Easy Korean Beef Bulgogi

July 2, 2021

This Korean beef bulgogi recipe is not only delicious, but it is also very easy to make, making it a perfect main course meal for your next dinner party!

If you love both beef and Korean culture, then this Korean beef bulgogi is for you. And if you’re worried about the ingredients being hard to find, fret not because this recipe only uses easy-to-find ingredients to recreate that classic smoky and savory bulgogi flavor with just a hint of sweetness. Korean beef bulgogi recipe has an active cooking time of only ten minutes, making it a must-try.

Beef BulgogiPhoto By Canva
Taste Score: %90
Difficulty Easy
Servings 4 people
Preparation 5 mins
Cooking 10 mins
Total 15 mins

Tips

  • While this recipe uses flank steak, you can also use skirt steak, rib eye, sirloin, or brisket for your beef bulgogi. You can even use ground meat as an inexpensive alternative to these more expensive cuts.
  • If using ground beef, make the marinade and keep it separate while you cook your beef. Once your ground beef is cooked through, drain it well and add the marinade to it as a sauce.
  • The grain of the meat is the direction of the muscle fibers running through it. Cutting along the grain will give you meat that is tough and chewy. So make sure to cut your meat perpendicular to the grain to get soft and juicy short fiber meat.
  • When cooking in a skillet, slice your meat so it's less than ⅛ inch thick to ensure maximum flavor and tenderness.
  • If you’re having trouble slicing your meat thinly, throw it in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. The resulting partially frozen meat will be firmer and easier to slice.
  • Leave your beef on the counter after marination for at least 30 minutes to bring it to room temperature, as room temperature beef cooks faster and releases less of its juices.
  • Be sure to let the excess marinade drip off when frying the beef. Use tongs to do this if necessary.
  • Use a large skillet or wok to avoid overcrowding the meat, as overcrowded meat takes longer to cook and doesn’t taste as good.
  • Do not skip heating the pan before adding the beef to it for perfectly seared beef, which is still tender and juicy on the inside.
  • Feel free to sprinkle an extra ½-1 teaspoon brown sugar over your meat before stir-frying for sweeter bulgogi.
  • Sesame oil has a unique earthy and nutty flavor, but it can be quite pricey, so feel free to substitute it with canola oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, etc.
  • Oyster sauce has a unique sweet-salty flavor, but you can substitute it with soy sauce if required.
  • You can also use this recipe to make delicious pork bulgogi. Just substitute the beef with pork, and you’re good to go.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Take the flank steak (or another beef cut of your choice) and cut it into thin strips against the grain. Ensure to cut the strips as thin as possible to allow the beef to be juicy and deeply marinated.
  2. Place the thinly cut beef in a small mixing bowl and add soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame seeds, sesame oil, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, ginger, and oyster sauce.
  3. Mix the beef strips with the spices until well coated and place in the refrigerator to marinate for an hour.
  4. Once the beef is thoroughly marinated, heat a wok or large heavy skillet on high heat and add the meat to it. Cook the meat on high flame for about 5-6 minutes or until cooked through.
  5. Now dish the beef out, top with some green onions, and enjoy.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Beef Bulgogi
Serves 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories434
% Daily Value*
Cholesterol 136 mg45.3%
Sodium 1290 mg56.1%
Potassium 860 mg18.3%
Protein 51 g102%
Total Fat 16 g20.5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

What Is Bulgogi?

Bulgogi is a traditional Korean dish thought to have evolved from maekjeok, a kabob-like skewered meat of the Goguryeo era (37 B.C. to 668 A.D). Now famous and highly popular worldwide, the dish is found absolutely everywhere in Korea, from the streets to high-end restaurants and even in pre-packaged bulgogi bowls.

How To Cook Bulgogi?

Once you have your ingredients, making a delicious bowl of bulgogi stir fry is as simple as cutting the beef, mixing everything to make a marinade, marinating the sliced beef, and then cooking it on high flame for about 5 to 6 minutes in a wok or large skillet.

How To Make Bulgogi Sauce?

To make bulgogi sauce, heat a pan and add ¾ cup soy sauce, ¾ cup brown sugar, and ¾ cup apple juice to it. Mix the ingredients as the sugar melts over low flame and remove from heat. Let the mixture cool before adding 5 cloves crushed garlic, 1 inch grated ginger, 1 tbsp sesame oil, and 2 chopped green onions.

What To Serve With Bulgogi?

Korean steamed rice and kimchi make the perfect pair for any Korean beef bulgogi bowl, but you can also serve your beef bulgogi with vegetables like perilla, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, and lettuce. Other beef bulgogi sides include sautéed eggplant, seasoned bean sprouts, and spicy Korean coleslaw.

Here are some delicious recipes you can serve with Beef Bulgogi:

How To Store Bulgogi?

You can store leftover cooked beef bulgogi in the fridge for up to 5 days and reheat it in a skillet over medium-low heat before consumption. Freezing bulgogi is not recommended as, like most Korean food, it doesn’t freeze well due to being so dry. So a better idea is to store the marinated Korean beef strips in an airtight ziplock bag in the freezer for up to several weeks and stir-fry before enjoying.

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