Korean Beef Bulgogi is easier than you think and doesn’t need any fancy ingredients. It’s a quick dinner that’s ready in 45 minutes with only 10 minutes of actual prep and cook time.
We have a lot of beef recipes that make for fantastic dinner options. Check out Thai Basil Beef, Slow Cooker Korean Beef, One Pot Beef Stroganoff, Instant Pot Beef Stew, Garlic Herb Butter Tenderloin.
Korean Beef Bulgogi
If you are looking to switch things up for dinner with a recipe that’s easier than it sounds, this Korean Beef Bulgogi is it. We first had bulgogi at our neighbourhood Korean restaurant and have always been in love with it. It’s made with both beef and pork and I love the beef version. It’s a part of the amazing Korean BBQ and if you are ever lucky enough to attend one, the smell of sizzling Korean Beef Bulgogi is irresistible.
When I wanted to make this at home, I expected a long, complicated recipe with tons of ingredients that are hard to find. Because well, the flavours are so complex. But honestly it needs about ten ingredients and I always have them in my pantry, especially if you love cooking Asian food.
It starts with the marinade. A lot of recipes ask you to marinade overnight but if you are using beef, 30 minutes is enough in my opinion which is what makes this so easy in my book. All the ingredients for the marinade are blended in a food processor. We are using Pear (it’s a great meat tenderiser and also adds flavour and sweetness), Onions, Ginger, Garlic, Dark Soy Sauce, Toasted Sesame Oil, Gochujang or Sriracha, Salt and Sugar. Gochujang is the only ingredient that’s available at speciality Korean stores, but you can easily substitute it with sriracha or even chilli flakes.
Cooking Korean Beef Bulgogi
You can either cook this on a grill or on the stove. The slices of beef are really thin so this takes only 2-3 minutes to cook. Make sure your grill or skillet is super hot and you have everything ready.
If cooking this on a skillet, I recommend using a Cast Iron skillet. Heat it well till it’s almost smoking, add a little oil and add a few slices at a time, making sure not to crowd the pan or the beef will start steaming and you won’t get that lovely caramelization and smoky flavor that we are looking for.
Best Cut of Meat
I recommend using a good cut of meat for this recipe because the beef is cooked really quickly and sliced thinly. A cut with good marbling is what we need here. I prefer using Rib Eye which is a tad expensive but it’s so worth it. Its juicy, has marbling and is suitable for fast cooking on high heat.
While cutting meat for beef bulgogi, wrap the ribeye in cling film and freeze it for an hour. This helps firm up the meat and makes it easy to slice. Then slice it thinly against the grain. Toss these slices in the marinade and let this sit covered for 30 minutes.
We love serving Korean Beef Bulgogi over steamed rice or sticky rice. Add any of these to your bowl to add more colour and flavour:
- Grilled onions and bell peppers
- Poached or Fried Egg
- Red cabbage, cucumbers for some crunch
More Korean Recipes
- Korean Ground Beef Rice Bowls
- Korean Ground Beef Stir Fry
- Slow Cooker Korean Beef
- Easy to Make Poke Bowl
- 20 Minute Vegetable Lo Mein
Korean Beef Bulgogi
- 2 pounds Ribeye or top sirloin sliced into 2mm thick slices
- 2-3 tablespoons Oil
- 1/2 Onion peeled
- 1/2 Pear peeled
- 5 tablespoons Dark Soy Sauce
- 2 teaspoons toasted Sesame Oil
- 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
- 5 Garlic Cloves
- 1 inch piece Ginger
- 2 tablespoons Sriracha
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground Black Pepper
- Blend all the ingredients under marinade till smooth.
- Marinate the sliced rib eye in the blended mixture for 30 minutes.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet till smoking. Add two teaspoons oil. Add a portion of beef and spread it out quickly, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Cook for a minute on each side. The high heat will ensure the beef gets charred. Remove on a plate. Repeat till all the beef is cooked. Let it rest for five minutes.
- Serve with rice and your choice of veggies and a poached egg