Korean-style sloppy joe

I had leftover ground beef and lamb from making burgers last night and turned that into no-recipe Korean-style sloppy joes for lunch on the deck with Ruth and Bea. I started by making a generous sofrito of onion, celery, yellow bell pepper, garlic, and ginger in a cast-iron skillet. When that had softened and started to color, I pushed it to one side and browned the meat (half a pound of beef, half a pound of lamb), stirring all of it together when the meat had cooked through and crisped a bit. For the sauce, I stirred in three tablespoons of vegetarian oyster sauce, a splash of black vinegar, a teaspoon of sesame oil, a quarter cup of gochujang, a teaspoon of salt, a tablespoon of sugar, half a teaspoon of black pepper, and half a cup of water. When it had reduced, I checked the salt, added a bit more, and then spooned it onto toasted buns. Sesame seeds, green onion (from my garden), and cucumbers dressed with rice wine vinegar provided the finishing touch.


Sloppy joe on a toasted brioche bun with quick pickles and watermelon

I like the traditional sloppy joe, too. But I like it even more with ginger and sesame oil. The mild, sweet funkiness of gochujang goes very well with lamb.