Salty, umami-rich, soy sauce braised beef. Enjoy Jangjorim, a traditional Korean dish with beef, shishito peppers, and tiny, flavor-packed quail eggs!
Everyone says their Korean Grandma makes the best Jangjorim. But I’m here to tell you — my Halmoni really does make the best Jangjorim!
I grew up eating this traditional Korean dish. My Halmoni made it on the regular. She made a big batch then stored it in the fridge, where it never seemed to run out. Whenever I was hungry, I pulled it out and spooned it over leftover rice.
It tasted good cold, straight from the fridge. And it tasted good slightly warmed in the microwave, just to take the chill off. Salty and beefy, Jangjorim was simple, filling food at its best.
Even if there was nothing in the house to eat, there was always Jangjorim!
What is Jangjorim? What does it taste like?
Jangjorim is a salty dish. The deep beefy flavor and salty-umami richness is so addicting. Braised for a long time with soy sauce and a little sugar — it’s tender yet also a little chewy.
Jangjorim is one of those savory dishes that tastes good with rice. Seriously, it takes no effort to consume 3 bowls of rice with it. Sometimes, I’ll soak my rice in cold water and alternate between bites of salty beef and rice, swimming in water. That’s the Korean way of eating salty food.
The shishito peppers balance out the beef and soy sauce flavor nicely. They add freshness and depth so do not leave them out!
Also, the hard boiled eggs are essential. My recipe includes quail eggs to soak up all that rich braising liquid.
How do you eat Jangjorim?
Jangjorim is not a main dish, in the typical Western sense. The salty flavor of Jangjorim would be overwhelming as a main dish alone.
Instead, Jangjorim is eaten as one of many Korean banchan or side dishes. You eat a little bit of Jangjorim alongside other dishes such as Oi Muchim [Cucumber Salad], Braised Lotus Roots, Korean Potato Salad, or Dubu Jorim [Braised Tofu].
Jangjorim is ideal for Korean lunchboxes or dosirak. It can be made ahead of time, doesn’t easily spoil, and tastes good cold or room temperature. The beef and hard boiled quail eggs are also very filling.
As a Korean American growing up in the States, I ate Jangjorim on camping trips. My mom would plug the rice cooker into an electric outlet and bring out banchan from the insulated cooler, safely tucked into tupperware. We got a lot of looks but it was really the best kind of camp food.
Why quail eggs?
Quail eggs are much smaller than chicken eggs. I prefer quail eggs over chicken eggs in this dish for so many reasons!
First, their petite size soaks up ALL that braised soy sauce beef flavor. Chicken eggs are good for many things. But when cooked too long, they become chalky and overwhelming — an impenetrable mass of too much egg.
The diminutive size of quail eggs makes the perfect eggy yolk to egg white ratio, in my opinion. They soak up SO flavor! Every bite is satisfyingly perfect. YUM!
I use Spring Creek Quail Eggs which come from a local Ontario farm. Even though this is a sponsored post (thank you Spring Creek Quail Farms!), I’ve been buying and loving their quail eggs for years. They are the freshest quail eggs with creamy yolks and firm whites.
Where can I find quail eggs?
Nowadays, you can find quail eggs at most grocery stores.
I’ve seen quail eggs at my local grocery store (Walmart, PC, No Frills, Metro), Asian grocery stores (T&T, Foody World, Galleria), specialty grocery stores (Whole Foods), and even at Costco!
Quail eggs seem fancy-pants and snobby. But once you start looking for them, you’ll see they are more accessible than you think. They also come in packs of 18.
How do you peel Quail Eggs?
Quail eggs are much smaller than chicken eggs. Peeling them can be tricky.
To make peeling easier, I recommend an ice water bath after boiling. Cold shells are much easier to remove than hot or warm shells.
Also, it helps to crack the shell first. Gently tap the top and bottom until cracks show. Then grab one end of the egg shell and gently peel downward, in a spiral.
Note: There is a clear protein that holds the egg shell together. Make sure to grab a bit of the egg protein when peeling. This little step makes shell removal much, much easier!
How to Make Jangjorim with Quail Eggs:
Cut 1 lb flank steak into two equal halves. Cover with water and boil for 30 minutes until a fork slides through with some resistance. The meat should not be bouncy or hard. But it shouldn’t be completely tender either.
Meanwhile, hard boil quail eggs. Peel and set aside.
Cut or shred beef into bite-sized strips. The traditional way is to shred the beef by hand but my Halmoni cuts hers into neat strips, which is the way I like to do it as well. Cutting instead of hand shredding avoids stringy pieces of beef. Add soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. Simmer for another 15 minutes until the beef is dark.
Add shishito peppers and simmer until soft and deflated, another 10 minutes. By now, the beef should be tender with very little resistance.
Add hard boiled quail eggs and cook another 5-10 minutes, making sure to spoon the braising liquid over the eggs.
Serve warm, cold, or room temperature — preferably with rice and other banchan. Enjoy!
Jangjorim [Korean Soy Braised Beef] with Quail Eggs
- Stock pot
- 1 lb flank beef steak
- 2 cups water
- 18 quail eggs
- 8 oz/227 g Shishito peppers (about 2 cups)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce (not the low sodium kind)
- 1/4 cup Mirin
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- Cut 1 lb flank steak into two equal halves, against the grain. Each half should be 2-3 inches long. Cover with cold water (about 2 cups) and boil for 30 minutes (covered) until a fork slides through with some resistance. The meat should not be bouncy or hard. But it shouldn't be completely tender either.
- Meanwhile, hard boil the quail eggs: cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Simmer for two minutes. Drain and immediately transfer to an ice water bath. Chill for 5 minutes. Peel eggs and set aside.
- When cool enough to handle, cut or shred beef into bite-sized strips. (The traditional way is to shred the beef by hand but my Halmoni cuts hers into neat strips, which is the way I like to do it as well. Cutting instead of hand shredding avoids stringy pieces of beef.)
- Add braising liquid: soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. Simmer (uncovered) for another 15 minutes until the beef is dark and there is just a little bit of resistance when you slide in a fork. Half the original liquid should be evaporated by now.
- Add shishito peppers and simmer (covered) until soft and deflated, another 10-15 minutes. By now, the beef should be tender with very little resistance. The liquid should be at 20% of the original volume.
- Add hard boiled quail eggs and cook another 5-10 minutes, making sure to spoon the braising liquid over the eggs.
- Serve warm, cold, or room temperature — preferably with rice and other banchan. Enjoy!
*Thanks to Spring Creek Quail Farms for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.*