Pass the Cook Book Club: Debbie Lee’s Ginger Soy Beef with Chile-Tomatoes & Peppers

Ah it feels good to be back in the swing of this on the blog. Just in time to participate in this month’s Pass the Cook Book Club. Samantha of Little Ferraro Kitchen picked the cookbook Seoultown Kitchen: Korean Pub Grub to Share with Family and Friends by Debbie Lee, for us to cook from this month. I went with the kebab recipe because even though the rest of the country is experiencing fall-like weather, it’s still short sleeve season here in Memphis.


The original recipe used larger chunks of steak and only tomatoes, but I prefer more veggies on my kebabs so I added green bell pepper and cut up the steak a little more to even out the ratio of meat to veggie pieces. There was no need to increase the amount of marinade or seasoning, because there was plenty to go around. Speaking of seasoning, these kebabs were the most flavorful I’ve ever had. I was actually a bit worried when I dumped the full tablespoon of chile powder that it would be too much but it wasn’t at all. It went really well with some brown rice with some extra marinade (not the portion that had the raw meat in it).

Ginger Soy Beef

One year ago: Crunchy Oven-Fried Ravioli

Two years ago: Pumpkin Nutella Mini Cheesecake Bites


Makes 8 skewers



1/2 yellow onion, cut in quarters

1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger

1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup mirin (I substituted with 1/4 cup white wine + 1/4 tsp sugar)

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 cup cola

1/4 cup sesame oil


1 pound rib-eye steak, (about 1in thick), cut into 16 cubes

16 grape tomatoes

1 green bell pepper, cut into 16 pieces

1 Tbsp finely ground chile powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 Tbsp sesame oil

1 Tbsp olive oil

Salt and black pepper, to taste

8 wooden skewers, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes

2 Tbsp chopped scallions (green parts only, for garnish)


  1. Make the ginger-soy marinade: In a food processor, mince the yellow onion. Add ginger, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, mirin and spices and blend well. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add cola, then whisk in the sesame oil to emulsify the marinade. Pour half of the marinade over steak cubes in another mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. In a third bowl, place the grape tomatoes, pepper pieces, chile-powder, smoked paprika and sesame and olive oils. Toss well until the tomatoes are well coated. Season with salt and black pepper.
  3. Once the meat is marinated, assemble each skewer starting with a grape tomato, then a piece of pepper, and a cube of steak; repeat order one more time. Finish assembling remaining skewers.
  4. Pre-heat grill or grill-pan over medium-high heat. Place skewers on the grill and immediately brush with the marinade. Cook for 2 minutes, then turn over and brush the other side with the marinade. Repeat on both sides for a total cook time of 10 minutes, or until the steak is cooked to your desired doneness. Season with salt and black pepper. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with scallions. Serve immediately.

Source: Seoultown Kitchen by Debbie Lee


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