This Tender and Flavorful Beef Bulgogi is such a wonderful Korean dish. It is really simple to make. Start with quality beef, marinate and grill. That's it. This dish is so good, it is worth any effort it takes to make it!
Obviously, a really important part of this dish is the beef. While you can buy the beef, already sliced, at most Asian grocery stores, I really think that meat is low quality and generally loaded with fat! So, although it takes a little extra time, I like to slice and prep my own. I know a lot of people like ribeye, which is perfect, but I chose filet for this. I bought some steaks at Costco the other day, so that is what I used!
Prepping the Beef
Whatever cut of beef you use, you will want to slice it pretty thin, about ⅛ inch. The easiest way to do this is to freeze it slightly, and then slice it. It makes this process so much more simple!!
You can see from the photos above and below the thickness I cut my beef.
Look at the beautiful marbling in the beef. I am not a huge beef eater, but beef tenderloin gets me every time!
Almost every single recipe I checked for verification always adds pear puree to the marinade. It might seem weird, but it is great for tenderizing the beef. Kiwi and apple purees will also do the same. You don't have use a lot, but it is worth it.
I threw mine into my small food processor with a little water and pureed until smooth.
The marinade is just as critical as the beef. It is loaded with so many yummy flavors! Rice wine vinegar...of course.
I met some friends that Instagram from New Zealand that is now shipping their honey internationally. If you are interested, Steen's Raw Honey is amazing. I have loved it!
Next, add in your pureed pears.
Mix all those yummy flavors together!
Add in your sliced beef.
I like to rub it all in together. This ensures that every piece of meat is coated all the way.
Grilling the Beef Bulgogi
Now we come to the tricky part, well it's tricky if you don't have one of their grill guards that have small grids that keep the meat from falling through. I didn't have that, so the grilling part was tricky for me! Just grill carefully if you are using your regular grill.
Also, as the meat is sliced so thin, it grills really quickly! This meal is ready in no time!
The Finished Tender and Flavorful Beef Bulgogi
I topped it with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and sliced green onions. We served ours with rice and oi Muchim. It was the best combo!!
One thing to remember when grilling is to make sure you don't overcook your beef. You don't want beef jerky, just juicy tender beef!
If you are a beef lover and looking for other beef recipes, I have a few! Even though I am not really into beef, my family totally is!
Tender and Flavorful Beef Bulgogi
- 1 ½-2 pounds Beef, sliced thin (about ⅛ inch) I used beef tenderloin, but you can also use a ribeye or even top sirloin if you prefer.
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup honey
- 3 tablespoons rice wine or mirin
- 3 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds plus more for sprinkling on the top after grilling
- 4 tablespoons pureed pears, apples or even kiwi These will tenderize your meat
- ¼ cup chopped green onions for topping at the end
- Once your beef is sliced, set it aside. In a medium-sized bowl add the soy sauce, water, honey, rice wine, garlic, sesame oil, sesame seeds, and pureed pear.Mix well to combine.Now, add in your beef and with your hands, gently massage the meat and marinade to make sure all the beef is covered.This can be a really quick marinade, like 30 minutes quick. Or it can be marinated up to 6-8 hours. Now, you can cook the beef 2 ways. The first is grilling. While this is a little trick to do, I like the flavor with this the best. The 2nd way is in a skillet, preferably cast iron. For grilling, heat the grill really hot, at least 550-600 degrees. The meat is so thin it will cook hot and fast! Lightly grease your grill grates and place the beef pieces on it. I only grilled mine about 45 seconds to 1 minute per side. Turning it over can be a little tricky, so just be careful. Now, if you prefer to not take your chances on the grill, a skillet it great as well. Heat it over medium-high heat. Once it is really hot, add about 1 tablespoon of canola oil to the pan and swirl around the pan to cover the bottom. Being careful not to overcrowd the pan, add in you beef slices. You will need to do this in 2-3 batches, depending on the size of your pan. If the pan is good and hot, and you don't overcrowd, the beef should cook really quickly. If you need to, wipe down the pan, oil and do the next batch. Once the beef is finished cooking, top with another sprinkle of sesame seeds and the green onions.We served ours with rice and the oi muchim, which is included in the blog post as well.