I love fusing flavors from different cultural cuisines. Food holds such a complex identity within each culture and provides a source of memory and comfort; it seems natural that we pass down recipes and share food whether in celebration or mourning. My dear friend Shea had a cookout a few years ago and I was blown away by the diversity in the dishes that everyone brought. Our host grilled some amazing rib eye steaks, along with hotdogs and burgers; the guests brought side dishes including kimchi, roasted peppers with wild mushrooms, baked potatoes, coleslaw, cornbread, okra and tomatoes. I turned Shea's grilled steak into a sandwich topped with kimchi, roasted peppers and mushrooms, with some coleslaw and sweet chili sauce and we both agreed it was worthy of being part of both Korean and Appalachian cuisine, hence the name: The Korealachian! Here's the recipe, including Shea's steak marinade. This includes ingredients from Tink's Beef, Southern 'Shrooms, and Browns Place Farm that can be found on the Augusta Locally Grown online farmers market.
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp chili garlic sauce
1/4 tsp minced ginger
1 tbsp brown sugar
good pinch of black pepper
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 loaf French bread
mozzarella cheese slices
sweet chili sauce
mayonnaise (Duke's, of course)
coleslaw (Southerners have strong opinions on exactly how to make this and I'm not here to start a war so I'll just say I highly recommend using cabbage from Browns Place Farm and buttermilk from Southern Swiss Dairy)
kimchi (homemade is always the way to go but no one will judge you for store bought)
Marinate ribeyes for at least 30 minutes in soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, ginger, brown sugar, pepper, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil.
Grill ribeyes to medium-well. (You can also pan fry these if needed) You can also throw your pepper and mushrooms on the grill or in the skillet to roast.
Cut your French bread loaf into 4 sandwiches.
Build your sandwich: cheese, ribeye, roasted peppers and mushrooms, onion, jalapeño, kimchi, coleslaw, a dash of Duke's and sweet chili sauce, and sesame seeds.
Toast the sandwich to melt cheese if you want, or devour immediately. Feel free to add and subtract ingredients to suit your taste or with what you have on hand.