MY KOREAN KITCHEN: BULGOGI

Since we arrived in Korea, I have been cooking homemade meals much more often. That’s not to say I didn’t cook much in the US, probably 4-5 meals per week there. However, now we have been trying to be a little healthier and have not been going out to eat as often as we did when we lived in the states. Luckily, I love to cook and have finally gotten over my fear of a gas stove!

Slicin the MeatI don’t cook too many Korean recipes at home, because there’s obviously a plethora of Korean food right out my front door. However, just like my dak chim, I want to share some favorite Korean recipes so that you can recreate them at home! Today I am discussing one of Korea’s most famous foods: bulgogi! There’s only one thing you need to know about bulgogi: it’s marinated. Therefore, it’s amazing. I don’t think there’s ever been a marinated meat that I didn’t love.

I am using a recipe from a food blogger this time, and you can find the original recipe here. (Pinterest has opened a new world of recipes to me; I love it!) This recipe is so much easier to follow than the dak chim. I think the ingredients will be much easier for you to find; you may already have them in your kitchen! I can easily go to the Korean grocery store and buy bulgogi meat sliced, marinated, and ready to go. However, that’s not much of a challenge, so I started with an unsullied slab of sirloin just as the recipe calls for.

Bulgogi (yield: 4 servings)

  • Bulgogi Ingredients1-1.5 lbs. Rib-eye or Sirloin Steak: sliced across the grain in paper thin slices (The original recipe suggested to have your meat partially frozen to make it easier to cut. I highly recommend this!)
  • ⅓ cup Soy Sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons White Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • “¼ of a medium yellow onion, halved and sliced into medium moon shaped slivers” (This is the exact wording from the original recipe. It seemed like a math problem to me, and I had to really think about what was needed.)
  • 2 Green Onions including the white parts, finely sliced into small pieces (Whoops! I forgot to buy green onions!)
  • 2 Tablespoons Toasted Sesame Seeds (To toast, I just threw mine in a frying pan for a few minutes until they were a little darker and smelled yummy.)
  • ¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Pinches Black Pepper
  •  ¼ teaspoon Ginger, finely minced OPTIONAL (I included it.)
  • 4 Servings of Rice. I use Jasmine Rice, but I think whatever you are accustomed to is just fine.

Meat MassageWhisk together all ingredients except beef, onions, and rice. Once most of the sugar is dissolved, add beef and onions to the marinade. Make sure you have already sliced your beef! The original recipe says to “massage the marinade with your hands into each slice of beef.” (I may have been a little too thorough with this. I made sure to pick up each slice, diligently massage it, and ask if it has been stressed lately.) Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Determine how long it will take your rice to cook; depending on the type you use, it could take from 5-30 minutes. Cook your rice.

To cook the bulgogi, heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan. (I used my electric skillet, set at about 375.) When the pan is hot, place the beef in single layers. Fry on each side to desired doneness; less cooking time will result in juicier bulgogi, more cooking time produces crispier edges. It is a matter of preference!

Serve bulgogi over rice & enjoy!

Bulgogi 3Isn’t that easy? I think it is a perfect meal for summer time, because you are only using heat for just a few minutes while you are frying the meat and cooking the rice. It is quick, easy, and, most importantly, marinated! As some of you know or may be discovering, I am very flexible when I interpret recipes. I may add extra ingredients, or leave some out; I actually marinated this for almost three hours instead of 1 because of how my schedule worked out. Part of the fun in cooking is experimenting, and I think this is a recipe that could be easily manipulated. Add some red pepper paste for a spicier spin, or try pork instead of beef. Let me know what you create!

PS: You should know how dedicated I am to getting pictures for you all; the behind the scenes of the blog is not always so pretty. Jared was at work during the meat slicing and massaging madness, so I had to do a little multitasking. I had my camera set up with a timer and sitting on top of a bowl. I would start the timer, cut or massage the meat while the camera clicked a few times, run to wash my hands, check the pictures, correct the focus/angle/my awkwardness, and then repeat that process about four times. My left pinky finger insists on sticking straight up when I cut meat; I did not know that I did this until I was looking at the pictures. I had to focus on keeping it tucked down so that I didn’t look like the prissiest girl who ever sliced beef! I hope you enjoy the pictures as well as the recipe!

Source: Currah, Alice. “Marinade this: Bulgogi Recipe- Korean Barbequed Beef.” Sweet and Savory Life.

LOVE ABOVE ALL
PAPER AND PENS AND POST-ITS, OH MY!

10 Comments

  1. Reply
    sandy gardner 20 July, 2013

    Your pinky finger just wanted to help you keep your balance as you sliced :)

  2. Reply
    sandy gardner 20 July, 2013

    oh… and YUM!

    • Reply
      Bethany 20 July, 2013

      Yes, that pinky finger has always had a flair for drama. And it was very yummy!

  3. Reply
    Donna Perry 20 July, 2013

    Looks delicious Bethany….

    • Reply
      Bethany 20 July, 2013

      Thanks! Hope you all are doing well. Hugs!

  4. Reply
    Jessica 20 July, 2013

    It sounds amazing. .. and most important easy! I go to the store tom and ribeye is on the list now! ! As far as your pinky goes, I am pretty sure I do the same thing. …I think they are just trying to get as far away from the knife as possible! ! Lol

    • Reply
      Bethany 20 July, 2013

      Yay! So glad you are trying it! Let me know how it turns out!

  5. Reply
    Jessica 10 August, 2013

    So I forgot to tell you that we loved bulgogi!! Super easy to make… and delicious! About halfway through dinner Alli said “guess what mommy? …I really like this!” She is super cute trying to pronounce bulgogi!

    P.S. I paid attention and my pinky finger was up the entire time! Lol! Also, I put the meat in the freezer for about an hour and I am pretty sure cutting the meat the way you a are suppose to would have been near impossible if that step is omitted.

    • Reply
      Bethany 10 August, 2013

      Alli is super cute no matter what she does! I’m glad you all enjoyed the meal; I’ll definitely be putting more recipes on here.

      -We’re prissy pinky finger twins!

  6. Reply
    Jeff Gray 9 August, 2017

    I am exhulted that I found your site. Thank you the recipes are great. One I need to find is cucumber kimchi. It’s cukes sliced and seasoned and refrigerated for awhile to let the seasoning take. I don’t think it’s really kimchi but that’s what we called it. Thank you

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