Korean Steak Sandwiches

Have you heard the phrase “hurry-up and wait?”  I’m not sure where it originated, but, in our house, there are days when I feel like this mantra is a running theme.  Scratch that, most days, I feel like it is a running theme.

As I write this, my husband was supposed to be home from work and hour ago so that we could leave town for Easter weekend.  I was just about ready to go when I got a text from him saying he is held up at work and would be at least two more hours.  Blah!!  So much for beating traffic. In case you didn’t know, Seattle traffic sucks.  I rush, rush, rushed all morning to sit here and wait – i.e. The Hurry-up and Wait.

With frequent hold-ups and interruptions like these, the timing of dinner can be challenging.  Sure, I have a repertoire of fridge to table in 25 min. or less meals, but on the not-so-rare occasion that I make something more time consuming, I  find myself playing a lovely game of hurry-up and wait.  Maybe, I just need to invest in a crystal ball, but until then…..

I would like you to meet my new favorite thing: these Korean Steak Sandwiches! They are the perfect combination of slowly marinated meat (read: lots of flavor!!) and lickety-split prep time!


They take a little bit of planning since the meat marinates overnight, but then its just 10-15 minutes of cook/prep time right when you are ready to eat!  You can even make the spicy, tangy cabbage slaw while the meat is cooking!!

I am not even a fan of red meat, but I am in steak sandwich heaven.  The flavor! The marinade! The slaw!  These are sure to be on our BBQs rotation this summer too!

Korean Steak Sandwiches

Prep Time: 20 minutes + overnight marinating of meat
Servings: 4

Beef and Marinate:

  • 1 cup mirin
  • 2/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and coarsely chopped
  • 1.5 lb. whole flank steak

Cabbage Slaw:

  • 1.5 tbl. fresh ground chili paste (in the Asian foods aisle)
  • 1 tbl. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbl. reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbl. sugar
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 2 cups shredded green or napa cabbage

For Serving:

  • Crusty rolls or baguette  (If you live in Seattle area, Grand Central Baking Company’s  Bolo Rolls are awesome here!)
  • Mayonnaise
  • 2 tbl. Cilantro leaves

Do ahead: Combine all ingredients for beef marinate, stir to dissolve sugar.  Add steak, cover and chill at least overnight.


When ready to serve: Heat a pan or, better yet, a grill to medium-high heat.  Once heated, add the marinated steak, removing excess marinate.  Depending on thickness, the steak will cook for 7-9 minutes on each side for medium rare.

While meat is cooking, chop cabbage and make sauce for slaw by stirring all ingredients to combine.  Toss cabbage in sauce.


Once steak is cooked, slice steak against the grain.


Slice rolls or baguette in half.  Slather with mayonnaise.  Assemble sawiches, and garnish with a few sprigs of cilantro. IMG_2593.JPGIMG_2595.JPG

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