They continued on their way, moving swiftly, pursued by the King and the Prime Minister’s men. As they went north, the land grew increasingly rocky and mountainous, and soon they were in the highlands, breathing in the thin air of snowy peaks, looking at tiny temples and villages miles below.
Intent on getting more clarity from the rebel leader about their plans, the Princess approached him that evening, after they had broken under a sheltered enclave from the battering winds. The rest of the rebels were busy barbecuing meat over an open fire, but even the delectable smells emanating from that corner couldn’t tempt the Princess – she was too anxious about what the leader had said.
He smiled at her and gestured for her to take a seat next to him. “You look worried,” he observed.
“Why are we leaving Goguryeo?” asked the Princess. “Now, in this moment – when we should stay and fight.”
“Do you know that for a fact?”
The Princess straightened her shoulders. “I know that the Prime Minister’s hold on power is weakening – I know that word about our actions has reached outside the palace – that the people are paying attention, looking for a moment to voice their concerns as one.”
“We are still weak, Princess,” replied the rebel leader. “The people may rise, some of them, but they will be immediately crushed – along with the rest of us – by the King’s still-impressive army. And once that happens, the rest of the villages will go back to their business, too afraid to rise up. The rebellion will fail, if we launch it now.”
The Princess was silent for a moment, watching the snow fall around them. “But if we wait – if we leave – we will lose our momentum. Why not stay and continue to build up support and resistance among the villages?”
The rebel leader gave her a wry smile. “You’ve really converted to the true rebel spirit, huh.”
She frowned at him. “You’re not listening to me.”
“I am, Princess. If we stay, we will expend all our energy on the run, and the villages will waste scarce resources trying to shelter and protect us. If we leave, word of our actions will continue to spread.”
“But when they hear we have left? Abandoned them – for where, anyway? Where are we actually going?”
“Somewhere…” the young man’s eyes drifted to the northern ridge of mountains standing between them and the seas. “Somewhere where people are plentiful. Where we can raise our own army.”
The Princess stared at him. “They won’t be our people.”
“They may be people who need a rebellion of their own. You can’t win a war or overthrow a government with words alone, Princess. Now come, let’s eat.”
The rebel leader retired to the inside of the enclave, where he joined the others telling bawdy stores around the campfire as they ate their plates of hot bulgogi. The Princess watched from afar. It wasn’t right, leaving. She knew it in her bones.
[To be continued, of course! For past installments of ‘The Princess & the Rebel saga,’ click here]
- ~1-1.5 pounds of sliced ribeye (you can get it pre-sliced at many Asian groceries (e.g. H-Mart), or ask your butcher/meat counter to slice it for you - or do it yourself, slicing to ~ 1-1.5mm thickness (probably easier if the meat is a bit frozen)
- 1 bunch scallions (reserve some for garnish)
- 1 large onion (half for marinade, half for cooking)
- 1 tb fresh ginger
- 6 cloves garlic (half a head)
- 2 tb coconut aminos
- 1 tb fish sauce (optional)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tb apple cider vinegar
- 1 asian pear (can sub apple or regular pear)
- 1-2 tb coconut sugar (optional, can sub honey or other sweetener)
- 2 tb olive oil or avocado oil
- ¼-1/2 c water
- avocado oil for cooking
- Chop or food process marinade ingredients to form a paste (or just blend Asian pear and add the rest of the ingredients in chopped). Add in bulgogi meat and enough water so that all the meat is covered by marinade. Leave to marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Remove meat from marinade and drain/pat off with paper towels. Heat up 2 tb of oil in cast iron or good saute pan over high heat. When oil is hot add meat and ½ an onion (sliced) (do this in multiple batches if you can't fit all the meat in the pan so it has room to brown). Cook for a few minutes until meat has caramelized. Garnish with scallions and serve immediately.
This post has been shared on Phoenix Helix’s Paleo-AIP Roundtable.