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While we all remain in quarantine, get to know how the Dees created their own yakiniku night.

As the quarantine in the country continues, even reverting to a step stricter from a general iteration, most restaurants remain closed for dine-in, and only a few are open for deliveries. So, we have limited options where we can shop for our cravings or ingredients we need. We learned to be resourceful and to recreate our favorite dishes with what’s stocked up in our pantry. Simple meals were turned into special ones like what Beng Dee and her family are doing over the lockdown. One of their recent family dinners was what Beng called, Yakiniku Night. Armed with an array of premium meat, delightful side dishes, and fine tableware, here is how the Dees did it.

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The smokeless grill was bought and brought in from China.
Karubi is Beng’s top choice for the meat.

Preparing the feast

For those who miss eating out especially in Korean and Japanese grilling restaurants, recreating an entire cuisine might seem daunting. It seems there are many preparations to do, after all. However, Beng says yakiniku is “one of the easiest [because] all you need is well-marinade meat.” All the preparation is worth it especially when it is time for grilling which Beng considers “the fun part.”

She gets the prime meat cuts from Mayura Station, the award-winning Australian wagyu brand, and Sterling Silver Premium Meat. Selecting the meat is the most crucial part—while you can get the specific Japanese yakiniku beef, Beng shares karubi is her top choice. It is the most popular beef cut for yakiniku for its tenderness and great marbling quality.

Apart from the different kinds of meat, the greens are crucial to create side dishes that would complement the flavors.

To accompany the main course, different sorts of vegetables can become side dishes. Be it eggplant, cabbage, green peppers, and onion, the fresh and crisp quality adds to the variety of flavors. For Beng’s Yakiniku Night, they prepared giant prawns, fresh oysters, kimchi, seaweed snacks, lettuce, jalapeno, and a garlic wrap. As for the drinks, “we do the basics according to what mood we have: it can be sake, whiskey, soju, wine…” Beng shares. Among their choices was Jinro Chamisul soju, a clear neutral spirit. Overall, Beng says food preparation is all about adding “a little twist according to our taste.”

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The dinnerware was set up such that each family member had access to the bowls, cutlery, and of course, the grilled meat.

The art of setting up

“I’m in charge of doing the table setting most of the time,” she says. So, she was thrilled to share videos of how she set up their table, including their collection of fine china. “My style is really not much on aesthetics, but focusing more on practicality—food is my main concern and how to make it an enjoyable experience.” Hours before the meal, she plans out the position of each dinnerware piece and cutlery to make it accessible for each family member. “We don’t have waiter service, so my goal is everything should be in place, so everyone has everything they need,” she explains. The result is a well-thought-out table setting, clearly fusing elegance and function.

The only challenge was their family’s temporary residence. A condo unit is not exactly a grill-friendly place, but the Dees worked this part out. “I’m happy that we found this smokeless grill which may not be smoke-free but reasonably okay for indoor use,” Beng says.

Being in the food business for long, the Dees certainly know their food. So, sharing ideas, experiences, and a similar taste certainly added to the enjoyment of their dinner. They prove that there really is no other way to relish a yakiniku night than to spend it with your family.

Scroll below to see the rest of how it went.

Photos and videos from Beng Dee

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