Char grilled Korean BBQ beef in a grill pan
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4.58 from 49 votes

Bulgogi (Korean BBQ Beef)

This Korean BBQ beef is very easy to make at home. The marinade is made with a few basic ingredients, and the thinly sliced beef doesn’t take long to marinate and cook. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Marinating1 hr
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Asian, Korean
Keyword: Asian, bbq, beef, bulgogi, classic, easy, grilled, Korean, marinade, protein, summer
Servings: 4
Author: Hyosun

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds thinly-sliced beef (rib eye or top sirloin) - see note
  • 3 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small carrot, thinly sliced - optional

Marinade

  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 4 tablespoons sugar ( or you can use 2 T sugar 2 T honey) Use more if not using Korean pear or apple
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine or mirin
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 4 tablespoons grated Korean/Asian pear
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

For Seoul-style

  • 3 ounces potato starch noodles (soaked in hot water for 20 minutes and drained)
  • 3 scallions
  • 1 pack enoki mushrooms (stems removed)
  • 2 cups water, dashima broth, or beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

Instructions

  • If using packaged pre-sliced meat, separate the slices. Remove any excess blood from the pre-sliced meat using paper towels.
    A pile of thinly sliced beef for Korean BBQ beef
  • Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl.
    Korean bulgogi marinade in a bowl with a spoon
  • Place the meat and vegetables in a large bowl. Add the marinade and toss gently to combine everything well. Marinate the meat for 30 minutes to an hour, up to overnight. 
    thinly sliced beef and vegetables being mixed with the marinade
  • Grilling: Grill the meat on a charcoal or gas grill or pan fry in a skillet over high heat until slightly caramelized. If pan searing, preheat the pan nice and hot and cook the meat until slightly caramelized. Do not crowd the skillet.
    Bulgogi - Korean BBQ being cooked in a grill pan
  • OR Stir-frying: Preheat the pan, and add the meat over high meat. You can crowd the pan to generate some liquid and let the meat cook in its own juice. Cook until the meat is no longer pink. Use all the marinade if you want some sauce at the end. 

For Seoul-style

  • Thinly slice the scallions. Season 2 cups of water or broth with 1 teaspoon of soy sauce.
  • Heat the pan, and add the bulgogi and top it with the scallions and mushrooms. Add about half of the broth around the edges of the pan. Add more when the liquid level goes down as you cook.

Notes

*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.