Heatwave #2 is underway in my neck of the woods, which means my oven and I are not on good terms. My ice machine and I? Well, there’s nothing on-again and off-again about that relationship. While it may be hotter than hell outside (45°C should not be a temperature) there’s no better place to cook. Standing over a hot charcoal grill in the sun for 45 minutes is much more bearable than sacrificing your air-conditioned habitat for a sheet pan dinner. Plus, what vegetable, what hunk of meat doesn’t benefit from a kiss from a charcoal grill? Today’s Korean Hanger Steak certainly did.
Raise your hand if you’re a BBQ-fiend. Now, raise your hand if you love BBQ but fire scares the crap out of you. If you over-identified with the latter, I feel you. I’m the same way. The Christmas I was 6 years-old, a school visit from our local fire department shook me to my very young, very impressionable core. After that visit, I forced my parents to turn the Christmas tree lights off at 8 pm every night. I was pretty sure all the lights on our tree would explode and burst into flames if they saw 9 pm. So yeah, house fires, forest fires, out of control flames of any kind scare the shit out of me. But! I did light a charcoal BBQ and because this scaredy-pants hot mess did, I’m convinced you can too.
I have a Webber Original Kettle charcoal grill and I freakin’ love it. No, I am in no way affiliated with the brand, they have not provided me with any accessories or cash compensation. I’m just giving them free airtime because I think they’re nifty. These grills don’t have a lot of bells and whistles but they can do a lot if you take the time to get to know them. If you’ve never used a charcoal grill before, I would advise you to invest in a chimney. It will make it easier to build the bed of coals you’ll need to make this Korean Hanger Steak look sexy.
If you’re like, “Naw, I don’t want a grill”, or you live in a condo that doesn’t like their tenants having fun with coals, you can still make this Korean Hanger Steak. I swear this meal will still be good sans BBQ. All you need is a cast iron grill pan, skillet, and a hot stove. No special equipment, no foodie left behind.
Okay, so let’s talk hanger steak. Have you cooked with it? Do you know what it is? Do you constantly confuse it with its flank, skirt, and flatiron siblings? Well, if you answered no, no, yes, you’re not alone. A lot of people are not familiar with the hanger steak, so let’s get familiar.
The hanger steak gets its name from its location and orientation on a cow’s anatomy. Hanger steak “hangs” from between the tenderloin and the rib. One end of the hanger steak sits smack dab between the flank and skirt steak, so you can see how easy it is to get confused. Unlike the flank and skirt steak, the hanger steak is actually a fairly tender cut of meat. Because of the hanger steak’s location, it doesn’t see a lot of activity, unlike the skirt steak, which works overtime throughout the course of a cow’s life. Hanger steak looks fairly ropey and tough, but I can attest to its exceptionally tender bite. But a word of caution, like most steaks, hanger steak can get exceptionally tough if cooked past medium-rare.
Now, let’s talk seasoning. What makes this Korean Hanger Steak Korean? Well, that has everything to do with the liberal use of gochugaru. The word “gochugaru” means chili powder in Korean, so that should give you a strong indication of what it is. Gochugaru is usually made using sun-dried Cheongyang chili peppers, a hybrid of the Thai chili and the Jejudo pepper, which is local to Korea. These peppers boast 10,000 Scoville heat units and are named for the province they’re grown in. The flavor is spicy (obvs), mildly sweet, and lightly smoky on the finish. The most common use for gochugaru is as a primary flavoring agent for kimchi. So naturally, this mighty spice has earned a place in my heart.
You’ll find gochugaru in the dry rub for the Korean Hanger Steak and in the pickled daikon as well. I essentially gave the daikon the kimchi treatment, albeit an expedited one. I’m impatient, especially when it comes to pickles. But I’m sure you already knew that. I can’t even remember how many quick pickle recipes are on the blog at this point.
All that’s left is to tell you about is the shishito peppers and honestly, there isn’t much to tell. Heat up a cast iron skillet on your grill or stove. Toss dressed shishito peppers into said skillet and cook until alluringly blistered…I really never thought I’d put those words together. And that’s the it!
So that’s the lowdown on this Korean Hanger Steak with Blistered Shishito Peppers and Pickled Daikon. It really is the ultimate fuss-free outdoor meal. And with this week temps hovering well above 30°C, I think we could all stand to embrace outdoor cooking. So grab a steak and a beer and get out there.
Korean Hanger Steak with Blistered Shishito Peppers & Pickled Daikon
- 1/2 daikon julienned
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1-2 tablespoons gochugaru
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
Korean Hanger Steak
- 1 hanger steak
- 2 tablespoons gochugaru
- 1 tablespoon demerara sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Fresh ground pepper
Blistered Shishito Peppers
- 170 g 6oz shishito peppers
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
- Kosher salt for sprinkling
For the Daikon
- Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Using clean hands, toss the daikon until all the ingredients are evenly dispersed and the daikon starts to release liquid. Let stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
For the Steak
- Pat the steak dry with paper towel and set aside.
- In a small bowl combine the gochugaru, sugar, salt and pepper. Rub the mixture all over the steak, taking care to rub into every crevice.
- Place the steak on a smoking hot, oiled grill or grill pan and cook for 6-8 minutes a side. The steak will still feel quite spongey even though it is cooked. It's just the way hanger steak is.
- Tent the steak in foil and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing against the grain. The steak should be pink verging on red in the center, not blue.
For the Shishito Peppers
- Place the peppers in a bowl and toss with the olive oil until well coated.
- While the steak is resting, place a cast iron skillet on the grill to heat up. If you're not using a grill, heat the skillet on the stove until smoking. Once the skillet is hot, add the peppers and cook for 3-4 minutes, tossing every 45 seconds or so.
- Remove the peppers from the heat and dress them with a drizzle of sesame oil and a sprinkling of salt.
- Place the dressed peppers on a platter along side the sliced hanger steak and pickled daikon.
- Serve immediately and enjoy with beer.