After being home for so long and cooking the usual dishes week in and week out, I was craving something different. I needed a little change in the menu and decided to try my hand at a popular Korean dish, Beef Bulgogi. This Beef Bulgogi recipe is as easy as they come and it was everything sweet, savory and delicious.
I’ve ordered it in restaurants before, but never tried to make it. I really enjoy learning and trying Asian foods and flavors and I find some of the recipes surprisingly easy.
What is Bulgogi?
Bulgogi is a Korean cooking method which involves marinating and then searing very thin slices of beef, in this case, Ribeye, in a marinade made of soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar and garlic, often also gochujang or ginger.
Gochujang is a red pepper paste that is equally sweet, savory and spicy. It’s not overwhelming but provides a perfect umami to round out this dishes profile. It is easily found in any grocery store and not at all expensive.
The rest of the bulgogi dish is typically served over rice and sometimes with steamed or sauteed vegetables, like broccoli and carrots. It is then topped with green onion and sesame seeds as an edible garnish.
Making Beef Bulgogi
If there is one lesson to be learned, it is that the marinade is everything. You absolutely want to allow your meat to marinade overnight to allow for maximum flavor and tenderizing.
Secondly, use fresh ingredients. I cannot stress this enough. You absolutely need to use FRESH ginger, and FRESH pear. I also highly recommend using a quality cut of beef that has good fat. You’ll want good fat on your cut of meat, like in a ribeye.
The higher the fat content, the more tender and juicy your meal will be. This is no place for shortcuts.
Korean Beef Bulgogi Recipe
After making the easy marinade, the rest is super easy!
Don’t worry if your meat doesn’t look like what you see in pictures at this point. You won’t see that deep, rich, dark color until the sugars caramelize as the meat cooks.
Once you’re ready to start cooking, make sure your pan is very hot, at medium to high heat. You want to sear the meat while it cooks, and hear that beautiful sizzle when you drop it in the pan.
When starting, be sure to split your marinated meat into three or four batches. You want to avoid overcrowding the pan, which could then potentially boil your meat due to excess liquids. This will cause a rubbery, chewy texture.
Keep your batches small and cook each until you see a nice caramelized crust.
Recipes You’ll Love:
Korean Beef Bulgogi Recipe
- 2 lbs Ribeye, sliced thin into strips
- 1/4 c Reduced sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp Light brown sugar
- 1/2 Pear, freshly grated
- 2 tbsp Sesame oil
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp Ginger. freshly grated
- 1.5 tbsp Gochujang
- 3 tbsp Vegetable oil, divided
- 2 Green onions, fresh and thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp Sesame seeds
- To start, slice the Ribeye into 1/4 inch strips, against the grain
- Place meat into a bowl and add the grated pear, minced garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, gochujang, and grated ginger.
- Coat the meat and mix well, cover, and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours, ideally overnight. Stir the marinade over from time to time.
- Before you're ready to start cooking, remove the marinating meat from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.
- In a sautee pan, or wok, bring the pan to high heat and add the vegetable oil
- Add a third of the meat to the pan, being careful to not overcrowd it.
- Cook for 6-8 minutes, until cooked through. The bulgogi will be done when the edges of meat start to brown and caramelize.
- Continue cooking until the batch is finished.
- Serve over rice and garnish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and slices green onion.
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless rib eye steak
- 1/2 small pear, peeled and coarsely grated
- 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds