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.
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.
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.
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: