J’s mom makes famous meat jun. It’s a top potluck request from neighbors and friends and board members and even the Korean Chamber of Commerce. It’s a staple in the vegetable-free diet that raised J– a smart and strapping guy if ever there was one. When the invitation came to spend an afternoon studying this recipe, I didn’t even blink.
It never crossed my mind that I should be afraid, but there is a reason Koreans are so good at everything they do (e.g. Yu-Na Kim): they all have Korean mothers. J’s mom is an unrelenting perfectionist. She had covered every surface in her kitchen in newspaper, in anticipation of our clumsiness–but still cut us no slack on our meat jun debuts, ready with ceaseless consternation and measured praise at every step of the way.
In three hours we breaded and fried seven pounds of paper-thin batayaki, with twelve hands on deck. Pat normally makes this recipe unassisted. When you’re good, you’re good.
1. Marinate thinly sliced beef (e.g. batayaki) in shoyu, sugar, and mirin overnight.
2. Coat in flour.
3. Dip in well-beaten egg, thinned with a splash of water and seasoned with black pepper.
4. Fry in a shallow bath of vegetable oil, flipping once.
5. Cool on paper towels, blotting excess oil from the top side.