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Korean beef Bulgogi on a plate
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5 from 1 vote

Easy Korean BBQ Beef Bulgogi

A sizzling plate of delicious Korean Beef Bulgogi deserves a regular place in your dinner rotation!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Marinating Time30 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: Beef, Bulgogi
Servings: 4
Author: The Subversive Table | Lis Lam

Ingredients

  • 1 lb thinly sliced beef rib eye

In the food processor:

  • 1/2 onion cut into chunks
  • 1/2 Korean pear, peeled, cored, cut into chunks (optional, can be subbed with Bosc pear, bartlett pear, or fuji apple)
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 inch ginger peeled and cut into chunks

In the prep bowl:

  • 1/2 onion sliced thinly
  • 2 green onions chopped (save some for garnish)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (not the low sodium kind)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Mirin or rice wine
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seed oil
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds

Instructions

  • In a food processor, combine 1/2 onion cut into chunks, pear chunks, garlic, and ginger. Whizz until pureed. You may have to scrape the bowl down several times during the process. (Alternately, you can grate the onion and pear, mince the garlic and ginger.) Scrape into a large bowl. 
    pureed onion, ginger, garlic
  • Add 1/2 onion (thinly sliced), green onions, soy sauce, sugar, Mirin or rice wine, sesame seed oil, and sesame seeds. Mix with a spoon until combined. 
    korean beef bulgogi marinade in bowl
  • Add beef and mix well with hands. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. 
    marinated korean beef bulgogi in bowl
  • Non-stick skillet: heat over medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp neutral oil and add the bulgogi in one layer. Spread around with chopsticks and leave undisturbed for that bbq char, about 2-3 minutes. When the edges look cooked and the juices begin to release, mix around with a cooking spoon until the meat is no longer pink and cooked through. Continue cooking until the sauce has reduced somewhat and the meat is dark brown and caramelized.
  • Cast iron skillet: heat over medium high heat. When the cast iron is hot, add 1 Tbsp neutral oil and swirl around in the pan. The oil should be smoking. Add bulgogi in one layer. Leave the meat undisturbed, to get that bbq char on one side. When the bulgogi looks brown and crispy on the edges, mix around with a metal spatula and finish cooking. The meat will release a lot of juice. The cooking process should take 5-8 minutes total!
    beef bulgogi in cast iron skillet
  • Wok: heat over high heat. Add 1 Tbsp neutral oil and swirl around. Add the bulgogi in one layer. Spread around with chopsticks and leave undisturbed for that bbq char, about 2-3 minutes. When the edges look cooked and the juices begin to release, mix around with a cooking spoon or metal spatula until the meat is no longer pink and cooked through, tossing as you go. Continue cooking until the sauce has reduced somewhat and the meat is dark brown and caramelized.
  • Sheet pan: Adjust the oven rack so the top rack is 5-6 inches from the heat source at the top. Turn the oven to broil function and let it preheat for 10 minutes. Line a sheet pan with foil for easy clean up. Spread out bulgogi in an even layer, making sure it's not too crowded. When the oven has fully preheated, broil until fully cooked with crispy edges, about 6-8 minutes.
  • Transfer bulgogi to a serving platter. Garnish with additional green onion and sesame seeds. Serve with lettuce wraps, rice, and kimchi for a complete meal. Ssam sauce is also a nice addition.
    Beef Bulgogi with rice and lettuce