Bulgogi (불고기), which literally means “fire meat” in Korean, is a popular Korean dish involving the grilling of thin slices of marinated prime beef. The beef slices are pre-marinated in a mixture of sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sometimes garlic, onion, pear etc. I got the recipe from Maangchi, a very popular website for Korean recipes – all of them looked really delicious and I have already bookmarked so many of them to try!
I omitted the pear stated in the recipe as I was lazy to grate the pear, and as I can’t fire up a charcoal grill at home, I pan-fried them, adding some cabbage as well. The cabbage lends a crunch to the tender and well-marinated beef, and the gravy is delicious over a bowl of steaming white rice! It’s a very easy dish that can be prepared ahead and cooked within minutes – a great weekday meal for the busy people out there.
|1) Combine the ingredients together.||2) Add brown sugar.|
|3) Sesame oil.||4) Cooking wine.|
|5) And soy sauce.||6) Stir fry until cooked.|
I’m submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #37: Korean – Feast of Hansik (November 2013) hosted by Grace of Life can be simple!
- 250 grams well-marbled prime beef, sliced into ⅛-inch thick slices
- ½ medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ thumb ginger, grated
- 1 green onion, chopped finely
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ tablespoon sesame oil
- ½ tablespoon cooking wine
- Olive oil
- A handful of shredded cabbage
- Toasted sesame seeds, to garnish
- Finely chopped spring onion, to garnish
- Combine the beef with all the marinade ingredients and marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
- Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and add in a few lugs of olive oil. Heat until the oil is shimmering and add in the beef - marinade and all - and the cabbage. Keep tossing until the beef is cooked to desired doneness. (If you'd prefer the cabbage to be softer, fry the cabbage first for a couple of minutes before adding the beef.)
- Plate the beef, garnish with sesame seeds and chopped spring onion and serve immediately.
- Adapted from Maangchi
- In Korea, bulgogi is often served with a huge bed of lettuce and ssamjang – a thick, spicy chilli paste. The beef is placed on a leaf of lettuce with a little ssamjang and often a clove or garlic or two, then wrapped up and eat altogether. I served my bulgogi with rice – I love scooping the gravy and pour it over my rice – yum!
- Use a good cut of beef like sirloin, tenderloin etc, one with a good marbling to yield the best results.
- Beef at room temperature can be quite hard to slice, so freeze it for 15 to 30 minutes and it should be easier to slice the beef.
- Slice the beef against the grain – see here for some serious science behind it!
- Instead of pan-frying the beef, fire up a grill and grill them away to desired doneness.