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Korean beef Bulgogi on a plate
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5 from 1 vote

Beef Bulgogi

Tender, succulent beef. A sweet-salty, garlicky marinade made from pantry ingredients. And all those charred little bits. A sizzling plate of delicious 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


  • 1 lb thinly sliced beef rib eye

In the food processor:

  • 1/2 onion cut into chunks
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 inch ginger peeled and cut into chunks

In the prep bowl:

  • 1/2 onion sliced thinly
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 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


  • In a food processor, combine 1/2 onion cut into 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 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
  • Heat a well seasoned cast iron skillet 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, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. When the bulgogi looks brown and crispy on the edges, flip and finish cooking. Transfer to a serving plate and cover loosely with aluminum foil. This should take 2-3 minutes per side. 
    beef bulgogi in cast iron skillet
  • Keep cooking the bulgogi in batches. Do not touch or disturb the meat while it cooks; this will ensure caramelized bits. In between batches, scrape down the skillet with a metal spatula to remove leftover marinade, and add an additional 1 Tbsp neutral oil.
  • Garnish bulgogi 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


* Alternately, you can stir fry the Korean beef bulgogi in a wok.  Heat until smoking and add oil.  Add meat and stir fry until browned with crispy edges.  This cooking method will produce a juicier bulgogi.