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  • on July 17, 2019
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The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.

There’s a spot in Honolulu, O‘ahu, called Gina’s B-B-Q that I used to frequent in my early twenties more often than I’d like to admit. It’s famous for Gina’s Special mixed plate, which comes with kalbi short ribs, barbecue chicken, meat jun, three scoops of rice, and four sides. It was under $15 and fed me for days. Back then, the thought did not cross my mind to make my own meat jun; up until I met my boyfriend, I hadn’t even tried. This recipe was adapted from his dad’s secret family recipe.


  • 2 pounds round steak, chuck steak, tri-tip steak, or flank steak
  • ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
  • One 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated
  • 3 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
  • 1 cup soy sauce (shoyu)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, ground
  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Dipping Sauce
  • ¼ cup soy sauce (shoyu)
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1½ tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely grated
  • One ½-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 large eggs
  • Neutral oil, for frying
  • 3 cups steamed rice, for serving


Thinly cut the meat into ⅛-inch-thick slices and pound or tenderize them with a meat mallet in all directions.

In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, ginger, garlic, green onions, soy sauce, sesame seeds, sesame oil, and pepper and whisk together until well combined. Transfer this marinade to a gallon-size ziplock bag and add the meat. Transfer to the refrigerator and marinate the meat for 1 to 2 hours.

To make the dipping sauce, meanwhile, whisk together the soy sauce, gochujang, rice vinegar, honey, sesame seeds, sesame oil, pepper, garlic, ginger, and green onions in a small bowl.

Serve warm with the dipping sauce and steamed rice.

Line a plate with paper towels and set aside. Place the flour in a shallow dish or bowl and beat the eggs in a second shallow dish or bowl. Add about ⅓ cup (or ¼ inch) of neutral oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-low heat until the oil is shiny and shimmering. Drain the meat, discarding the marinade, and set the meat in a dish. Working in batches, dredge the meat, one piece at a time, in the flour, shaking off the excess, then dip it into the egg, letting the excess drip off before placing each piece in the skillet. Fry until golden, 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Set on the paper towel–lined plate to drain. Repeat until all the meat has been fried.

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