Recipes

Korean BBQ Beef (Bulgogi)

Serves 4

| Prep Time: 10 mins

| Cook Time: 10 mins

| Total Time: 20 mins

You may need: Dried Garlic Powder

Discover The Recipe

So easy to make and yet so incredibly flavorful, it's no surprise that Korean BBQ Beef (Bulgogi) is one of the most popular dishes within Korea and abroad. Hitting your tastebuds with mega-blasts of umami from the soy sauce and beef, with a background of sweet and salty notes and hints of fruity heat from chilis, this dish is seriously addicting and we think you'll be adding this recipe to your rotation.

The key to great bulgogi is the flavor-packed marinade and letting the meat marinate for at least 30 minutes (up to overnight). Our recipe uses Korean Gochugaru chili flakes, an essential spice in many Korean dishes to imbue fruity, smoky, and a hint of sweet notes paired with mild to medium heat. Gochugaru chilis are simply delicious. Try making a BBQ chicken version (Dak Bulgogi) instead by subbing in chicken thighs for the beef.

Ingredients

  • 2-2.5 lbs ribeye steak (or another marbled cut)

  • 1 large onion, 1/2 cut into chunks and 1/2 thinly sliced

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 1/2 pear, coarsely chopped

  • 1-1.5 tbsp Piquant Post Korean Gochugaru chili flakes

  • 4 scallions, 3 coarsely chopped (for marinade) and 1 cut into 1/4" diagonals (for garnish)

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1 tsp black pepper

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce

  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil

  • 1 tbsp grapeseed (or canola or avocado) oil

  • 1.5 tsp sesame seed (optional) for garnish

  • 2 cups cooked white rice (optional side)

Notes

Ribeye steak is the perfect cut for this dish. Tender and marbled with a little fat, sliced thinly it cooks quickly and delivers tons of flavor. You can also use other common steak cuts like flank, flatiron, skirt, sirloin, NY Strip, and loin, but slice them all very thinly across the grain before cooking.

We used a blender to make the marinade as our food processor was too small. If you have a large food processor, it will work great.

This recipe calls for a pear to add a touch of sweetness. Asian or standard pears work great. If pears aren't in season, add half a sweet apple such as a Fuji or Gala varieties. You can even add 1 tbsp of honey instead.

Optional ingredients add a little character and flavor but don't sweat it if you don't have them.

Instructions

First, cut the beef while still cold to make it easier to slice the beef as thinly as you can (~1/4" is fine). Then, add 1/2 onion, garlic, pear, gochugaru chili flakes, 3 scallions, brown sugar, pepper, soy sauce ,and sesame oil to a blender or large food processor. Puree until smooth (~30 secs).

Next, place the beef and thinly sliced onion in a large zipper bag or bowl and pour the marinade over top. Stir to thoroughly coat (and cover if in a bowl) before placing in fridge. Chill for at least 30 mins to overnight.

Heat oil in a large skillet or wok on High. Using tongs, shake excess marinade from the meat before adding to the pan. Try to keep the beef in single layer in the pan. Work in batches if necessary. Sear the beef and onions until browned (~6-10 mins), stirring frequently.

Sprinkle beef with sesame seeds and scallions. Serve with white rice and side dishes like Korean kimchi (fermented cabbage), pickled mushrooms, or sautéed kale and garlic.

Alternatives & Substitutions

  • Korean Gochugaru chilis can be used as a unique condiment to sprinkle on anything to add a fruity, mild heat.

  • Need a new recipe for Taco Tuesday? Try using the gochugaru chili flakes to make Korean Beef Tacos.

  • For a vegetarian option, try making a Korean Bibimbap bowl with crispy tofu. Substitute in 1 tbsp Piquant Post Gochugaru chili flakes for the Gochugaru in the bibimbap sauce in the recipe.

  • Or, make a delicious Kimchi Fried Rice recipe and add 1 tbsp gochugaru chili flakes to the kimchi when stir frying.

  • Here's 13 more easy Korean recipe ideas where you can add in gochugaru chili flakes.

  • Don't forget to leave comments and feedback on your meals and experiments in the comments for others to read.

  • Post pictures of your masterpiece meal on social media and tag us. We repost!

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