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Meat Jun

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Hawaii-Style Meat Jun is a popular local dish with Korean origins. Thinly slice beef is marinated, then dipped in flour and egg, and pan-fried. Onolicious! There's also an optional dipping sauce. Eat with hot rice (bonus points for kimchi and mac salad on the side) ^_^

A plate of meat jun with rice and Mac salad.
Meat jun, ready to eat!

Oh man, meat jun! All Hawaii locals know and love this dish. Meat jun is a key part of Hawaii's Korean Plate Lunch.

It's a popular and beloved dish. You can even order giant trays of meat jun from local Korean restaurants for all your potluck party needs.

What's not to love? Thin slices of beef marinated in a savory-sweet sauce, lightly battered, and pan fried. Super onolicious with rice!

Note from a local: This style of meat jun is a Hawaii invention. There are Korean jun dishes (almost like little pancakes of vegetables/meats that are egg battered and pan fried), but this concept of a savory-sweet marinade and pan frying large pieces of meat is a *Hawaii thing.*

Why This Recipe Works

Meat jun is not hard to make. It doesn't take a long time. But it does have a few moving parts, so you want to be organized.

First marinate the meat (just an hour, or can even 30 minutes if you're in a rush). Then batter the meat (just flour and egg). Then pan-fry it until cooked through and the egg is a bit crisp and lightly browned.

Then you eat!

The contrast of juicy rib eye and the crisp bits of the eggy exterior...ahh super ono. Parts of the egg get really browned and golden, and other parts remain soft. So many things going on.

The batter keeps the meat real tender. And if you make the dipping sauce (optional), then woooow! Never ever forget to eat with rice.

Meat jun marinade ingredients (thinly sliced rib eye, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, garlic, and green onions).
Marinade ingredients.

Ingredients

Here's what you'll need for this recipe. I split the ingredients into three sections (marinade, batter, and dipping sauce):

Marinade

Batter

  • Flour
  • Eggs
Ingredients for meat jun dipping sauce (soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic cloves, and green onions).
Dipping sauce ingredients.

Dipping Sauce (optional)

Marinating the rib eye slices in a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, garlic, and green onions.
Marinating the thinly-sliced rib eye.

Step by Step Directions

Marinate the meat.
Place the meat slices in a container. Mix together all the marinade ingredients and pour over the meat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Make the dipping sauce (optional).
Mix together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, chili flakes, garlic, and green onions in a small bowl. Set aside.

Tip: Save this sauce and drizzle it over pan-fried tofu slices...onolicious!

Batter the meat.
Pour the flour onto a plate. Beat the eggs and place in a large bowl.

Working with one slice at a time, dip the meat slice into the flour first (shake off any excess flour). Then dip into the egg.

Tip: Heat the oil in the pan (next step) before you dip in the egg because you want to take the meat slice from the egg dip to the pan right away.

Cook the meat.
Make sure there's about 1/2-inch of oil in your pan. Over medium-high heat, fry each side for 1-2 minutes.

*You need 1/2-inch oil in the pan so that you can shallow fry it. This is more oil than regular pan frying but less oil than deep frying.

Once finished, remove to a plate lined with paper towels. The paper towels will help soak up excess oil.

Time to eat!
Serve the meat jun with hot rice and dipping sauce on the side.

Eat with fork and knife and slice each piece like a steak or...

Local Style! Use scissors to cut the meat jun into strips and then eat with chopsticks (this is how most places in Hawaii serve it).

Meat jun dipping sauce made from soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, Korean chili pepper flakes (optional), garlic cloves, and green onions.
The prepared dipping sauce.

FAQs and Tips

How long does this dish keep?

This dish can keep 2-3 days in the refrigerator.

How to reheat leftovers?

The quick and easy way is to microwave for a minute. The tastier way is to take the meat jun out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature. Then pan fry on a non-stick pan until heated through and crispy (about 2-3 minutes).

What other dishes to pair with meat jun?

Serve it up plate lunch style with two scoops of rice and mac salad!

Other great side dishes to go with meat jun include:
- Japchae
- Japanese Pickled Cucumbers
- Korean Bean Sprouts
- Kimchi Dumplings
- Pan Fried Tofu (With Garlic Soy Sauce)
- Hot Sesame Oil Tofu (one of my all time favorite dishes!)

Also make sure to check out this post about Korean Plate Lunch for other side dish inspiration and ideas.

Additions and substitutions?

The dipping sauce is optional, but a great idea for those who like saucier dishes. It's also super good for drizzling over rice or slices of pan-fried tofu.

I like rib-eye but you can make this recipe with different cuts of meat, just make sure the meat is sliced very thin. You can also use this recipe with fish and make fish jun!

A plate of meat jun with rice and Mac salad.
Meat jun with two scoops of rice and mac salad.

Meat Jun Recipe

See below and enjoy ^_^

Yield: 5-6 pieces meat jun (2-3 servings)

Meat Jun

A plate of meat jun with rice and Mac salad.

Hawaii-Style Meat Jun is a popular local dish with Korean origins. Thinly slice beef is marinated, then dipped in flour and egg, and fried. Soooo delicious! There's also an optional dipping sauce. Eat with hot rice (bonus points for sides of kimchi and mac salad) ^_^

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

Marinade

Batter

  • ⅓ cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Dipping Sauce (optional)

Instructions

  1. Marinate the meat. Place the meat slices in a container. Mix together all the marinade ingredients and pour over the meat . Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. Make the dipping sauce (optional). Mix together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, chili flakes, garlic, and green onions in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Batter the meat. Pour the flour onto a plate. Beat the eggs and place in a large bowl. Working with one slice at a time, dip the meat slice into the flour first (shake off any excess flour). Then dip into the egg.
  4. Panfry the meat. Make sure there's about 1/2-inch of oil in your pan. Over medium-high heat, fry each side for 1-2 minutes. Once finished, remove to a plate lined with paper towels (to soak up oil).
  5. Time to eat! Serve the meat jun with hot rice and dipping sauce on the side. You can eat with fork and knife and slice each piece like a steak. Or use scissors to cut the meat jun into strips and then eat with chopsticks (this is how most places in Hawaii serve it).
A pan of mushroom yi mein, ready to eat.
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