Our friends, Darrin and Sylvia Isaacs, introduced us to their love of homemade beef jerky several months ago. If you are an avid fisherman, you might have heard of Darrin before. He co-hosted and co-produced several ESPN fishing shows – Big Game Fishing the World, BXRL-Billfishing Xtreme Release League, Inside Big Game Fishing Hawaii and Big Game Bites – with his father, Norm Isaacs.
The Isaacs family lives nearby – and in a twist of fate (or is it kismet?) – Scott and Darrin met at an aquaponics shop. Darrin was there, asking questions to the stop owner, looking for some equipment to set up his system. Scott overheard the conversation. Once outside the shop, as both were leaving, Scott offered to give Darrin some of our equipment that we weren’t using.
Here’s where it gets strange:
-Darrin and Sylvia met on the big island in Hawaii. So did Scott and I. In fact, they were living on the big island the same time we were there, too.
-Our sets of boys are the exact same ages, same number of months apart, same grades. They are a mixed race of Caucasian and Chinese.
-Sylvia used to work in the wine industry. So did I. Sylvia and I are both Chinese.
-They live an hour away currently, all the way on the very opposite side of the county — but it turns out Darrin and Sylvia just bought some property and it’s a stone’s throw from our home.
If I list out any more similarities, it might even give me chills. When we get together, it’s like a gaggle of dark-brown haired boys – You can’t tell them apart from each other unless you really look closely.
We’ve become good friends with the Isaacs, how could we not feel like “instant old friends” given all the crazy similarities? They’ve just launched a new website and podcast, Boat and Billfish, for sport fishing.
Anyways, we also now love making our own beef jerky, just like the Isaacs. We’ve purchased a dehydrator (though to be honest, this is the 3rd dehydrator I have ever owned, but the FIRST dehydrator to be used more than twice and not bought from a TV infomercial.)
Rather than go the traditional American style of beef jerky, I opted to try a Korean flavor, inspired by another good family friend, Diana of Eating Richly. I modified my go-to recipe for Korean Bulgogi BBQ, omitting the sesame seeds, green onion, and grated fresh pear. The grated pear is meant as a tenderizer (the enzymes break down the meat), but since we’re making jerky, there’s not tenderizing needed!
Previously, we had the butchers slice the beef for us with their fancy machinery (we love the Publix butchers, always so kind and helpful.) But recently received a Kalorik Meat and Deli Slicer that’s designed specifically for the home market. The unit is affordable at $ 79.00, and small enough to tuck away in the pantry. We’re also giving away a unit (see end of this recipe for details.)
How to make Korean Beef Jerky