Bulgogi Platter - Detail - © korean-cooking com

Classic Dishes: Bulgogi (Korean BBQ Beef)

This is one of my favourite Asian Dishes! It’s quick and easy and infinitely adjustable for heat and sweet to suit your particular palate. And you can serve it in a wide variety of ways. As with many Asian dishes, where much of the flavour is contributed by various Sauces, the secret is in the Marinade!

Bulgogi Platter - © korean-cooking.comClassic Bulgogi Beef – Korea’s National BBQ dish! Serve with Rice or Noodles
and a nice Dollop of Kimchi – Korea’s National Pickle!

Bulgogi cooks quickly in either a Wok or a deep Frying Pan. But the traditional way to make it is on the grill. If you cook it on the grill, you’ll get additional charred flavour and a deeper umami experience. Cooked in the Wok, or Fry Pan, you’ll gt a rich jus, from the marinade, which will go beautifully over Plain Rice or Noodles.

What you need…

1 lb. / 450-500 g Lean Beef (Flank or Skirt Steak, for example)
2 medium Yellow Cooking Onions, sliced thinly
1 medium Carrot, peeled and sliced thinly on the bias
1 tbsp. / 15 ml Light Sesame Oil
1-2 tbsp. / 15-30 ml High Temp. Cooking Oil (Canola, Corn or Sunflower)

For the Garnish:
1 tbsp. / 15 ml Toasted Sesame Seeds
1/2 cup / 125 ml Green Onions, finely chopped

For the Marinade:
3-4 cloves Fresh Garlic, peeled and minced/pressed
4 tbsp. / 60 ml Light Soy Sauce
3 tsp. / 45 ml White or Brown Sugar
2 tbsp. / 30 30 ml White Wine Vinegar or Mirin
1 tsp. / 15 ml Ginger
1 good big Pinch Black Pepper
Hot Red Pepper flakes, to taste (optional)

What you do…

First of all: mix up the Marinade. Just put all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Note that the Red Pepper is optional; it’s something folks expect in Korean food, but it’s actually not traditional in Bulgogi! Get your ‘hots’ by serving this Beef with a side of Kimchi…

Now: Slice the Beef thinly across the grain. This wait will be tender no matter how you Marinate or cook it. But cross-grain slicing will ensure maximum penetration of the marinade and allows the fasted cooking time. Marinate for at least an hour in the fridge; overnight if you think about it that far in advance.

Then: Heat the Sesame Oil and Cooking Oil over Medium High in a wok or deep Fry Pan. If you’re grilling, use the oil to season the Grill, Pan. Make sure he Oil is hot before adding food to ensure that nothing sticks.

Add the Yellow Onions and Carrots and let them cook a minute two, until the Onion is translucent.

Then add the Beef and Marinade and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the meat is crispy on the outside but not overdone on the inside. Keep the food moving in the Wok by tossing or by turning with tongs on the Grill.

Serve over Rice, in a Lettuce or Nappa Cabbage Cup, or in a Bahn Mi Sandwich. Make sure you have some honest-to-goodness Korean Kimchi on hand on the side. We’ll present a classic Kimchi recipe tomorrow in this space!

Garnish with Toasted Sesame Seeds and Green Onion.


~ Maggie J.