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Beef Bulgogi » Simple and healthy recipe! ✅

Beef bulgogi is a popular Korean dish made from marinated strips of beef. Usually served over rice and topped with pickled cucumbers, this recipe combines sweet and savory meat with crisp sweet and sour vegetables.

Beef bulgogi is a common Korean barbecue beef recipe, and each family prepares it slightly differently based on their traditions and preferences.

Melinda’s mother-in-law learned this beef bulgogi recipe when she lived in Korea and it has become a family favorite.

The beef is marinated in a slightly sweet bulgogi sauce and quickly browned in a hot skillet to make perfectly tender and flavorful beef that pairs perfectly with white rice and your favorite Korean side dishes.

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Ingredients you will need

Here’s what you’ll need for Korean Beef Bulgogi:

  • Thinly sliced ​​beef fillet – Our favorite cuts of beef are rib eye steak or sirloin steak, but you can use steak, brisket, flank steak, or ground beef. If you prefer, you can also use thinly sliced ​​pork or chicken.
  • sugar – We use granulated white sugar for our version, but some people use brown sugar or a mix of the two.
  • oils – We use both vegetable oil and sesame oil, but you could use another light oil instead of vegetable oil.
  • Soy sauce – You can use tamari sauce if you need to keep the gluten.
  • Garlic – We prefer fresh, but you could use crushed bottled garlic instead.
  • Green onions – There is no great substitute for this, but you can skip it if you prefer.


Step 1: Sprinkle the sugar over the meat and work it with your hands.

Step 2: Prepare the bulgogi marinade and marinate the meat. In a large airtight container, combine the oil, soy sauce, garlic, and green onion and mix well. Next, add the meat and toss to coat. Finally close the lid and refrigerate overnight.

Step 3: Cook the meat. When you want to eat, heat a skillet over medium-high heat, then add the meat along with the marinade. Fry the meat until cooked. Remove from pan and serve over white rice and garnish with pickled cucumbers and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

What is Bulgogi?

Bulgogi is a common Korean recipe, and each family makes it a little differently based on their traditions and preferences.

For example, some versions are spicier, while others may add a sweetener to make it sweeter. Some use fruit purees, such as Asian pears or kiwis, to act as meat tenderizers.

What cut of meat is bulgogi beef?

When making the recipe, we use rib or sirloin steak, but you can also use flank steak, flank steak, brisket, or even ground beef.

If you use ground beef, the only thing that changes is the marinade. Instead of marinating the meat before cooking, you’ll be mixing the marinade alone to make a bulgogi sauce.

As the flavors come together, you need to brown the ground beef in a skillet and then add the sauce to the meat. Once the sauce is added, you will need to continue cooking until the ground beef is cooked through and the sauce coats it well.

What does Bulgogi taste like?

It tastes slightly sweet due to the sugar in the marinade, but the salty soy sauce along with the sesame oil and green onions balance it out to give you the perfect combination of sweet and salty flavors.

How to thinly slice steak

When you cut your steak thin, it helps to freeze it for 30 to 60 minutes. You don’t want it to freeze, you just want it to harden enough that you can cut thin pieces more easily. Remove the meat from the freezer and place it on a cutting board. We recommend using a sharp knife to slice it thin before marinating.

What to serve with Bulgogi

We usually serve bulgogi over white or brown rice. You can use quick or simple cooking rice, whichever you like best. We always make a large batch of Instant Pot white rice because it is always perfectly cooked.

Then garnish with quick pickled cucumber, thinly sliced ​​carrots and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

Check out our easy recipe for pickled cucumbers. Thinly sliced ​​cucumbers have just the right amount of sweet and sour to complement the meat.

Also, we often add Korean side dishes like kimchi. You can then season with a Korean sauce, such as Gochujang sauce or Ssamjang sauce.

How to do it in advance

To make it ahead of time, follow the recipe and then let it cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Store the container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

If you prefer, you can freeze the meat for up to 2 months. In the event of freezing, be sure to remove as much air as possible from the container before storing. We recommend using a sealable plastic freezer bag as it allows you to squeeze out the air.

To reheat, place meat in skillet and heat over medium heat. You will have to cook until hot.

If using frozen bulgogi, let it thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours before reheating.

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beef bulgogi

Beef bulgogi is a popular Korean dish made from marinated strips of beef. Usually served over rice and topped with pickled cucumbers, this recipe combines savory sweet meat with crispy sweet and sour vegetables.

  • 2 pounds of beef, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bunch of green onions
  • 1 cup quick pickled cucumbers
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds
  • 2 cups of cooked white rice
  • Sprinkle the meat with sugar and work it well with your hands.

  • Combine oil, soy sauce, garlic and green onion in a large sealable container. Mix the ingredients well.

  • Add meat to marinade and toss to coat. Close with the lid and put in the refrigerator to marinate overnight.

  • When ready to cook, heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meat to the pan along with the marinade and sauté until the meat is cooked through.

  • Serve over white rice and garnish with pickled cucumber and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Serving Size: 0.5 lbs, Calories: 605 kcal, Carbs: 38 g, Protein: 54 g, Fat: 25 g, Saturated Fat: 5 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 10 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8 g, Trans Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 125 mg, Sodium: 1392 mg, Potassium: 919 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 13 g, Vitamin A: 84 IU, Vitamin C: 3 mg, Calcium: 79 mg, Iron: 5 mg

Nutritional Disclaimer: We are not certified nutritionists. Nutrition facts are an estimate and provided as a courtesy. They are generated by an online API that recognizes ingredient names and quantities and performs calculations based on serving sizes. Results may vary.

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