Korean BBQ Bulgogi Recipe
This Korean BBQ Bulgogi Recipe contains the secret to the ultimate bulgogi marinade. The quick-cooking thin-slices of rib-eye steak are tender, with a slightly sweet, smoky, and savory flavor. It’s sure to become your newest barbecue go-to recipe!
When perfectly marinated beef meets the grill, magic happens. This Bulgogi recipe is no exception to that rule. Once this beef has been marinated, it only takes just a few minutes to cook over a smoking hot grill.
The mouthwatering tender beef just oozes flavor, hitting all the sweet, salty, savory, and slightly spicy notes Beef Bulgogi is known for. This might be why Korean food has become so popular!!
Looking for another grilled side to enjoy with your Bulgogi? Check out this amazing Miso Grilled Baby Bok Choy to up your veggie intake. The entire meal is best enjoyed ‘al fresco‘ with a giant pitcher filled with a refreshing summer cocktail of your choice.
What is Bulgogi?
Bulgogi, pronounced ‘Buul-GOH-ghee’ is a term that encompasses many recognizable Korean BBQ dishes. Basically, it consists of cuts of meat (gogi) that are quickly cooked over a fire (bul). Sometimes the meat is marinated, sometimes it isn’t. It can be grilled as a full steak, pounded meat, on skewers, or as thin slices.
Bulgogi dishes range from a seasoned steak cooked over charcoal to sweet or spicy (sometimes both) marinated sliced beef with added vegetables and/or clear noodles.
Generally, most Bulgogi recipes feature beef as the star protein. However, pork, squid, and also chicken are used.
What Cut of Meat is Bulgogi?
Number one, you want your Bulgogi to be tender and melt in your mouth, so you want to use a good cut of beef. Bulgogi is usually made from very thin, almost paper-thin cuts of beef. Rib-eye is a good choice, with top sirloin being a good second choice.
The easiest option is to buy pre-sliced steak from a Korean butcher or get your butcher at the grocery store to slice it for you.
If you buy a solid piece of boneless rib-eye steak, you’ll need to slice it yourself. Freeze it for 30 minutes to an hour then slice across the grain into 1/4 inch slices.
But to be honest with a good bulgogi marinade you can get away with a cheaper cut of beef also if you make sure you cut against the grain. Partially freezing can help you to slice the meat even thinner. So you could try a chuck roast if that is what you have on hand, and it is certainly more of an affordable option.
Love This Recipe
I love this recipe as it goes beyond basic grilled steak. The marinade really takes that meat to flavor town. Yes, this phrase has been (over) used many times but let’s add one more time to the pile.
It really is so full of flavor you can’t deny it. This is why I love it so much!
Hello everyone! I’m Bernice, the blogger over at Dishnthekitchen.com and I am so pleased to be sharing this amazing recipe with you today on Ken’s blog. During the summer months, I like to barbecue several times a week to make up for the loss of char during the winter!
I can never decide whether to make an afternoon of it, smoking chicken thighs over low and slow charcoal, or to just whip up a quick turmeric marinade for quick grilled Turmeric Chicken Kabobs. It’s all delicious in my books!
How Do You Make Bulgogi Sauce From Scratch?
To make the Bulgogi sauce or marinade is easy. Just mix the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Add marinade and beef to a Ziploc bag and massage a bit so the marinade coats the meat evenly. Marinate at least 4 hours or overnight. Start it right away in the morning for the perfect marinated beef flavor.
What is the difference between marinade and marinate? The word marinade is used for a sauce, food is soaked in a marinade. The word marinate is a verb and it means the action of soaking a portion of food in a marinade.
apple pear or green apple
gochujang (Korean chili paste)
gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)
boneless rib-eye steak *see note
The Perfect Marinated Bulgogi Recipe
There are many recipes for bulgogi marinade out there. In order to create the most flavourful bulgogi recipe, I made sure to use all of my most favorite authentic Korean flavors.
SWEET – This flavor is not found in all Korean dishes but it is a popular component of Korean cooking. The sweet flavor of this recipe comes via three ingredients; Brown sugar, grated apple, and Korean red pepper paste called gochujang. Once the meat has been slightly caramelized by the heat, there’s a fourth component of sweetness.
However, this dish is not overly sweet because of how well balanced the other flavors are.
SALTY -Tthe salty umami punch of fermented soy sauce is a familiar component in many Asian cuisines, Korean included.
