Roy Choi's Jerky

Los Angeles-based chef Roy Choi – badass founder of the famous Kogi Korean-taco trucks and darling of every top food critic to make a West Coast swin – has now expanded to opening hotels. But he doesn't plan to leave his passion for jerky, which he writes about in his book L.A. Son, behind. "To this day I trip out on the old containers in the corner [Los Angeles] stores in plastic tubs, just sitting there like it's normal to have meat in a tub next to doughnuts," he writes. "I like liquor stores but I don't like liquor. I like beef jerky but I don't like eating meat. In many ways my life is a contradiction."

Roy Choi's Beef Jerky

  • 1 lb. flank steak, cut into large cubes
  • 1 cup garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 cup natural rice vinegar (not seasoned)
  • 4 serrano chiles, split lengthwise
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups soy sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 yellow or white onion, sliced
  • 1 cup chopped scallions
  • Pinch of red chile flakes

Step One
Combine all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and skim the scum off the surface of the liquid every so often. Cook until the garlic becomes soft and golden brown, about an hour.

Step Two
Using a slotted spoon or a spider, remove the meat from the pot and scoop it onto a wire rack set over a sheet pan (to catch drips). Let it rest in the refrigerator overnight. Strain the liquid and set it aside on the counter, where it'll stay while the meat is refrigerating.

Step Three
The next morning, remove the beef and shred it.