Beef Bulgogi

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June 8, 2012 by Suzanne

I adore this super tasty Korean dish.  The way I developed my recipe was to look through several bulgogi recipes and get an idea for what makes bulgogi what it is. I noticed that the recipes that I looked at all called for different cuts of beef, and so my conclusion on that score is that it really doesn’t matter what part of the cow it comes from.

Start with 1 pound of thinly sliced beef. Many people find that meat is easier to slice when partially frozen, but it’s up to you.

Either in a bowl or large ziplock bag, depending on how you prefer to marinate meat, combine:

  • 1/4 C. Soy Sauce
  • 4 packets of Splenda, or 3 T of sugar or whatever equivalent floats your boat.
  • 1/2 of a medium sized onion, very finely slivered
  • 2 T Sesame oil (You can add 1-2 T of sesame seeds if you like in addition to the sesame oil.)
  • 2 T Minced garlic
  • 1 tsp Grated ginger (keep a piece of root in a bag in the freezer for these occasions)
  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper
  • And if desired, red chile paste to your own personal taste. I suggest that you use it quite sparingly (like 1/4 of  a tsp) because this stuff is hot, hot, hot! Also, it can be like spraying pepper spray in the house if you cook with too much in a hot pan. I chose to do without the red chile paste.


Add the beef and marinate for 1 hour. I don’t suggest letting it marinate for much longer, as it will already be a pretty strong tasting dish.

Now you have a choice. I believe the traditional method of preparation is to barbecue the beef, but if you don’t want to or it’s the middle of winter, it’s perfectly acceptable to pan fry them inside. Heat oil in a large pan, and fry the beef in a single layer, cooking in batches until they are all cooked. If there are bits of garlic and onion in the pan between batches, try to scoop them out so they don’t burn before you’re finished. When all the beef is done, add the rest of the marinade, including all the onion and garlic, to the pan and reduce until it is no longer liquid. This should go super quick, since there shouldn’t be much liquid left. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the beef back in and stir it around to coat it.

A traditional way to serve beef bulgogi is to eat it in a leaf of lettuce with rice, kimchi, and possibly some mushrooms or vegetables. You can do this if you want, but it’s just as good with any color rice you choose, or with mock rice.


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