Bulgogi (Video)

Bulgogi with rice and and kimchi.
Not just for special occasions anymore.

Korean style marinated, stir fried ribeye steak.

Bulgogi translates literally as “Fire Meat.”  Appropriate because fire transforms and this Korean beef dish has evolved quite a bit in its 3000 year history.

Bulgogi was originally cooked on skewers over an open flame for the Korean nobility.  Fast forward to the early 1920’s.  Beef became commercialized and more available. Therefore, bulgogi morphed into a people’s meal and the beef dish became a special occasion dinner.

Fast forward again to the Internet age.  Cultures are crossing and the world is shrinking.  As a result, bulgogi’s popularity is expanding thanks to innovative Korean chefs.  For example, Korean fusion restaurants now offer bulgogi burgers and bulgogi tacos.

Bulgogi’s fame stems from its quick cooking time and the seasoning.  It’s a marinade that receives saltiness from the soy sauce as well as sweetness from the brown sugar, corn syrup and apple.  In addition, the shitake mushrooms and fish sauce pack the dish with umami.  Moreover, the marinade adds tons of flavor to pork, chicken and fish.

Grilling highlights each flavor but a wok on screaming high heat also works.

Korean markets typically have pre-sliced ribeye steak specifically for bulgogi.  However, any thinly sliced meat will absorb the marinade and give splendid results.

Check out the video to see how bulgogi comes together.

Serves 2 but is easily doubled, tripled, quadrupled.  You get the idea.

The Marinade.

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger (a rasp works well)
  • ¼ apple, finely grated (the rasp pulls double duty)

The Meat and Vegetables

  • 1 pound (455 grams) thinly sliced ribeye steak
  • ½ onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 4 ounces (114 grams) shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil


  • White sesame seeds
  • Finely sliced green onion


Step 1

Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk together.

Step 2

Add the ribeye to the marinade and thoroughly massage the marinade into the meat.  Add the vegetables and toss together.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and even overnight.  Take the bulgogi out of the fridge about 30 minutes before cooking to allow the meat to come to room temperature.

Step 3

Heat a wok or heavy frying pan over high heat for a few minutes.  Add the canola oil and let it start to smoke.  However, don’t set off the smoke alarm.

Dump the entire mixing bowl of bulgogi into the wok and let it sit for a minute.  Leaving the bulgogi untouched like this allows the sugars to caramelize and develop super deep flavor.

After a minute, use a spatula and actually stir fry.  Because the meat is so thin and the heat extremely high, the bulgogi cooks in less than 5 minutes.

Transfer the bulgogi to a plate, platter or large bow and garnish with the sesame seeds and green onions.

Serve immediately with rice, kimchi and assorted Korean side dishes.  

Rating: 1 out of 5.

4 thoughts on “Bulgogi (Video)

  1. Great recipe Beef and kimchi are always a favorite

    Fear not Laughter Is still With Us

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! They are indeed a fine partnership.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this! Going to make this very soon as we always get thin-sliced sirloin from Aldi. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy the dish and let me know how it turns out! Thanks for reading!😃


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