Bulgogi is my favorite meat to eat in a Korean restaurant. Tender, slightly sweet and savory marinated beef. Serve with kimchi and white rice, your meal is set!
Korean BBQ is one of the best known Korean foods. It’s fun, messy, greasy and it’s the BEST thing ever for MEAT LOVERS! All-you-can-eat is even better. You can just stuff yourself with as much food (meat, meat, and meat) as possible!
What is your favorite Korean BBQ meat? Marinated short ribs? Pork belly? Squid? Or bulgogi? For me, Bulgogi all the way! They are salty with a hint of sweetness and they are always nicely charred on the edges. Importantly, they cook the fastest. Who like to wait? Take a big piece of beautifully browned bulgogi, dip in the salty sesame oil, put on top of a thinly sliced rice paper, add a piece of kimchi and a little bit of salad, take a deep breath and bite into it. All kind of flavors just explode in your mouth. Savory, salty, sourness, spiciness, freshness… Irresistible!
The exciting thing is that bulgogi is very easy to make. Anyone can all make this at home! Although the bulgogi may not get as charred as the ones in restaurants, but the flavors were spot on. Ingredients are pretty straight forward. There are the normal Asian seasonings, like soy sauce, sugar, rice wine, sesame oil, but to give it sweetness, honey is needed. Also another unique component is Asian pear. The pear has an enzyme that can tenderize meat. Grate the pear and combine with the marinade. Toss in the thinly sliced beef and marinate for about 1½ hours. Cook them in a really really hot skillet (like cast iron). To make sure the meat gets a little caramelized, do not overcrowd the pan and cook the meat in 2 batches. Juicy and flavorful bulgogi is all done and ready for dinner. I like to serve them with hot steamed white rice and kimchi. Hurry up and make your own bulgogi at home!
Yield 2 servings
- 1 pound thinly sliced rib eye beef
- 2 green onions (cut into 2-inch pieces)
- ½ small onion (thinly sliced)
- ½ small carrot (cut into the size of matchsticks)
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 3½ tablespoons soy sauce
- 1½ tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1½ tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon rice wine or mirin
- 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons grated Asian pear
- dash of ground black pepper
- In a large bowl, combine all marinade ingredients. Separate the beef slices and add into the marinade. Mix everything slightly with your hands. Toss in the green onions, onions and carrots and combine well. Cover with plastic wrap, transfer to the fridge and marinate for about 1½ hours.
- In a large skillet over high heat, heat until very hot, add 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Add the marinated beef and cook until no longer pink and slightly caramelized, flip and stir occasionally. If needed, cook in 2 batches and don’t overcrowd the skillet. Transfer the cooked meat to a serving plate. Serve immediately.
- I got my beef in Asian supermarkets, like Japanese, Chinese or Korean. They are all pre-sliced. If you can’t find pre-sliced ones, you can cut it yourself. Freeze your beef for 1 hour or so. With a sharp knife, cut the beef across the grain into 1/8-inch slices.
- Use a skillet that can get really hot, like cast iron or wok. That helps to cook the meat faster and gives a nice brown sear.
(Adapted from Korean Bapsang)
Make this fish cake banchan (side dish) to go along with the bulgogi too!