Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bulgogi Beef

I always feel like I have to yell bulgogi beef. It's almost as fun to say as it is delicious. Sweet, salty, beefy and amazing. If you've ever been to a Korean Barbecue, I hope you tried it. If you haven't, it's time to find one near you. Korean food is delicious. Try everything on the menu, especially if you get to cook it on a grill at your table.

Anyway, I can't always go out for Korean food, but with the magic of making my own bulgogi beef, I can get a darn good approximation at home.

Bulgogi beef is made with some special Asian pear that is not regularly available in the states. Some recipes replace it with sugar, but it's really not the same. It also doesn't have the acidic properties of juice. I make mine with apple and pear and I think that it gives a similar flavor. Also natural sugar hooray!

One key to good bulgogi is to have thinly sliced beef. In order to thin it as thinly as possible, put it in the freezer for about an hour or two until it firms up but is not frozen solid. I hold it with a clean dishtowel because otherwise my hand gets really cold.

Let it marinade a nice long time, a couple hours is good, overnight is better. I like to serve it with green leaf lettuce, some cooked rice, a little siracha, and some kimchi. Find someplace that sells good fresh kimchi like a Korean grocery or other Asian food store.

Bulgogi Beef


1 1/2 lbs beef--I like flank steak or London broil cut into thin pieces
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 pear peeled and shredded
1 apple peeled and shredded (I like honey crisp, but gala works fine)
5 cloves garlic minced
2 Tbsp sesame oil
a bunch of green onion chopped
1 onion thinly sliced


Thinly slice your meat. In a bowl, mix together all of the ingredients. Add in the beef. Pour into a ziplock bag or other airtight container and store in the refrigerator for at least two hours, preferably overnight.

Heat a pan over high heat (I like to use a non-stick grill pan, but any pan will do). Put a little bit of peanut oil (or vegetable oil if you don't have any peanut) on a paper towel and lightly spread on the pan (hold the paper with tongs).

In small batches, remove the meat from the marinade and cook on both sides. Wipe with the oiled paper towel between batches.

Eat with rice, wrapped in lettuce, with kimchi--everything is delicious! This is one of my favorite dishes and a regular staple in our menu rotation.

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