A quick and easy Korean BBQ dish you can whip up when you need a savory fix! Beef Bulgogi is a familiar dish to Koreans and fans of Korean food and culture. Even as food trends come and go this delicious dish takes up a special place in our list of favorite foods!
What is Beef Bulgogi?
Bul-gogi or “Fire-meat” when translated, is made with the tender part of the beef, chicken or pork. Though Bulgogi specifically is often made with beef. Tender and thin slices are ideal because it easily soaks up the marinade and can be cooked over the pan in just a few minutes. This makes it an ideal dish to do on days when you’re in a rush for time.
More commonly known as a traditional Korean dish dating back to the Kingdom of Goguryeo around 37 BC or 668 AD, the cooking method has been changed and has evolved to the flavor profile we now know. Some documents state that the dish had been handed down from Mongolia and Japan. In 1950’s following the Korean War, people cooked beef to create soup as meat was rare and the food resources were scarce. Beef was a preferred meat option over pork. It was in the 1980’ or 90’s that the trend of grilling or roasting meat from western countries arrived to Japan which also found it’s way to Korea, this is similar to ‘samgyeopsal’ or Korean barbeque we know today.
Traditionally bulgogi is made with soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar and garlic, with some inclusions such as sweet Asian pears, kiwi, honey, rice wine, and soybean paste. A versatile sauce that adds flavor and tenderness to the beef. These days there are many ways to handle and serve the dish. Some vegetables like onions, leeks, bell peppers, potatoes and carrots are added to give it color, while leafy greens such as lettuce or sesame leaves are served on the side to wrap the succulent beef with, and more often than not the beef it seen over a steaming cup of white rice to better bring out it’s meaty flavor. Depending on which region, country, and personal preferences the Bulgogi may be more savory or sweet. But all in all, the dish has been a fan favorite for many that one could even eat this everyday.
Aide from being a flavorful dish, many also see this as a healthy meal full of proteins to strengthen energy, iron to improve anemia, and is invent enriched with vitamin b that helps prevent aging and improve wrinkles. Beef Bulgogi is not a new trend but is a dish beloved by many by how easy it is to prepare and produces a very satisfying delightful dish.
Aside from being a tasty beefy meal seen at Korean novelas, YouTube channels, and Korean restaurants, Bulgogi being part of the Korean Food wave aside from other dishes pushed Korean food into a pedestal of popularity. So much so that in South Korea many Bulgogi-infused dishes like the Bulgogi burger, pasta, pizzas and hot dogs can be seen.
Try out this simple recipe and make some Beef Bulogi eaten over rice or wrapped around in lettuce with red pepper paste!
A Korean take on the sweet, savory and tender marinated meat
500g thinly sliced beef (beef bulgogi)
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 – 4 tablespoons garlic (chopped)
1 cup onion (sliced)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon oil
sesame seeds & green onions for garnish
- Prepare the marinade; mix together, soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic and onion.
- Add the meat in the marinade and make sure to massage and coat this well. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Set aside in the fridge for an hour or overnight.
- In a pan at medium heat, add oil and 1/3 of the meat. Make sure to cook this in batches as the beef cook easily and may over cooked. Once this changes in color, flip these and cook till there are no pink spots left.
- Take these out and serve over rice. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.
- You can marinade the meat for 20 to 30 minutes if your in a rush for time. Marinating the meat overnight can help give this a stronger flavor.
- Other beef strip options can be tenderloin, flank steak and sirloin.
Beef Bulgogi Recipe (Tagalog)
- 500g baka na manipis ang pagkahiwa
- 1/3 tasa soy sauce
- 2 kutsarang mirin
- 2 kutsarang brown sugar
- 1 kutsarang sesame oil
- 3 – 4 kutsarang bawang (tadtad)
- 1 tasa sibuyas (hiwa)
- ½ kutsaritang asin
- ½ kutsaritang paminta
- 1 kutsarang mantika
- sesame seeds at dahon ng sibuyas pang dekorasyon
- Ihanda ang marinade, paghaluin ang soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, sesame oi, bawag, at sibuyas.
- Idagdag ang baka sa marinade at imasahe ang baka hangang natakpan ang lahat nito ng sarsa. Lagyan ng asin at paminta and haluin ng mabuti. Itabi sa ref ng 1 oras o magdamag.
- Maghanda ng kawali sa kalan na may katamtamang init, lagyan ng mantika at 1/3 ng baka. Lutuin ito ng mag pangkat dahil mabilis lang ito maluto and para di ito masobrahan ng pagluto at tumigas. Pag nagiba na ito ng kulay, ipabaligtad ito hanggang mawalan ng rosas na kulay.
- Itangal ito sa kawali at ilagay sa taas ng kanin, dekorasyonan ng sesame seeds at dahon ng sibuyas.