Ultimate Beef Bulgogi Recipe: The Perfect Korean BBQ Experience

Beef bulgogi is a classic Korean dish known for its flavorful, tender, and thinly sliced beef. This beef bulgogi recipe captures the essence of Korean ...

Photo of author

Calvin Lamb

Published date:

beef bulgogi recipe

Beef bulgogi is a classic Korean dish known for its flavorful, tender, and thinly sliced beef. This beef bulgogi recipe captures the essence of Korean BBQ, bringing the taste of mom’s cooking to your table. Ideal for dinners and special occasions, this dish’s rich marinade and quick cooking time make it a favorite for many. The taste is a perfect blend of savory, sweet, and slightly spicy flavors that will leave you wanting more.

How to Choose the Right Main Ingredient

Selecting the right beef is crucial for an authentic beef bulgogi recipe. Typically, boneless rib eye steak is preferred for its tenderness and flavor. Look for thin cuts of meat, as they cook quickly and absorb the marinade effectively. If rib eye steak isn’t available, any tender cut like sirloin or flank steak will work.

Seasoning Questions

The key to a delicious beef bulgogi recipe lies in the marinade. Here are some essential questions to consider:

  • What type of soy sauce should I use? Opt for reduced sodium soy sauce to control the saltiness.
  • Can I use a different sweetener? Brown sugar is traditional, but you can use pear or apple for a unique sweetness.
  • What spices are essential? Freshly grated ginger, garlic cloves, and gochujang (Korean chili paste) are must-haves for authentic flavor.
  • How long should I marinate the beef? Marinate for at least 2 hours in a Ziploc bag for best results.

Recommended Cooking Equipment

For the best beef bulgogi, using the right equipment is essential. Here’s what you need:

  • Cast Iron Skillet or Grill Pan: These provide even heat distribution and a perfect sear.
  • Ziploc Bags: Ideal for marinating meat evenly.
  • Plastic Wrap and Freezer: Chill the beef in the freezer for about 30 minutes before slicing. This makes it easier to cut the meat thinly across the grain.

How to Use Equipment Effectively

Cast Iron Skillet or Grill Pan: Preheat your skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. The key here is to get the pan hot enough so the meat cooks quickly, resulting in a perfect charred exterior while remaining tender inside. Cook the beef in a single layer, flipping once to ensure even cooking. The meat cooks so quickly, usually within 2-3 minutes per side.

Ziploc Bags: Use these for marinating. Place your beef slices in the bag, pour in the marinade, seal, and massage to ensure every piece is well-coated. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight for more intense flavor.

Freezer and Plastic Wrap: Place the beef in the freezer wrapped in plastic wrap for about 30 minutes before slicing. This firms up the meat, making it easier to slice thinly. Use a sharp knife to cut across the grain, ensuring tender bites.

Comprehensive Beef Bulgogi Recipe

Yield: 4

Beef Bulgogi

beef bulgogi recipe

Beef Bulgogi Recipe: This beef bulgogi recipe holds a special place in my heart. The tender, flavorful slices of marinated beef bring back memories of joyful family dinners. It’s a simple yet impressive dish that never fails to delight, capturing the true essence of Korean BBQ in every bite.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours


  • 1 lb boneless rib eye steak, thinly sliced across the grain
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp gochujang (Korean chili paste)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 pear or apple, grated
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds


Prepare the Marinade:

  • In a medium bowl, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, gochujang, minced garlic, grated ginger, vegetable oil, toasted sesame oil, and grated pear or apple. Mix well until sugar is dissolved.

Marinate the Beef:

  • Place the thinly sliced beef in a Ziploc bag. Pour the marinade over the beef, seal the bag, and massage to coat the meat evenly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight for deeper flavor.

Cook the Beef:

  • Preheat a cast iron skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Add a little vegetable oil to the pan.
  • Once hot, add the marinated beef slices in a single layer. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side until the beef is charred and cooked through.

Serve Immediately:

  • Garnish with chopped green onions and toasted sesame seeds. Serve hot on a bed of rice with a side of kimchi.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving:Calories: 350Total Fat: 18gCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 24g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Serving Suggestions and Suitable Side Dishes

Beef bulgogi is best served with steamed rice and a variety of Korean side dishes (banchan). Some popular sides include:

  • Kimchi: Spicy fermented cabbage that complements the savory beef.
  • Japchae: Korean glass noodles stir-fried with vegetables.
  • Pickled Radishes: Adds a refreshing crunch and tangy flavor.
  • Korean Salad: Fresh greens with a light sesame dressing.

Cooking Tips

  1. Thin Slices: Make sure your beef slices are thin for quick and even cooking.
  2. Hot Skillet: Ensure your skillet or grill pan is properly preheated to get a good sear on the beef.
  3. Do Not Overcrowd: Cook the beef in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan, which can cause steaming instead of searing.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Skipping the Marinade Time: Marinating for less than 2 hours won’t allow the flavors to penetrate the meat fully.
  2. Using Thick Cuts: Thick slices of meat won’t cook as quickly or absorb the marinade as well.
  3. Not Preheating the Pan: A cold pan will not sear the meat properly, resulting in less flavor.


Beef bulgogi is a delightful and easy-to-make dish that brings the flavors of Korean BBQ to your home. With tender, flavorful beef slices, this recipe is sure to impress your family and friends. Whether for a weeknight dinner or a special occasion, this dish is a perfect addition to your meal rotation. Remember to marinate the meat well, use a hot skillet, and serve with delicious sides like kimchi and rice. Enjoy the rich taste of Korean cooking with this super easy beef bulgogi recipe!

Related Article:

Leave a Comment

Skip to Recipe