While in Durango we ate out twice; once at a private restaurant on Electra Lake and then at a bar called Olde Schoolhouse Cafe. I ate a tuna steak with a watermelon, blueberry and mint relish at Electra Lake and yummy vegetarian pizza at the Schoolhouse.
The other nights at the house we cooked. My sister Lisa and her husband Randy offered to make Bulgogi one night. We were all pretty excited about the menu and that excitement only increased as they started cooking. The combination of sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, soy, ginger and garlic were so incredible. Along with the beef and chicken Bulgogi, we had white rice, kimchee, pot stickers and a salad of thinly sliced cucumbers, bean sprouts, and scallions with crispy fried scallions and rice wine sesame dressing.
Bulgogi means “fire meat” in Korean because it is traditionally grilled over an open flame, but can be cooked in a pan. Randy did the grilling. Grilled meat always smells good, but the marinade on the chicken and beef made for an especially wonderful aroma wafting from the grill downstairs to the kitchen window. I always find it funny how men seem to flock to a heated grill. Once the first tray of meat went to the grill every man in the house grabbed a beer and headed outside to help supervise. This attraction of men to a fire will always amaze me.
The meat is sliced thin and wrapped in large lettuce leaves usually spread with ssamjang, the jar of spicy red sauce you find in the Asian food aisle. When we ate this meal, we also put rice in the lettuce leaf. It was delicious.