Beef bulgogi, a classic Korean dish, is made by grilling or frying thinly sliced, marinated strips of beef. The sauce, both sweet and savory, is made with soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic and ginger!
I’ve tried my fair share of beef bulgogi at Korean restaurants so if you’re also a lover of the marinated dish, I can say with certainty that this home cooked version definitely does not disappoint! Bulgogi is a fantastic weeknight meal – if you marinate the beef overnight, it just takes a few minutes to cook up the next day. Make a quick batch of rice and dinner is served!
I topped my bulgogi with toasted sesame seeds and green onions and served it with kimchi on the side. Kimchi, a fermented vegetable dish, is a staple in Korean cuisine… and also in my household – we bought a huge container of spicy cabbage kimchi last week at the Korean market in town and it’s already almost gone!
For this recipe, it’s important to choose a quality cut of beef, such as flank steak, sirloin or rib-eye. To ensure that the steak turns out nice and tender, you can also add grated Asian pear to the marinade. If you’re not able to find Asian pears, you could also try using kiwi or red apple or, if you have a really nice cut of meat, you could even skip this step altogether.
- beef 500 g (1 lb)
- flank, sirloin or rib-eye
- vegetable oil for frying
- asian pear ½ (grated)
- onion 1 medium
- garlic 3 cloves
- ginger 2.5 cm (1 inch)
- green onion 3 stems
- soy sauce 3 tbsp
- brown sugar 2 tbsp
- sesame oil 1 tbsp
- salt and pepper to taste
- - green onion
- - toasted sesame seeds
- Slice beef into long, thin strips, cutting against the grain. To make it easier to get thin slices, you can put your beef in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour prior to cutting.
- Prepare the marinade: peel and grate ½ of the Asian pear, thinly slice the onion in half circles, mince the garlic and ginger and finely chop the green onion.
- Mix all ingredients for the marinade and evenly coat the beef. Let the marinated beef sit for 30 minutes at room temperature or store in the refrigerator overnight.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat. Cook the marinated beef on high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan! Cook in batches if necessary.
- Top with green onion and toasted sesame seeds. Serve with rice.
- asian pear: if you can't find an asian pear, you could also use kiwi or red apple