Alaska Native culture

Recipe: Korean Marinade Dried Caribou Meat

My friend and colleague, Anna Sattler, posted some photos on Facebook of some delicious looking dried caribou meat. I asked her if she could share her recipe and what inspired her to make it in the way she did. Anna says, “I love Korean marinade and was making caribou kalbi for dinner. I used the rest of the marinade for dried meat.”

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Korean Marinade Dried Caribou Meat prepared by Anna Sattler. Courtesy photo
Korean Marinade Dried Caribou Meat prepared by Anna Sattler. Courtesy photo

Korean Marinade Dried Caribou Meat
by Anna Sattler

Serves about:  One if you are hungry…ha ha.

Ingredients:
1 – cup soy sauce
1 – japanese pear – pureed
2 – tbsp sugar
1  – tbsp sesame oil
1 – tbsp onion powder (or finely chopped small onion)
1 – clove minced garlic
Some sesame seeds (although, you don’t need this ingredient if you don’t want seeds all over your meat)

Directions: 
Cut meat against the grain as much as possible as this makes for the tenderest final product. Marinade overnight. The Japanese pear tenderizes the meat very nicely. Dehydrate or hang dry in your smokehouse. If in the smokehouse, very periodically smoke.

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Anna Sattler. Courtesy photo
Anna Sattler. Courtesy photo

Anna made several batches of her Korean Marinade dried meat with both caribou and beef. It takes her several days to make about 30 pounds in borrowed dehydrators or about a week in her smokehouse.

I grew up making dry meat (aka moose jerky), especially in the fall time. We make it in the middle of winter too if we get a hankering for dry meat. Anna also grew up making it with her family and says, “My earliest memories are of my family putting away and working on food.”

Anna eats ‘soul food’ four or five times per week. It is a challenge to eat traditional foods because Anna travels frequently for her job. She says, “Being on the road requires you to be pretty crafty and requires a lot of time, effort and money.” Anna loves preparing and eating whale, walrus, sea lion, salmon, trout, seal, ptarmigan, pike, smelts and white fish. Not to mention wild berries, fiddleheads and other bounty of the land. She says, “Sometimes the only thing you need is a little brine and a little alder smoke = yum.”

How does it taste? Anna says, “It got great reviews… but, I’ve shared almost all of it.  As care bear says… sharing is caring.” Since making this first batch, Anna got a seal. She cut it up has been busy rendering fat, enjoying seal soup and making black meat in the dehydrators. She is now making salmon jerky. I sampled her variety of dried meats and they were delicious!

A variety of dried meats prepared by Anna Sattler. Courtesy photos
A variety of dried meats prepared by Anna Sattler. Courtesy photos
Sharon McConnell and Anna Sattler served as AFN broadcasters over the years. They are veteran broadcasters and have recognizable faces in Alaska. Photo by Angela Gonzalez
Sharon McConnell and Anna Sattler served as AFN broadcasters over the years.  Photo by Angela Gonzalez

Anna grew up in rural Alaska in the communities of Tuntutuliak, Platinum, Bethel and Kwethluk. Through her Yup’ik heritage, she has family ties throughout rural Alaska. You may recognize Anna in her annual role as broadcast host for the annual First Alaskans Institute’s Elders and Youth Conference, Alaska Federation of Natives Convention and Quyana Alaska.

“Living so far from home and family, soul food has become my connection that I need…physically, mentally and spiritually. It makes me want to cry just trying to quantify into words what it means to me. It means everything. It means sharing, culture, life, family, friends, history, ancestors, the future, us… everything to me.” –Anna Sattler, Yup’ik

I prepare traditional almost every night, but I use the same recipes I grew up with. I am not as creative as Anna. I love seeing her sense of adventure and her posts on Facebook of gathering, processing and cooking all sorts of foods. Anna is not afraid to try new recipes, and it pays off most of the time. Her advice is to “Just. Do. It.  It’s super easy and fun.”

Thank you Anna Sattler for sharing your recipe for Korean Marinade Dried Caribou Meat!

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