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Bulgogi, Marinated Beef Sirloin

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quick n easy
kid friendly
nut free
prep time: 
10 min
inactive time: 
240 min
cooking time: 
10 min
total time: 
260 min

Impress your friends with this simple yet amazing beef dish. You can make a giant batch and just put the whole thing in the oven when preparing for a big party. You can also marinate a large amount and freeze it in smaller portions. Just thaw and throw it on a pan. Pair it with rice and some vegetables or salad. You'll have a most satisfying meal in the snap of your fingers.

Bulgogi is a traditional Korean beef dish which is often served for special occasions and parties although it can be part of daily dining.
The name "fire meat" comes from the traditional cooking method of grilling marinated beef on fire. "Bul" means fire and "gogi" means meat. Today, most Koreans pan-fry bulgogi at home.

Buy Bulgogi ingredients online here.

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Change to: Metric US
11 ozSliced Beef Sirloin 불고기용 등심 (can use other thinly sliced cuts)
⅓ cupSoy Sauce (regular) 왜간장
⅓ cupSugar 설탕
1 cup  Water 물
½ Onion (Medium) 양파
Green Onion 파
1 tspGarlic (minced) 다진 마늘
1 tspSesame Oil 참기름
pinch Black Pepper 후추
1 tspSesame Seeds 깨 (optional)
1 ozShiitake mushroom (dried) 표고버섯 (optional)

Optional Ingredients and Substitutions
Sugar: can be replaced with brown sugar, pineapple juice or honey.
Beef: you can use other cuts of beef as long as it's thinly (less than 1/16" or 2 mm) sliced. If it's thicker than that, make sure to marinate overnight. If it's thicker than ¼", you will have to decrease the amount of water so the sauce is saltier. You can also use thinly sliced chicken or pork. For chicken or pork, add ½ teaspoon of minced ginger in the marinade.
Shiitake mushroom: You can use any other types of mushrooms you like or omit it all together. You can also add other vegetables like carrots, mung bean sprouts and broccoli when you cook the beef.
Sesame seeds: can be omitted.

Take it to the next level!
You can add 1 tbs of minced Korean pear (or bosc pear) and 1 tbs cheongju (korean rice wine) or white wine in the marinade to make it taste even better.
You can add 1 tsp of minced kiwi in the marinade to tenderize the meat.
Add 1 tsp of gochugaru (Korean red chili flakes) for a spicy version. It's heavenly!

More questions? Please leave your questions below in the comment section. We will do our best to answer as soon as we can.

Ingredient amounts in the recipe instructions are for the default serving size.
Click to enlarge photos.
Ingredient amounts in the recipe summary are for the default serving size.

1. Cut vegetables

Peel and slice ½ onion. Wash and cut a green onion into 2 inch pieces.

image: GBGGBF06.JPG

Slice ½ onion

Wash, cut 1 green onion

into 2”

2. Make the marinade

In a large bowl, mix ⅓ cup of soy sauce, ⅓ cup if sugar and 1 cup of cold water. Add sliced onions, cut green onions, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, a pinch of black pepper and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Add ½ teaspoon of sesame seeds (Optional). Mix thoroughly until all sugar is dissolved.

image: GBGGBF07.JPG


  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • a pinch black pepper
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp sesame seeds (optional)
  • onions, green onions

3. Marinate meat

Add the sliced meat one by one making sure all the meat is immersed in the marinade. Cover and Keep it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

image: GBGGBF08.JPG

Add meat one by one


Refrigerate 4 hours

image: clock.png 240 min

4. Cook

Remove the meat from the marinade (shake off the drippings) and cook in a frying pan on high heat for 5-10 min or until the meat is just cooked. OPTIONAL: Wash and slice 2-3 mushrooms of your choice. Add them when you start cooking the meat. Don’t put too many mushrooms because it will produce too much liquid.

image: GBGGBF12.JPG

Cook meat

Add sliced mushrooms (optional)

High Heat image: highheat.png

5. Serve

Serve on a plate and sprinkle sesame seeds as a garnish (Optional). Bulgogi is usually served with cooked rice. You can also make “Ssam” (wrap in Korean red leaf lettuce) when you eat.

image: GBGGBF11.JPG



  • 1 tsp sesame seeds (optional)


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