Beef bulgogi is a popular Korean dish known for its sweet and savory flavors. Here's a simple recipe to make beef bulgogi at home:
- 800 g rib eye steak
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil for cooking
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 5 large red chillis
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 200 g pears (peeled and cored)
- 2 tbsp chopped green onions plus more for garnish
- 1 tbsp rice wine mirin or dry sherry
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp Black pepper to taste
- 1 large red chill (sliced into thin strips)
- ¼ cup Korean ppeper sauce (gochujang)
- 1 large lettuce (whole leavees)
Prepare the beef
- Wrap each rib-eye steak individually with cling wrap. Place the wrapped meat onto a metal baking tray.
- Put the tray into the freezer and let the meat partially freeze for about 2 to 2.5 hours. (The time can vary depending on your freezer setting, the thickness and size of the meat). The meat is ready if your knife goes through smoothly and you’re not having difficulties in thinly slicing it. If you do, you should put the meat back into the freezer and freeze it a bit longer.
- Remove the meat from the freezer and remove the cling wrap. Slice the meat thinly across the grain. Ideal thickness is 2mm to 3mm (1/8 inch). Now, the meat is ready to be marinated with bulgogi marinade.
Prepare the marinade
- In a mixer, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, minced garlic, grated ginger, sesame seeds, Korean pepper sauce, pears, chopped green onions, rice wine, and honey. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
- Add the thinly sliced beef to the marinade and toss to coat. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours in the refrigerator.
Cook the bulgogi
- Heat a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat and add the vegetable oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the marinated beef and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the beef is fully cooked and caramelized. You can also add sliced mushrooms and onions if desired and cook until they are tender.
- Season with black pepper to taste.
Serve the bulgogi
- Garnish with sliced red chilli.
- Serve hot over steamed rice or with lettuce leaves for wrapping the bulgogi into mouth-sized portions.
While the most commonly used fruit in bulgogi marinating process is Korean pear / Asian pear / Nashi pear, it is not an easy fruit to get to if you don’t live in Korea. Alternatives include tinned pears or fresh peeled and cored apples. Enjoy your delicious homemade beef bulgogi!