SPICY – Though we do love a lot of spice at our house, this recipe is not overly spicy especially when we are talking in terms of Korean food. There is slight warming from the gochujang and adding the gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes) is entirely optional, though highly recommended.
GARLIC – Don’t be shy; everyone is eating the same dish. In my opinion, garlic is a Korean ingredient that must not be missed.
How to BBQ Beef Bulgogi
Once you have infused all those great flavors into the beef, it’s time to BBQ it up! As the beef has been sliced into strips, it’s best to break out the grilling basket. Brush it with a bit of oil, then pre-heat it on your grill.
Next, you can either stir fry the vegetables in the basket, or in a frying pan on your stove. I did mine on the stove because I used matchstick carrots.
Set the veggies aside while you add only half of the beef to the grilling basket. To get that signature caramelized char, arrange the beef in a single layer in the pan and let it sit for a few minutes before moving. Remove the cooked beef, then repeat with the second half of the meat.
olive or canola oil
When the meat is done, mix in the onions and carrots, then top with toasted sesame seeds, sliced green onions and finish it with fresh ground black pepper.
If you don’t have a barbecue or a grilling basket, don’t worry! This bulgogi recipe can also be made stovetop in a large preheated cast iron grill pan. Just make sure you get that same char in the cast iron pan by cooking on medium-high heat. That is part of the flavor profile of this dish.
Ingredients for Serving
White sesame seeds; toasted
Kimchi (Fermented Korean Spicy Cabbage)
WHAT to Serve with Korean BBQ Bulgogi recipe
Simply put, this Korean BBQ Beef Bulgogi Recipe is great; I serve with rice and a side of kimchi. We ate ours as a lettuce wrap, topped with kimchi, and a little extra gochujang because I was too lazy to whip up some ssamjang. Ssamjang is a thick, spicy paste used with food wrapped in a leaf in Korean cuisine. The sauce is the best and is made of doenjang, gochujang, sesame oil, onion, garlic, green onions, and optionally brown sugar.
This barbecued beef is so tasty, and because of this, it has become quite the fad to use it in many dishes, creating the ultimate Korean fusion.
- BBQ Bulgogi Pizza
- Bulgogi Beef Tacos
- Bulgogi Kimbap – all the great flavors of bulgogi in sushi form!
- Beef Bulgogi Salad Rolls
- Beef Bulgogi Bowls
- Bulgogi Spring Rolls
- In a soup…called Jeongol.
- As a topping on a salad
- In a wrap
- Beef Bulgogi Poutine
Try this wonderful recipe in any of the above ideas. You will love it for a great summer meal or at any time of the year.
Pin it HERE!
Pin it Here!
- 1/2 apple pear or green apple; grated
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp minced ginger
- 2 tbsp gochujang (Korean chili paste)
- 1 tsp gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless rib eye steak *see note
- 1 medium onion; cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 medium carrots; cut into matchsticks or sliced.
- olive or canola oil
- butter lettuce; 18 fresh lettuce cups
- 1 tbsp white sesame seeds; toasted
- 4 green onions; chopped
- 1 cup kimchi (Fermented Korean Spicy Cabbage)
FOR THE MARINADE
- Mix marinade ingredients (except beef) together in a bowl.
- Add marinade and beef to a ziploc bag and massage a bit so the marinade coats the meat evenly.
- Marinate at least 4 hours or overnight. Start it right away in the morning for the perfect marinated beef flavour.
- Pre-heat grill to medium-high.
- Lightly oil a grilling basket and place on grill.
- Add the onions and carrots to the grill basket and stir fry until carrots become slightly soft and the onions are translucent. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Working in two batches, place half of the meat in a single layer in the grill basket and grill until charred and cooked through. Repeat with the next batch of meat.
- Combine the cooked meat, onions, and carrots together. Place on a serving platter. Scatter sesame seeds and green onions over top.
- Serve immediately with cooked rice, or in lettuce cups topped with kimchi and extra gochujang or ssamjang.
Sliced Beef Notes - The easiest option is to buy pre-sliced steak from a Korean butcher or get your butcher to slice it for you.
If you buy a solid piece of boneless rib eye steak, you'll need to slice it yourself. Freeze it for 30 minutes to an hour then slice across the grain into 1/4 inch slices.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 493Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 1104mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 6gSugar: 15gProtein: 33g