We thought about just how much flavor we could pack into meatloaf. The result: We took the ingredients you might often find in bulgogi marinade and used them to create a spicy, sweet, and sour combination that takes this sandwich right to the edge.
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided, plus more for pan
2 large eggs
½ medium apple, scrubbed, cored, finely grated (discard any ungrated peel)
6 scallions, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 2” piece ginger, peeled, thinly sliced, then finely chopped
2 Tbsp. gochugaru (coarse Korean red pepper powder) or other mild red pepper flakes or 2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp. dark or light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1¼ tsp. Morton kosher salt
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 lb. ground beef chuck (preferably 20% fat)
16 thick slices Pullman or other sandwich bread
Gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste), ssamjang, or ketchup and kimchi or any kind of pickles (for serving)
Preheat oven to 325°. Line a 9×5” loaf pan with a double layer of foil, leaving at least 3” overhang on the long sides, and lightly coat with vegetable oil. Whisk eggs, apple, scallions, garlic, ginger, gochugaru, brown sugar, soy sauce, salt, and sesame oil in a large bowl to combine. Add panko and mix with a stiff rubber spatula until well combined. Let mixture sit 5 minutes to hydrate.
Stir one-quarter of beef into panko mixture, smashing and folding to combine evenly. Stirring with rubber spatula or using your hands, mix in remaining beef until evenly combined. Transfer to prepared pan and press evenly into pan, working into corners.
Bake meatloaf until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 160°, 1¼–1½ hours. Let cool in pan at least 20 minutes
Using foil overhang, remove meatloaf from pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut meatloaf into 8 thick slices. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Working in batches and adding remaining 1 Tbsp. oil halfway through, cook slices, reducing heat if browning too quickly, until deeply browned and warmed through, about 4 minutes per side.
Spread gochujang over one side of bread slices and top 8 slices with meatloaf and some kimchi; close up sandwiches.