Recipe | Seoul-ful Sloppy Joe

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Like many kids growing up, Sloppy Joe Day – whether it was at home or the school cafeteria, was a happy day. A very happy day indeed.

There is something comforting about ground beef simmered in a savory tomato-based sauce with a slight hint of sweetness to it, and piled high on a soft, supple hamburger bun.

More information and recipe after the Jump


It seems that the recipe originated in the early 20th century, and known under a number of monikers, including Toasted Deviled Hamburgers. By World War II, they were an American mainstay, and may have picked up it’s name for the sloppy appearance of quick-order cooks at lunch counters.

Sloppy Joes reached the masses by the 1960s when such products as Manwich came out, allowing folks to easily make the sandwich by added prepared, canned sauce to browned ground beer.

It seems to us that the classic Korean Beef dish has many of the flavor profiles we admire in a Sloppy Joe, but with a decided twist. In honor of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, we present our Seoul-Full Sloppy Joe.

Here’s how to make it: in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add ¼ cup soy sauce and 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Heat and stir, adding 2 large minced garlic cloves. Add 1 pound of lean ground beef, stir to coat in soy/oil mixture, and cook until hamburger browns, about 7-10 minutes. Drain the hamburger of excess oil and return to heat.

Add ¼ cup packed light brown sugar, stirring to mix. ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger, and a dash of coarse salt and freshly-ground black pepper. Stir to incorporate for a few minutes and, at the last, toss in 1 large bunch of chopped green onions.

Divide and place on four buttered, toasted hamburger buns (or good, thinly sliced, toasted bread0 and serve with kimchi on top, optionally.

Note, check with area farm markets and butcher shops (in Coastal Virginia, we love Pendulum Fine Meats [LINK]) for the meat you can’t beat.


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