The classic Korean beef dish that can be thrown together in 5 minutes has too much refined sugar for my liking. I feel like it gives my children a sugar rush right before bedtime. I also wanted to find a way to get a some more nutrients into my kids in addition to the meat and rice that we pair it with. This is where the edamame came in. Truthfully, ended up helping me in more ways than I expected because my three year old loves edamame but hates all things ground meat. She actually can eat three helpings of this meal, so I feel like an accomplished mommy if nothing else.
Instead of using brown sugar, as most traditional recipes do, I added maple syrup. Let’s talk maple syrup for a second. I use it a lot in place of regular sugar, but this does not mean my recipes don’t have sugar. In fact maple syrup is still pretty caloric and high in sugar. What I like about maple syrup though, is that you don’t need a lot of it to get the sweetness you’re looking for. So whereas a normal recipe might use 1 cup of white sugar, I’d use half the amount of maple syrup. Another important note when it comes to maple syrup, is that maple syrup has a slightly lower glycemic index (GI) than regular sugar, which essentially means the body metabolizes its carbs slower and raises blood sugar levels at a slower pace. A lower GI carb can also use those sugars more efficiently for energy. Generally speaking, a low GI is 55 or lower. Regular sugar has a GI of 65, while maple syrup has a GI of 54. There are sugar subs that are even lower in GI than maple syrup, like coconut sugar for example (see my 4 ingredient Almond Butter Cookies). But I like to use these swaps in baking when I’m adding larger amounts of sweetening. For cooking, I find the little bit of maple syrup I use goes a long way and adds amazing richness to the food.
Again, this doesn’t mean you can just use maple syrup unlimitedly, but it definitely dodges some of the problems associated with regular sugar.
Let’s face it, diabetics, or people on low carb diets stay away from Asian cuisine because its usually loaded with added sugar and carbs. But when you pair the small amounts of maple syrup in this recipe, with the edmame, a low GI veggie (with an added boost of protein, if I may add), then you are looking at an Asian meal really ok for those of you looking for a low carb, high protein meal.
Another great perk of this dish, is that the meal is made in like 10 minutes. Always a great sell for a busy mommy.
Enough chitchat, you’ll find the recipe below. Let me know what you all think, and more importantly, let me know what your kids think!