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Dinner in Minutes: Korean flavors shine in quick grilled beef

Steak plays an important role in Korean cooking, unlike other Asian cuisines. Invading Mongols brought beef to Korea in the Middle Ages.

Rice cooked with spinach and bean sprouts is another Korean staple. I have adapted these recipes to showcase the intriguing flavors of Korean cooking while reducing preparation time.

Regular brown rice takes about 45 minutes to cook, but several quick-cooking brands are available, ranging from 10 to 30 minutes. I find the 30-minute rice has more flavor, but any quick-cooking rice will work for this dinner.

Korean Grilled Beef

3/4 pound skirt steak (or flank, strip or sirloin)

2 tablespoons lite soy sauce

2 tablespoons white vinegar

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Score the meat deeply, crosswise at 1/2-inch intervals. This allows it to absorb more of the marinade and cook more evenly.

Mix the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and mustard together. Add the meat and turn in the marinade to make sure all sides are coated with the sauce. Marinate for 10 minutes.

Preheat grill or broiler. Remove meat and discard marinade. Place on grill about 3 to 4 inches from the heat source. Grill 5 to 7 minutes; a meat thermometer should read 145 degrees.

Remove to a carving board and add salt and pepper to taste. Slice steak across the grain, making sure to capture the juices. Serve over rice and pour the juices on top.

Yield: 2 servings.

Nutrition per serving: 220 calories (67 from fat), 7 grams fat (3 grams saturated), 97 milligrams cholesterol, 34 grams protein, 2 grams carbohydrates, no fiber, 557 milligrams sodium.

Green Rice

5 ounces washed, ready-to-eat fresh spinach (half a standard-size bag)

1/2 cup quick-cooking brown rice

1 cup fresh bean sprouts

1 cup water

2 teaspoons sesame oil

2 scallions, sliced

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Place the spinach, rice, bean sprouts and water in a large saucepan. Bring the water to a boil and cover with a lid; lower heat to medium and simmer 30 minutes or according to rice package instructions. The water should be absorbed and the rice cooked through. If the rice is cooked and there is liquid in the pan, remove the lid and boil to evaporate liquid.

Stir in the sesame oil and scallions. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place on plates and serve sliced steak on top.

Yield: 2 servings

Nutrition per serving: 171 calories (51 from fat), 6 grams fat (1 gram saturated), no cholesterol, 6 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 72 milligrams sodium.

Linda Gassenheimer is the author of 14 cookbooks. Visit her website at www. or email her at Linda@

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