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Beef Bulgogi

Got to love this easy Beef Bulgogi recipe. Thin slices of oh so tender meat marinated in flavor-rich savory-sweet bulgogi sauce and grilled Korean style. No grill or griddle? Don’t fret! This one is done stir-fried in a pan. Simple vegetables like carrots and green onions add colors and flavor to this dish. Definitely one of the best way to introduce Korean food to your family and friends.

Beef Bulgogi with carrots and green onions

What is Bulgogi

Bulgogi, that translates literally to “fire meat” is a traditional Korean barbecue dish. Although it generally refers to beef, other tender parts of pork and chicken can also be used. The meat is cut into very thin slices and marinated in a sweet-savory soy-based sauce with spices. It can also be made spicy.

The usual cooking method is by grilling on a barbecue or stove-top griddle. But stir-frying the meat in a pan is also a common method in modern home cooking.

Beef Bulgogi with carrots, mushrooms and bell pepper

Korean Food in the Philippines

Korean food has become increasingly popular in the Philippines as proven by the numbers of Korean restaurants that are opening everywhere. In Pampanga, where I grew up, there is a place that is now known to be a ‘Korean Town’. Shops and many businesses owned by Koreans who decided to settle down in the area dot the area.

This place is near where I used to work, in Clark. In those days, this was the only go-to place in Pampanga to get authentic Korean food. Which I frequented with friends, colleagues and family. I also brought Armin there on his first visit to the Philippines for his first taste of Korean food. Needless to say, he loved it!

Beef Bulgogi is one of my favorites, of course, together with Samgyeopsal and Kimchi.

Bulgogi wrap in lettuce leaf with kimchi and rice

I remember how much I miss eating Korean food while we were in Germany as it is not (yet) so popular there.  Thank goodness for modern technology that makes it easy to look up for recipes online. It is a hit or miss thing, of course. Not necessarily because some recipes are not good. Ok, sure there are some. But mostly it has to do with meeting one’s expectations.

I read and tried a lot of them before I finally found the one that I really like best.

This recipe was actually inspired by not just one but two sources. One is  A Spicy Perspective and the other is  My Korean Kitchen. I took the parts and pieces of advice I like from each and combined them to make this recipe.

Tips for a great Beef Bulgogi

  • Freeze before cutting. This is a neat trick to easily cut the meat in very thin slices. If it is a bigger chunk of meat, cut it in smaller sizes that are about 3 inches thick. Wrap them individually with a plastic wrap and place in the freezer until partially frozen.
  • Make it more tender. Asian pears not only add a sweet flavor to the marinade but also tenderize the meat. Try not to skip it! Unless you are using tenderloin, maybe.
  • I also decided to add some vegetables to my Beef Bulgogi, which is totally allowed, like carrots, bell peppers, and mushrooms so it is like an all-in-one meal, especially great for those on the low-carb diet.
  • Cook in smaller batches. As you pan-fry the meat, it will release juices that should turn to steam if it has the room and space to do so. An overcrowded pan will prevent this from happening and will collect liquid instead. We are not steaming but stir-frying.
  • Cook on a hot skillet. The thin meat will cook faster without drying out and will give it a nice char and smokey flavor.

Frozen beef sliced thinly

 

What cut of beef to use for Bulgogi

A well-marbled tender cut of meat is ideal for grilling or pan frying.  The most commonly used cut for Bulgogi is the ribeye. Sirloin and tenderloin would also work well.

Ribeye, taken from the rib part of a cow, is rich in flavor and juicy because of the high amount of fat marbling the meat.

Sirloin, although delicious, is not as flavorful as the ribeye but is perfect if you like leaner meat and usually cost lesser than a ribeye.

Like sirloin, tenderloin doesn’t also have a lot of fat but is an extremely tender cut with a milder flavor. The most expensive cut of beef.

Try this easy recipe for Beef Bulgogi, a classic Korean dish of grilled marinated beef that it is also great stir-fried. Added some veggies and its so good! | www.foxyfolksy.comBulgogi served with rice and kimchi

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Beef Bulgogi on a plate

Beef Bulgogi

Try this easy recipe for Beef Bulgogi, a classic Korean dish of grilled marinated beef that it is also great stir-fried. Added some veggies and its so good!
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian,Korean
Keyword: beef bulgogi,korean bbq
Servings: 6
Calories: 365kcal
Author: Bebs
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound beef - - sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seed
  • 3 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 medium carrot - - julienned
  • 2 stalks green onions - - chopped with the white part separated

MARINADE

  • 1/3 cup dark soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • white part from green onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon korean chili paste - (optional)
  • 1 small Asian pear

Optional ingredients

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 5 big mushrooms - - sliced
  • 1/2 big red bell pepper - - julienned -optional

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Combine all ingredients for the marinade in a mixer or blender and pulse a couple of times until the garlic and ginger are chopped into fine bits.
    How to make beef bulgogi
  • Place the beef slices in a bowl and pour the marinating sauce into it.
    How to make beef bulgogi
  •  Mix with your hand making sure every meat is covered. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it marinate for at least an hour.
    How to make beef bulgogi
  • Heat skillet or wok over medium heat and toast your sesame seeds until golden brown. Remove from wok/skillet and turn heat to high.Add sesame oil into the hot wok or skillet.
    How to make beef bulgogi
  • Wring out the liquids from the meat using your hands. Once the oil is hot, add half of the meat using tongs spreading them around the skillet. Let them sear on one side first then stir until all is cooked and have a nice brown color. Do not overcook the meat so it stays tender. Remove from skillet using tongs and do the same on the other half of meat. Set meat aside once all done.
    How to make beef bulgogi
  • In the same skillet, add a bit more of sesame oil if needed. Add the carrots and stir fry for a few seconds until tender-crisp. (see Note 1) Add back the cooked meat to the skillet and the toasted sesame seeds and green onions stir a couple of times until fully mixed. Transfer into a serving dish.
    How to make beef bulgogi
  • Serve with Kimchi and rice while still warm.

RECIPE NOTES

Note 1. If adding bell peppers and mushrooms-  Add 1/4 cup water to the bowl used for marinating and add this to the vegetables in the skillet. Let it simmer for a few minutes just until the veggies are about cooked.
Nutrition Facts
Beef Bulgogi
Amount Per Serving
Calories 365 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 43%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 53mg 18%
Sodium 781mg 33%
Potassium 330mg 9%
Total Carbohydrates 13g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 9g
Protein 15g 30%
Vitamin A 34.8%
Vitamin C 3.5%
Calcium 5.8%
Iron 13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe? Tell us how it went. Tag us at @foxyfolksy or leave a comment and rating below.

Beef Bulgogi was first published in 2015. Updated in 2019 to include new photos and additional tips.

Thin slices of oh so tender meat marinated in flavor-rich savory-sweet bulgogi sauce and grilled Korean style. No grill or griddle? Don\'t fret! This one is done stir-fried in a pan. | www.foxyfolksy.com #beefrecipe #koreanfood #asiandishes #bbq #stirfry

Bebs

Bebs here! I love to cook and try new things and DIY projects! And although I think of myself as a homebody, I like seeing other places from time to time.
If you are looking for a recipe and it ain't here, make a request and I will try my best to make it for you!

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