vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, oil, and peanut butter. Pour dressing over the ingredients in the large bowl, then stir to combine.  Refrigerate the slaw until you are ready to serve it.

Step 3 – The Cook

You’ll need 8 to 10 bamboo skewers. Soak them in water for at least an hour.

Set the grill up for a direct cook over very hot (500°F +) heat.

Remove the meat from their respective marinades and thread onto skewers.  Grill chicken about 6 minutes per side. Grill the beef for about 3 minutes per side. In both cases you’re looking for some crispy bits on the outside without overcooking the meat.

Serve meat, slaw and some perfectly ripe sweet corn for an amazing summer treat!

6 thoughts on “Meat on a Stick”

  1. It sounds like you were pleased with the slaw?? Looks like an amazing dish. And yes, love kbobs. You’ll even find me broiling them all winter long. Love these recipes, thanks for sending them along, as I’ve got tamarind on that refrigerator door that needs to be used.

    1. Thanks! Yes, the slaw was great. It’s kind of a version of the peanut noodles I did a while back, only with lots more veggies. I’d add more cucumber next time, as it really helps to lighten the dish. Try putting a little tamarind in almost any barbecue sauce to add a little tang and open up the flavor.

  2. this looks so tasty!! we are having a bbq this weekend, and i’m going to try the chicken kabobs. the measurement for the tamarind concentrate is missing – i’d guess 1/2 cup? can you confirm when you have a moment?

    thanks so much! 🙂

  3. ok, one more question. 🙂 there are six of us (all good eaters) – do you think i should double the slaw? it looks fantastic… i don’t want to run out….

    1. 2 of us only got about 4 meals out of it (it’s really good), so I’d double it. You could also up the ratio of noodles to make it a little heartier.

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