Bulgogi (Korean Barbecued Beef)

Bulgogi (Korean Barbecued Beef)
Staff Writer
Bulgogi (Korean Barbecued Beef)

Hyosun Ro

Bulgogi (Korean Barbecued Beef)

Bulgogi is a marinated meat dish made with thin slices of beef, usually rib-eye. It is no doubt one of the most well-known Korean dishes to non-Koreans.

The important thing is to find the right balance between saltiness and sweetness. Using generous amounts of garlic and sesame oil is important to create authentic bulgogi. The same marinade also can be used for chicken or pork. The best way to enjoy Korean barbecued meat is to wrap a bite-sized piece in a lettuce leaf with a dollop of ssamjang (spice paste) or doenjang (soybean paste).

Notes

*Note: Pre-sliced bulgogi meat is sold at any Korean market. Pay a little more to get good-quality meat. If cutting the beef at home, partially freeze for about an hour to firm it up for easier slicing. Cut across the grain into about 1/8-inch-thick slices.

Ingredients

For the marinade

  • 6  Tablespoons  soy sauce
  • 3  Tablespoons  water
  • 2  Tablespoons  sugar
  • 2  Tablespoons  honey
  • 2  Tablespoons  rice wine or mirin
  • 2  Tablespoons  chopped garlic
  • 2  Tablespoons  sesame oil
  • 2  Teaspoons  sesame seeds
  • 3  Tablespoons  grated Asian pear (optional)
  • 1/8  Teaspoon  pepper

For the bulgogi

  • 2  Pounds  thinly sliced beef rib-eye or top sirloin*
  • scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • small white or yellow onion, sliced thinly
  • 10  mushroom caps, sliced (optional)
  • Sesame oil, for the grill or skillet

Directions

For the marinade

Mix together all of the marinade ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

For the bulgogi

If using packaged pre-sliced meat, separate the slices. Add the meat and vegetables to the marinade and toss gently to combine everything well. Marinate for about 1 hour, then drain.

If grilling the meat and vegetables, build a charcoal fire under a grill and let the flames die out. (For gas, preheat the grill over high heat.) Lightly oil the grill and cook the meat and vegetables together until the meat is slightly caramelized, about 3-4 minutes total. Cook in batches, if necessary, to avoid crowding the grill.

If pan-frying the meat and vegetables, heat a skillet over high heat until hot and coat lightly with sesame oil. Again, cook the meat and vegetables in batches, about 3-4 minutes total. Transfer each batch to a plate and tent loosely with foil to keep warm.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
21g
30%
Sugar
4g
4%
Saturated Fat
9g
38%
Cholesterol
152mg
51%
Carbohydrate, by difference
18g
14%
Protein
57g
100%
Vitamin A, RAE
17µg
2%
Vitamin B-12
8µg
100%
Vitamin B-6
1mg
77%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
4µg
4%
Calcium, Ca
50mg
5%
Choline, total
6mg
1%
Fiber, total dietary
2g
8%
Folate, total
25µg
6%
Iron, Fe
7mg
39%
Magnesium, Mg
84mg
26%
Niacin
11mg
79%
Phosphorus, P
567mg
81%
Riboflavin
1mg
91%
Selenium, Se
65µg
100%
Sodium, Na
1156mg
77%
Water
149g
6%
Zinc, Zn
15mg
100%

Bulgogi Shopping Tip

Staples of Asian cuisine such as ginger, daikon, rice vinegar, and spicy chile sauces like Sriracha add bright, fresh flavors without lots of fuss.

Bulgogi Cooking Tip

Sriracha has good heat but also has flavor - its mild sweetness comes from sun-ripened chili peppers as well as sugar and garlic.

Bulgogi Wine Pairing

Most red wines, including cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, mourvèdre, Rhône blends, zinfandel, petite sirah, nebbiolo, nero d'avola, primitivo, barbera, and sangiovese with beef or lamb (cabernet sauvignon is particularly appropriate for lamb). Tempranillo, dolcetto, gewürztraminer, or muscat for roast pork; carmènere with pork sausage; sangiovese, pinotage, or richer sauvignon blancs with stir-fried or braised pork dishes or pork in various sauces; syrah/shiraz, mourvèdre, Rhône blends, zinfandel, petite sirah, nero d'avola, or primitivo with barbecued spareribs or pulled pork, or with cochinito en pibil and other Mexican-spiced pork dishes. Pinot gris/grigio, riesling, richer sauvignon blanc, or torrontés with veal dishes.