My guys really enjoy a big skillet full of Easy Korean Beef Bulgogi, an authentic Korean dish that is super easy to make.
You can make Beef Bulgogi with just the meat and sauce over rice. Or, forget the rice and make bulgogi with added vegetables for a flavorful low-carb option.
Easy Korean Beef Bulgogi Recipe
Howdy! Chef Alli Here. Let’s Get You Cookin’….Shall We? ?
We eat a lot of meat in this household. My guys are meat and potato men….definite carnivores, which should be expected since we raise cattle, right?
And while my guys eat loads of beef, they have not, at least up to this point, eaten much in the way of Asian foods and flavors. (Much unlike their mother!)
Soooo, you can likely imagine how they reacted when I announced “We are having Korean Beef Bulgogi for dinner”. I ignored their facial expressions, comments, and push back, pressing on towards a brand new cuisine for this household. I knew my job was getting just one bite into their mouths.
Long story, short: it was a TOTAL HIT! Beef Bulgogi all the way, my friends. Tender strips of cooked beef in a delicious Asian sauce, nestled on a comfy bed of rice, with a generous sprinkling of freshly chopped cilantro over the top….divine.
What is Korean Beef Bulgogi…..anyway?
Beef Bulgogi is also known as Korean BBQ Beef. The word “bulgogi” translates as “fire meat” and is marinated slices of beef that grilled or stir-fried in a hot skillet.
3 Reasons to Love this Korean Beef Bulgogi Meal –
- It’s a memorable Asian one-skillet dinner – yay!
- Bulgogi is super easy and super fast – you can have this meal on the table in minutes.
- Using a chuck roast makes this a very economical meal.
What Ingredients Do You Need to Make Authentic Beef Bulgogi?
- Marinade: Soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, Korean chili paste/ketchup (gochujang), sliced onion and sliced bell pepper
- Chuck roast
- Cooked rice, may substitute cauliflower rice for a low-carb option
- Sliced scallions, chopped cilantro, and sesame seeds, as desired
Is There More Than One Meat Option for Making Korean Beef Bulgogi?
Such a good question! If you do a search for Beef Bulgogi recipes, you will quickly learn that there are lots of choices out there for the type of beef used in this dish.
Many people enjoy sliced steak, others prefer ground beef, and some folks, like me, appreciate the budget-friendly option of using a chuck roast for making Beef Bulgogi.
It’s great to have options when we cook. And even more so, it’s nice that you can also make a very tasty batch of bulgogi using chicken or pork.
Why Does Chuck Roast Make Such Good Korean Beef Bulgogi?
Because a chuck roast always has such nice fat marbling, it is a very good option as the beef for making beef bulgogi. As long as the chuck roast is sliced AGAINST the grain (meaning across the grain and not with the grain) into nice thin slices (not thicker than 1/8-inch thickness) it will cook very quickly and be tender and juicy.
And, because you can choose a chuck roast with no bones, the entire roast can be sliced and used for making beef bulgogi, making the meal very economical for feeding your family.
Recipe Tips for Making Fast and Easy Beef Bulgogi
- Marinate the sliced beef in the marinade for at least 3-4 hours. 24 hours is better, but sometimes life doesn’t allow for that much time.
- Placing the meat and the marinade into a gallon freezer bag really lets you manipulate the contents to be sure the marinade is being evenly distributed throughout. Periodically, throughout the marinating process, pick up the bag and massage it to move the ingredients around.
- Always place the bag of marinade and meat in a large mixing bowl since a leaky bag can make a huge mess in your fridge, which is also rather unsafe.
- Place the bowl of the bagged meat/marinade on the lowest shelf of your fridge, beneath all other food items inside. This prevents accidental cross-contamination of any bacteria from the meat/marinade bag. (If the meat/marinade is above other foods inside the fridge, there’s an outside chance it could accidentally drip down and cause contamination.)
How to Make Flavorful Korean Beef Bulgogi in 5 Easy Steps
- Place the marinade ingredients into a gallon freezer bag; use your hands to massage the bag, combining all the ingredients.
- Meanwhile, cut the chuck roast into thirds, lengthwise. At the short end of each one, slice the meat into very thin strips; place the meat into the bag of marinade. Seal the bag and place it into a large bowl or container.
- Two or three hours before you want to cook the bulgogi, remove the meat/marinade mixture from the fridge and let it rest at room temperature.
- Place a skillet or grill pan over medium high heat; add a god drizzle of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add a small batch of the marinated meat to the pan, letting it cook quickly on both sides; remove to a warm skillet. Continue to work in batches, taking care not to crowd the pan with each batch.
- Place the cooked beef over a bowl of warm rice; drizzle with more sauce, if desired. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.
More Recipes to Enjoy –
- How to Cook Eye of Round Roast Beef
- Easy Instant Pot Swiss Steak
- French Dip Beef Sandwiches
- Juicy Cast Iron Skillet Steak
- Loco Burritos Grande Made with Ground Beef
- Marinated Steak Bites (Air Fryer, Skillet, and Oven)
- Cheesy Hash Brown Meatloaf Pie
- Ground Meat Asian Stir Fry with Noodles
Printable Korean Beef Bulgogi Recipe
Easy Korean Beef Bulgogi
- 2 – 2.5 lbs. thinly sliced chuck roast
- 1 1/2 cups soy sauce
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 3 Tbs. toasted sesame oil
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed (may substitute 1 tsp. granulated garlic, if preferred)
- 1 1/2 Tbs. minced ginger root
- 2-3 tsp. Korean gochujang ketchup
- 1 yellow onion, sliced fairly thinly
- 1 green bell pepper, seeds and membranes removed, sliced fairly thinly
- 1/4 cup sliced scallions
- sesame seeds optional
- chopped fresh cilantro optional, but please don't skip it!
- 2 cups cooked rice, warm, as a bed for serving the bulgogi
- Place the soy sauce, brown sugar, toasted sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and gochujang sauce in a bowl, stirring to combine. Reserve half of the prepared marinade to use as sauce when serving the bulgogi.
- Place a gallon bag into a separate bowl, then pour the remaining half of the prepared marinade into the bag; add the sliced beef, green peppers and onions, then seal the bag, pressing out all of the air as you do so. Massage the bag to distribute the marinade evenly through the beef. Place the bag of beef back into the clean bowl and place it into refrigeration to marinate for 24 hours.
- Two or three hours before you want to cook the bulgogi, remove the bag of meat/marinade mixture from the fridge. Remove the meat and vegetables from the marinade to a colander, letting it rest at room temperature. Toss any marinade that drips from the meat away.
- Preheat a large heavy skillet or indoor grill pan over medium high heat; add a swish of oil. When the oil is nicely hot, add the marinated meat in a single layer on the grill, cooking 1-2 minutes for per side; remove the meat to a warm skillet. Continue to work in batches, taking care not to crowd the pan with each batch of meat.
- Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, warm the reserved sauce.
- When all the meat is cooked, place warm rice into serving bowls; top with the cooked beef and vegetables, adding sauce over the top, as desired. Garnish the bulgogi with scallions, sesame seeds, and cilantro; serve at once.
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