Korean BBQ Beef (aka Bulgogi)


I was rooting around in my freezer trying to decide what to make for dinner, and I found one last piece of chuck roast left from the side of cow I had ordered.    Now, this is no ordinary chuck roast: it’s organic, grass-fed, locally grown, no hormones or antibiotics, petted-to-death beef,  which is great and all but also means that it’s pretty tough.  I’ve stewed a lot of it and was looking for a change, so I decided to make Korean BBQ.

Normally I would use a gas grill for this, but my kitchen is being remodeled at the moment and I don’t have a gas grill.  So, this time I made Korean-style BBQ on the stove.

The only fresh ingredients you need for this recipe are garlic and ginger, but don’t omit them or substitute dried or powdered.   I minced equal amounts of each, about two cloves garlic and an inch or so of ginger.

The rest of the marinade is soy sauce, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and a dash of chili flakes.   The key is to thinly slice the meat.  Mix the marinate with the thinly sliced meat.

Give it a good stir and set it aside for at least 20 minutes — conveniently just long enough to cook some rice.    After a 20 minute marinade, the meat’s already looking delicious.

Now at this point I would normally grill it over a gas grill, but like I said, I temporarily don’t have one, so I heated a cast-iron skillet to smoking hot and tried my best.

Not too bad.  After a few pieces of meat cooked, the skillet filled with liquid and the meat started to boil, so in between batches I just dumped out the liquid, reset with a touch of oil, and everything worked out fine.

Korean BBQ Beef (Bulgogi)

2 lbs thinly sliced beef or pork (slice 2mm)

1/2 C soy sauce
1/4 C brown sugar
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp dried chili flakes (or 1 Tbsp gochujang)
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1 Tbsp minced garlic

Kimchee (optional)

Combine all the marinade ingredients, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Mix with the meat and marinate for at least 20 minutes. Grill or fry on high heat until the meat is just browned.  Serve with rice and garnish with kimchee if desired.



1 thought on “Korean BBQ Beef (aka Bulgogi)”

  1. This was really quite wonderful. One of the best base recipes for this dish I have ever used, and I have made it quite a bit. I will adapt ‘very slightly’ to my own personal taste, but again, the best I’ve found. Thank you!

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