Korean Sloppy Joe

  • Yield : 8 to 10 servings
  • Cook Time : 20m
  • Ready In : 20m
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  • 1 pound ground beef or pork
  • 1-inch knob of ginger, grated
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons gochugang
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • Hamburger buns
  • Pickles, such as Quick Kimchi Persian Cucumbers, recipe follows, optional
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped peeled Asian pear
  • 1/2 cup coarsely ground gochugaru (Korean red chile flakes)
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 pound Persian cucumbers, sliced 1/4 inch thick


Step 1

In a large bowl, mix the beef or pork, ginger, garlic, gochuang, sesame oil, sugar, soy sauce and black pepper. Cover and marinate, in the refrigerator, at least 2 hours and preferably overnight.

Step 2

Heat a large heavy-bottomed pan or cast-iron skillet over high heat with the vegetable oil. When shimmering hot, saute the diced onions for about 4 minutes, stirring constantly, or until soft. Add the marinated meat and saute, stirring, just until fully cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain any residual fat, if needed.

Step 3

While the meat cooks, toast the buns.

Step 4

Divide the meat and place it into the buns. Serve, ideally with pickles and shredded iceberg lettuce.

Step 5

Make the cure mix: In a small bowl, stir together the salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the sugar.

Step 6

Make the kimchi marinade: Add the pear, gochugaru, fish sauce, garlic, ginger and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar to a blender and blend until smooth.

Step 7

In a large pickling jar or lidded container, combine the cucumber and the cure mix; let sit for 15 minutes. Drain excess liquid, then add 1 cup of the kimchi marinade, stirring to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. This kimchi will keep up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

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