EVERY Korean family has their version of a Bulgogi recipe and EVERY family thinks theirs is the best. EVERY family gets it from their Halmonee, which is grandmother in Korean. My family is no different. My mom and I make it or at least try to but I have to admit...it never tastes quite the same as when Halmonee used to make it.
We've made it exactly as she told us to, then we've made it with tweaks in case we missed something, we've tried everything but it's never as delicious as when she made it for us. My childhood is filled with memories of the sweet aroma of bulgogi filling our kitchen. A graduation, a birthday, a birth of a child, Thanksgiving, Christmas, a sunny day, a cold day - it really didn't take much of an occasion for my grandmother to treat us to her special recipe. Sometimes we would use our grill outside and I kid you not, neighbors would be at our fence just trying to inhale in the deliciousness. Anyone within the vicinity would clap their hands together and lick their lips in anticipation for what was to come.
I tear up because no matter how hard we try, we can't recreate those moments. We can't recreate the flavor. We can't recreate her love. That's the missing ingredient, isn't it? She made it because she knew we loved it. She made it because she loved us.
Is there a recipe in your family that is meaningful to you? Comment below.