Beef Bulgogi

Korean beef bulgogi is a must-try dish for any meat lover! Thinly sliced beef is marinated in a sweet and savory sauce, then grilled or stir-fried until tender and juicy. This quick and easy recipe is great for busy weeknight dinners!
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This Korean beef bulgogi is bursting with fresh and bold flavors! The thinly sliced steak is melt-in-your-mouth tender. The sauce is both sweet and savory. This Korean-inspired dish is great for family dinners, busy weeknights, and leftovers. Serve in lettuce wraps, with brown rice, or with a side salad!

Beef bulgogi.

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This homemade Korean beef bulgogi is hearty and flavorful.
  • Once the beef has marinated, this recipe takes only 10 minutes.
  • The sweet and savory marinade gives the beef a unique flavor.
  • The recipe is simple and straightforward.
  • It is versatile.
  • Serve this Korean BBQ beef with brown rice, rice noodles, or lettuce wraps.
  • You can also add vegetables to the marinade or serve it with other Korean side dishes.
  • Beef bulgogi is a popular dish that is sure to be a hit at any gathering.
  • This recipe is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and white sugar-free.
  • Check out these Korean Rice Bowls for another delicious family dinner!

What is Beef Bulgogi?

Beef bulgogi is a popular Korean dish often served at barbecue restaurants. The beef is marinated in a sauce made with soy sauce (or coconut aminos), brown sugar or honey, garlic, ginger, and black pepper.

The marinade gives the beef a unique flavor that is both sweet and savory.

The beef is grilled or pan-fried until cooked to perfection.

Ingredients & Substitutes

These are the ingredients and substitutions for beef bulgogi. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe.

For this recipe, use ribeye or sirloin. Freeze the meat for 30 minute to help it slice more easily.

Onions and green onions add a pop of freshness and flavor.

Garlic adds that signature garlicky flavor.

Julienned carrots add color and freshness.

For the marinade, use coconut aminos. This is the soy-free and gluten-free version of soy sauce.

Honey adds a natural sweetness. Feel free to use pure maple syrup instead.

Grated fresh ginger adds a richness to the marinade.

For a spicy option, add in some crushed red pepper flakes.

Black pepper adds flavor as well.

Lastly, top with sesame seeds and green onions if desired.

Ingredients for beef bulgogi.

Taste & Texture

The beef in this recipe is cooked until tender and juicy.

The marinade gives the beef a sweet and savory flavor. In addition, the beef has a slightly crispy exterior and a soft, juicy interior.

Overall, this healthy beef bulgogi features tender meat, soft veggies, and a delicious Asian-inspired flavor!

How to Make

Step 1

First, in a bowl, whisk together all the marinade ingredients. Set aside.

Korean marinade in bowl.

Step 2

If the beef is not already thinly sliced, place it in the freezer for about 20 to 30 minutes to make slicing easier. Then, thinly slice the beef against the grain into bite-sized pieces.

Meat with marinade sauce.

Step 3

Place the sliced beef in a bowl or Ziplock bag and pour the marinade over it. Toss to ensure all the beef is fully coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to marinate.

Plastic bag with marinade.

Step 4

Heat a large skillet or a grill pan over medium-high heat. If needed, add a touch of oil to prevent sticking.

Step 5

Add the marinated beef and sliced onions to the hot skillet. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the beef is cooked through and caramelized. Add in the julienned carrots.

Beef, onions, and carrots.

Step 6

Add the minced garlic and chopped green onions to the skillet. Then, cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant.

Skillet with sliced beef.

Step 7

Lastly, transfer the Beef Bulgogi to a serving plate. Garnish with sesame seeds and additional chopped green onions if desired.

Expert Tips for Success

Here are a few expert tips and tricks for making the best beef bulgogi.

Use thinly sliced beef. This will help the beef to cook evenly and prevent it from becoming tough.

Marinate the beef for at least 30 minutes, but preferably up to 3 hours. This will allow the flavors of the marinade to tenderize the beef.

Do not overcook the beef. Overcooked beef will be dry and tough.

If you are grilling the beef, preheat the grill to medium-high heat.

If you are pan-frying the beef, use a large skillet and heat the skillet over medium-high heat.

Close up of Korean meat.

How to Serve & Store

Serve this Korean beef bulgogi hot and fresh! Serve with brown rice, rice noodles, or lettuce wraps.

Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use other types of meat in this recipe?

Yes, you can use other types of meat in this recipe, such as pork, chicken, or tofu. Ground beef also works well.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Yes, you can make this recipe ahead of time. The beef can be marinated for up to 24 hours in advance if needed.

Can I make it in the slow cooker?

Sure! Brown the steak in a skillet for 1 to 2 minutes. Then, add all of the ingredients into a slow cooker. Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.

What does beef bulgogi taste like?

It tastes like BBQ and teriyaki. The flavor of bulgogi is savory, salty, and sweet, with a hint of smokiness from the grill (if using). The beef is also very tender and juicy, thanks to the marinade and the thin slicing.

Bowl of beef bulgogi.

Equipment Needed

Large Nonstick Skillet: This nonstick skillet is large enough for this recipe.

You May Also Enjoy

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