Bulgogi: How to Make Korean-Style Beef Bulgogi

Bulgogi is grilled marinated slices of beef or pork prepared on a barbecue or a pot-top grid. For home cooking, it’s also sometimes stir-fried in a pot. For the stew, sirloin, rib eye, and brisket are the most often used cuttings of beef.

Before preparation, the meat is marinated with a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ground black pepper and other ingredients such as scallions, ginger, onions or mushrooms, to enhance its flavor and tenderness. Pear and onions are often pureed and used as tenderizers. Cellophane noodles are sometimes added to the dish, which varies depending on the region and the recipe.

The dish originated in northern parts of the Korean Peninsula but is a very popular South Korean dish where it can be found everywhere from upscale restaurants to local supermarkets. Today, you will find many different variations of bulgogi, but the dish itself remains a classic favorite.

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Korean-Style Beef Bulgogi

  • Author: Romae Chanice Marquez
  • Recipe Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Korean

Traditionally, bulgogi is grilled, but pan-cooking the dish has also become popular. Whole garlic cloves, sliced onions, and chopped green peppers are often grilled or fried a pan with the meat. The whole preparation and cooking time is for around three hours. This recipe is suitable for five servings. 

Korean-Style Beef Bulgogi Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless rib-eye steak
  • 1/2 small pear, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

Korean-Style Beef Bulgogi Instructions

Step 1: In a plastic wrap, wrap the steak and put it in the freezer for 30 minutes. Then, unwrap and cut it into thin slices through the grain.

Step 2: Combine pear, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic, gochujang, and ginger in a medium bowl. Combine the mixture and steak and marinate overnight or for at least 2 hours.

Step 3: Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium to high heat in a cast-iron pan. Work in batches, adding the steak in a single layer to the grill pan. Let the steak cook, flipping each piece once, until fully cooked and charred, around 2-3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining steak and vegetable oil.

Step 4: Serve immediately. Top with sesame seeds when desired.

Korean-Style Beef Bulgogi Additional Information

  • Per serving, this recipe has 208 calories, 8 g of fat, 27 g of protein, and 6 g of carbohydrates. 
  • This recipe will make five servings of beef bulgogi.
  • It will take around three hours to prepare this recipe fully.
  • Often, this dish is served with a side of lettuce or another leafy vegetable used to wrap a slice of cooked meat. You can also serve it with rice.

More About Korean-Style Beef Bulgogi

Bulgogi is served in Korea’s barbecue restaurants and many South Korean fast-food restaurants. They also sell bulgogi-flavored fast-food hamburgers. Marinated in bulgogi sauce, the hamburger patty is served with lettuce, tomato, onion, and sometimes cheese.


Korean cuisine provides a beautiful color harmony, as well as a healthy and balanced diet. It also represents the Korean culture’s flexibility. For more international recipes, click here.

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