Our authentic Korean BBQ BULGOGI includes thin slices of pork or beef marinated in a flavorful mix of soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and gochujang chili paste, pan-seared and garnished with green onions!
A classic Korean dish, Bulgogi (불고기) literally means “fire meat”. It’s absolutely delicious and, because it’s sliced so thin, is quick to marinade and cook. It’s traditionally grilled on skewers but does fine pan-fried for convenience. We like to serve it with Kimchi Fried Rice or as a Bulgogi Bowl.
I first fell in love with Bulgogi at a little Korean restaurant I frequented during college, and again at Seoul Taco in St. Louis, MO. Now I love cooking bulgogi at home because the tantalizing aroma of searing meat and spices brings everyone to the table with an appetite!
Ingredients for Bulgogi:
Thoughts on the Meat:
Many bulgogi recipes call for sirloin, ribeye or other expensive cuts of beef. Personally, I use pork tenderloin because it is lean, reasonably priced, and what I first had when I fell in love with bulgogi. Chicken will work fine as well. Whatever meat you use, the key is to not marinade it for more than a day, and to not overcook it.
How to make Bulgogi:
- Toss the meat in the freezer for 20 minutes. This will make it much easier to slice!
- Slice the meat across the grain into very thin slices (⅛ inch) and place in a large ziplock bag.
- Whisk together the marinade: soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and one chopped green onion (save the other one to garnish).
- Add marinade to pork and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes but no more than overnight.
- Brown meat: Heat oil in a skillet and cook bulgogi meat in a single layer (one half batch at a time), for a few minutes on each side. Be careful not to overcook. Repeat for second batch of meat.
- Serve warm in a bulgogi bowl, wrap, or salad.
If your supermarket carries Asian pears, grate one up and include it in the marinade. This fruit contains an enzyme that tenderizes meat.
Place raw meat in a freezer safe bag and cover it with marinade. You may need to divide the portion in half and store it in two separate bags. Remove as much air as possible and freeze it flat.
Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or quick-thaw in a big bowl of cold water when you get home from work. Bulgogi tastes best freshly cooked so freezing it raw is better.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE SOME OF OUR OTHER SOUTHEAST ASIAN RECIPES:
- 1 pound pork tenderloin , or beef flank steak
- ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger , or 2 tsp dry ground ginger
- 2-3 teaspoons Korean chili paste (gochujang) , or substitute Thai red chili sauce, sriracha, or crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
- 2 green onions , chopped, divided
- 2 Tablespoons oil (vegetable or canola) , for cooking meat
- Slice the pork tenderloin into very thin slices and place the meat in a large ziplock bag. Set aside.
- In a bowl whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and one chopped green onion (reserve the remaining chopped green onion for garnish on the bowls).
- Pour the marinade into the bag with the pork and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
- When ready to cook the pork, add 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil to a large wok or skillet over medium high heat.
- Once hot, add half of the meat, placing it in a single layer in the pan. Allow it to brown for a few minutes, without touching it.
- Flip each piece of meat to the other side and allow to brown for another 2 minutes or so, until cooked through, but not overcooked. Remove to a plate.
- Add remaining oil to the pan. Once hot, add remaining pork and cook in the same manner. Remove to a plate.
HAVE YOU TRIED THIS RECIPE?!
RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.