Korean Beef Bulgogi
A super easy recipe for Korean BBQ beef with the most flavorful marinade! The thin slices of meat cook quickly, and it’s so tender!!!
It was always a treat when my mom would whip this up on those busy weeknights – marinating the beef just a few hours while I was at swim practice. And then she’d throw these onto a hot skillet, filling up the house with the best kind of beef aroma – you know, the smell at the Korean BBQ restaurants that get you so hungry.
The meat cooked in seconds, and she’d serve these with red leaf lettuce, rice, and red pepper paste. It was just perfection.
But with my mom being in Korea and all, she doesn’t really get a chance to make this for me anymore.
So I’ve done my best to “grow up” and whip this up myself. Now to be honest, nothing beats my mom’s cooking but this is a very close second.
The key here is to slice the meat as thin as possible. Throwing the steak in the freezer for 20-30 minutes helps with this process tremendously. That way, the thin cuts of meat can soak up the most epic marinade in just a few hours.
Once it’s done marinating, the hard part is over. Throw it onto a super hot cast iron skillet or grill pan and that smoky, sweet-savory charred bits of meat will simply put you over the edge.
Serve with rice and maybe a side of kimchi for a full meal. Or red leaf lettuce tacos also work perfectly here.
Korean Beef Bulgogi
- 1 ½ pounds boneless rib eye steak
- ½ small pear, peeled and coarsely grated
- ¼ cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon gochujang, Korean red pepper paste
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- Wrap steak in plastic wrap, and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Unwrap and slice across the grain into 1/4-inch thick slices.
- In a medium bowl, combine pear, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and gochujang. In a gallon size Ziploc bag, combine soy sauce mixture and steak; marinate for at least 2 hours to overnight, turning the bag occasionally.
- Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a cast iron grill pan over medium-high heat.* Working in batches, add steak to the grill pan in a single layer and cook, flipping once, until charred and cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and steak.
- Serve immediately, garnished with green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.