The Unique Bulgogi-Korean Beef BBQ

In this bulgogi recipe, I offer several substitutions and variations that you can try. They will all taste good but I think it is good to have options in case you don’t have all the ingredients or if you prefer one ingredient over another. I start with the most authentic Bulgogi – Korean Beef BBQ  and then add options/variations.

For more tips, please read here

Bulgogi – Korean Beef BBQ (불고기) is probably one of the best known Korean Beef BBQ dish other than Kimchi. This is the most authentic marinade recipe for Bulgogi.

Ingredients
  • 1 lb Thinly sliced sirloin (top sirloin or any tender loin area)
  • Marinade
  • 3 Tbs soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1 Tbs honey [ 2 t sugar is also ok ]
  • 2 Tbs rice cooking wine [sake or leftover red wine is also ok]
  • 1 Tbs sesame oil
  • 2 Tbs minced garlic
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbs chopped green onion
  • 2 Tbs pear, puree [ or 1 Tbs kiwi or 3 Tbs onion puree]

Instructions
  1. Make sauce by mixing all of the marinade ingredients together except for any optional vegetables such as onions or mushrooms.
  2. Mix in the bulgogi beef into the sauce prepared above – in a bowl big enough to hold the beef. Make sure the sauce is well mixed with the beef. You will need to use your hands here and just massage everything together.
  3. Heat up your favorite frying pan on high heat and just pan fry/stir fry the meat until it’s slightly brown on both sides. 


Recipe Notes
  1. 2 Tbs pear puree can be substituted with 1 Tbs kiwi.
  2. Pan should be hot enough so that the meat sizzles as it touches the pan. Also, if you put too much meat into the pan and/or the heat is too low, you will end up with a lot of the meat juice leaking out of the bulgogi and you end up with Bulgogi stew. 
  3. The most authentic and traditional way to cook Bulgogi ( Korean Beef BBQ ) is on top of a charcoal grill- you will either need a fine steel mesh or tin foil to cook the meat because otherwise it will fall through. Bulgogi is supposed to be well cooked and tastes great if it’s a little burnt…
  4. You can also broil it on the top rack of your oven (Broil temp) but remember to keep a very close watch so it does not burn!
  5. Optional veggie ingredients - traditionally, Koreans just make bulgogi with beef by itself but if you are cooking it in a frying pan, you can add some sliced onions, mushrooms (shitake, white, oyster), bell peppers and even sliced carrots and cook them together.



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