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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

Bulgogi-Inspired Oven Beef Jerky

This is the part of our 2024 project: The Alphabet Challenge. Hosted by Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm, I thought this would be a fun culinary adventure. We will be posting every two weeks. I hope you follow along...or join in as you can. This should be fun.



J is for...



Bulgogi-Inspired Oven Beef Jerky

We love beef bulgogi. I was first introduced to bulgogi when I was in college in Berkeley and my parents came to visit. We were looking for somewhere casual to eat and stumbled across a food court just a block away from campus. I was a vegetarian at the time, but my dad ordered bulgogi; my mom opted for the bibimbap; and I went for the jap chae. The restaurant became a family favorite and every time my parents visited, we went there. Eventually I was drawn back to being an omnivore and came to love bulgogi, too. Yum.


When I have time, I make my own. But there's a Korean restaurant in town that is my go-to with my own family when we need a delicious, filling dinner. When I walk in, the owner greets me and asks, "Bulgogi and Jap Chae?" Yes, please!


So, I decided to try my hand at a bulgogi-inspired oven beef jerky. Suffice it to say that recipe testing was crucial to this recipe. I tried three times before I got the temperature and time ratio correct. Then I did it twice more...just to be sure! This recipe uses apples to tenderize the meat during the marination process.



Jerky

  • 2 to 3 pounds thinly sliced sirloin (here's a secret: I get the butcher to slice it for me!)

  • Also needed: Oven Crisp Baking Tray or baking sheets with cooling racks nestled inside of them


Marinade

  • 6 Tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce or tamari

  • 3 Tablespoons organic dark brown sugar

  • 2 Tablespoons rice wine (mirin)

  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil

  • 1/2 organic onion, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed

  • 1 organic apple, peeled and grated (traditionally it's made with pears, but I tried it with apples a few times before posting this)

  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper



Marinade

Whisk together all of the ingredients for the marinade. Place the meat in a container (I used a flat, lidded glass container) and pour the sauce over the top. Hopefully the meat is completely submerged. If not, you'll need to turn the meat every couple of hours. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for, at least, 6 hours.


Jerky

When you're ready to oven-dry the jerky, remove beef from the refrigerator. Let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes. If your oven thermostat allows, preheat oven to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Mine has a bottom temp of 200 degrees Fahrenheit, so I set it at that, then leave the door propped open during drying.


Brush oil on the oven tray or wire racks and line the inside of the pans with foil for easier clean-up

Remove the meat from the marinade and gently blot away any excess marinade with paper towels. Arrange the meat strips side-by-side across the trays or racks, leaving a little bit of space between strips.

Place the trays in the oven and cook until completely dry. The drying time varies greatly with the thickness and moistness of the meat...and also how chewy or dry you like it. At 200 degrees Fahrenheit with the door propped open on my oven, mine took just 2 hours. The time depends on the thickness and moistness of the meat and how chewy you want the jerky to be.


It should be dry, darker in color, and break gently when bent. If it snaps when you bend it, it's overdone. And remember: the jerky will firm up as it cools.


Blot any residual moisture from the jerky with paper towels and cool completely on the racks before storing. You can store the jerky in an airtight container. I have read that beef prepared this way will last 2 to 3 months. But my batches never lasted more than three days with the happy omnivores noshing on them whenever they walked by the kitchen!


The Alphabet Challenge So Far...

My posts are below with links to everyone else's recipes. I skipped letter 'F' apparently. Enjoy!


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6 Comments


Jolene Martinelli
Jolene Martinelli
May 11

Using apple or pear to tenderize the meat is so interesting! I've only attempted jerky once but this definitely makes me want to try again.

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mayuri.ajay.patel62
May 09

Isn't it so satisfying when you get a restaurant or street food perfect at home after a few trials. Food prepared in our kitchens always have a memory.

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Karen Kerr
Karen Kerr
May 08

That top photo is calling my name!! The flavores sound amazing.

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cdelawder12
cdelawder12
May 08

I love you that you spent so much time testing out this recipe. It sounds absolutely delicious...the perfect snack!!! - Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck - Colleen

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Wendy Klik
Wendy Klik
May 08

I'm glad you did all the hard work and testing before us. This will be perfect for when Amy and I hike the AT this fall.

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Camilla M. Mann
Camilla M. Mann
May 08
Replying to

My dentist actually just told me he makes beef jerky out of ground beef as it's easier on the teeth. If he shares the recipe, I'll let you know. I have never hiked the AT. That sounds so exciting!

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