Bulgogi, otherwise known as Korean barbecued beef is a simple, yet extremely flavorful Asian dish. Marinate the beef and grill, that’s it.
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I could quite easily be vegetarian if I just had to give up beef. I don’t eat hamburgers or steaks, or even roasts most times (unless I’m in the UK!) However, there is one kind of beef I actually look forward to eating and never pass up–bulgogi! Yes, I’d have to admit, I’d really miss this meal!
How I grew up with Korean cuisine
When I was about 12 years old, we met a Korean family who had come to the US the same year that my family had moved here, and our families became close friends. In fact, I lived with them when I first moved to California. Oke and Soon introduced us to Korean food, and I’ve been in love with it ever since.
Another Korean favorite: mung bean pancakes!
Bulgogi means “fire meat” in Korean. It is often called “Korean barbecue” as the meat is usually cooked on a grill. I took the photo above in a Korean restaurant in Los Angeles where I was taken out to lunch.
Typically, the meat is served raw and cooked over a grill in the middle of the table in Korean barbecue restaurants, and served with rice and “banchan”–lots of side dishes such as pickled cucumber, shredded radish, kimchee, spinach, and potato salad (see next photo).
The good thing is you don’t have to go to a restaurant to enjoy bulgogi. It’s so simple to make, and you can also use chicken instead of beef or even make both. To make this meal gluten free, just use gluten free soy sauce.
Bulgogi, Korean Barbecued Beef
Recipe by Oke Lee serves 4 (when served with other dishes)
FULL PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW
Place all the ingredients, except the meat, in a large bowl and mix together.
Next, add the meat and coat well with the marinade.
Set aside, covered, in refrigerator for about 2-6 hours before cooking.
When ready to cook, barbecue on grill, or use griddle, fry in sauté pan or cook under the broiler. Onions are often added with the meat, to add flavor.
The thin meat cooks quickly.
This is the type of beef short rib that is used for Korean barbecue called galbi.
Serve hot, with kimchee, steamed rice, spinach, pickled radish, gamja potato salad and seaweed and/or salad.
I didn’t serve it on this plate, but here’s a Korean pickled cucumbers recipe which is also popular with this meal.
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- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp white wine or water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 cloves diced garlic
- 1/2 tsp finely ground black pepper
- (optional-add any or all: 1 teaspoon juice from fresh ginger, 2 Tbsp crushed asian pear, 1 thinly sliced onion)
- 1 lb thinly sliced beef like for Philly cheesesteak (or thinly sliced cross-cut beef short ribs, or sliced chicken breast)
- Place all the ingredients, except the meat, in a large bowl and mix together.
- Then add the meat and coat well with the marinade. Set aside, covered, in refrigerator for about 2-6 hours before cooking.
- When ready to cook, barbecue on grill, or use griddle, fry in saute pan or cook under the broiler. Onions are often fried with the meat, to add flavor.
- Serve hot, with banchan: kimchee, steamed rice, spinach, pickled radish, potato salad and seaweed and/or salad.
Marinate the meat the day or night before for best flavor.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 450Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 132mgSodium: 450mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 41g
Nutrition information is only estimated.
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