Bulgogi - Korean Beef BBQ

Bulgogi is one of the most well known Korean BBQ dishes. Bulgogi literally means ‘fire meat’.
Traditionally, beef is considered a delicacy in Korea. In Korea, beef is a lot more expensive than pork. When I was growing up, our family had a weekend ritual of going to a Korean BBQ restaurant in the local neighborhood market. We always ordered bulgogi, which was cooked on a small stove at the table. It was cooked in a dome shaped cookware with a lip at the bottom in order to catch the juicy, meat broth. My favorite part was eating that sweet, savory beef broth over some freshly cooked rice. What a treat that was!

Enjoy this beef candy ^^
BEVERAGE TIP: Dry Champagne (yeah, spice up your day with a bubbly treat)
SIDE DISH PAIRING TIP: Cucumber Salad or Radish Slaw

Total: 35 minutes Active: 15 minutes
4 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
4 tsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. sake or white wine
1/2 small Asian pear/apple pear, peeled and cored
(if you can not find an apple pear, substitute with any kind of pear )
freshly ground black pepper

1 Lbs/450g. rib eye beef, sliced paper thin
(any prime cut with a little marbled fat is the best)
*You can find thinly sliced meat at Asian grocery stores or ask your butcher to slice it for you.
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1 1/2 cups oyster mushrooms, shredded (button or shiitake mushrooms are good substitutes)
chopped green onion and sesame seeds for garnish

SSAM-JANG: CONDIMENT FOR WRAP (if you want to try Ssam “Korean protein wrap”)
2 Tbsp. gochujang (Korean chili pepper paste)
2 Tbsp. green onion, chopped
4 Tbsp. soybean paste
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. onion, chopped
2 tsp. garlic, minced
2 tsp. sesame seed

tender green lettuce leaves, prefebably about palm size
perilla leaves
garlic, thinly sliced
Korean green pepper, thinly sliced
Korean radish slaw

1. To make the marinade for beef: combine all the ingredients of “marinade for beef” in a blender. Blend it well together, then transfer it to a medium mixing bowl.

2. Cut the beef in half to make it into good bite-size pieces.

3. Add the beef to the marinade a couple slices at a time. Take care to coat the beef slices on all sides with the marinade. Let marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes.
*It can keep in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days.

4. Heat a skillet, add the onion , mushrooms, and the marinated beef. Cook for 5 minutes over medium high heat until the beef looses its red color.

5. Garnish with the green onion and sesame seeds. Serve and enjoy ^^

6. To make Ssam-Jang (Korean condiment), If you want to try Ssam:
Combine all the ingredients for “Ssam-Jang: Condiment for wrap” in a small bowl and mix it well together.
To make a Ssam ( wrap):
Lay a tender green leaf on your open palm. Then, add a piece of meat, your choice of vegetables, radish slaw, a little rice, and a dab of Ssam-jang to top it off. Wrap everything into a nice little package, and place the whole thing in your mouth^^







Gopher’s Tips:

Bulgogi is a perfect dish to make ahead of time. You can make a good amount and divide the marinated beef into desired serving portions. Freeze the portions in individual zip lock bags. Then you can just thaw it and cook it for a quick, delicious dinner.

If you prefer to grill bulgogi, do not cut the meat in half, leave it whole so that you will have larger pieces. That way it will be much easier to grill.

Enjoy meat like Koreans do. Koreans usually eat meat with an assortment of vegetables and the condiment, called Ssam-jang. Traditionally, a piece of meat and vegetables are packed into a nice bite size package called, Ssam. A piece of meat candy is laid on top of a lettuce leaf and a perilla leaf. Then, a piece of thinly sliced garlic, a slice of pepper, a dab of rice, some radish slaw, and the Ssam-jang are added. Finally, it is all wrapped up into a nice package and placed in the mouth. The burst of flavors from all the ingredients is sensational!
To see this in action, watch my bulgogi video^^

2 Thoughts on “Bulgogi: Korean Beef BBQ (불고기)”

  • omg Gopher! We are making this recipe. The meat is still marinading, but I just finished the ssan-jang. IT IS SOOO DELICIOUS, I am eating it on heirloom tomato slices…..

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