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Bulgogi is a Korean classic that is traditionally made using marinated slices of beef, pork or chicken. This dish has been part of Korean culture for thousands of years and when literally translated means “Fire Meat”. In this version of the dish we used thinly sliced Elk loin chops which have a similar flavour to beef and are often referred to as slightly sweet.
We love using Kkaennip (Korean Perilla leaves) for our Ssam (wraps, or more literally wrapped). We grow our own here on the farm so it is easy to come by, but you should be able to source it at your local Asian market or grocery store if you have one. I highly suggest using Kkaennip for your wraps if you can find it as these perilla leaves are extremely fragrant and have a great taste that is somewhere between basil and mint with a hint of licorice.
There are many great options for Banchan (side dishes) to go along with this meal, however cold crisp bites of Oi Muchim (Spicy Cucumber Salad) are the perfect pairing to go along with your Elk fire meat!
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“Elk Bulgogi Kkaennip Ssam” or Elk Bulgogi Perilla WrapsCourse: Wild Recipes
2 pounds elk loin chop (thinly sliced)
4 green onions (chopped)
1 onion (small/sliced)
1 carrot (grated)
Perilla leaves (Kkaennip) or large Red Leaf lettuce leaves
2 cups of steamed white sticky rice
Elk Bulgogi Marinade:
6 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp sugar (white)
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp mirin (or rice wine)
2 tbsp garlic (minced)
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp sesame seeds (toasted)
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 tbsp Korean pear (cubed small)
- Gochujang Sauce
2 tbsp gochujang
2 tbsp green onions
1 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 tbsp sesame seeds (toasted)
2 tsp sugar (white)
2 tsp fresh ginger (grated)
1 tsp sesame oil
- Oi Muchim (Spicy Cucumber Salad)
1 cucumber (Korean) or 2 cucumber (pickling)
1 tsp coarse salt
1 tbsp Korean chili pepper flakes (or gochujang)
1 tbsp green onion
1 tsp garlic (minced)
1 tsp vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar (white)
1 tsp sesame seeds (toasted)
1 tsp sesame oil
- Begin by thinly slicing your elk loin across the natural grain of the meat. Pat dry with paper towls and remove any excess blood as needed.
- Mix all of the marinade ingredients into a bowl, add your sliced elk and gently massage the marinade into the meat. Marinate for a minimum of 1 hour or overnight for added flavour
- Depending on your cooking method and how long it takes you can make your rice ahead of time or while your are marinating your mean. We use a rice cooker and 2 cups perfectly cooked takes about 35-40 minutes.
- While your meat is marinating begin to prepare your Oi Muchim. Thinly slice or cube your cucumber, mix and toss with salt and set aside for 10-15 minutes. Lightly salting your cucumbers and letting them stand draws out water and gives them an extra bit of crunch.
- Making your Gochujang Sauce is as easy as mixing together all of your ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. This is a fantastic sauce to add to your wraps or to use as a dip.
- Now that your Oi Muchim and Gochujang sauce are ready move onto cooking your bulgogi. Preheat your choice of lightly oiled pan and add the meat over high heat. Add in your green onion, onion and some marinade to allow the elk to cook in it’s own juice.
- Cook until the meat is still slightly pink in the middle (5 minutes) and drain off excess marinade to your preference.
- Rinse off your Kkaennip or red lettuce leaves and you are ready to assemble.
- My assembly (bottom to top) includes: Kkaennip wrap topped with white rice, elk bulgogi, gochujang sauce, green onion and grated carrot with Oi Muchim on the side.