Sweet, sour and spicy, this easy beef bulgogi recipe is one you'll be making again and again! It's a brilliant Korean beef recipe that is great for a quick midweek meal or a homemade takeaway!
I don't cook a lot of Korean food regularly. There are only a few Korean recipes I feel I really know and one of those is this beef bulgogi. If I feel like eating something authentically Korean then this is invariably the dish I choose to make.
The finished result is delicious. I don't like overly sweet savoury dishes and this beef bulgogi isn't too sweet at all. I think you'll agree once you make it, it's definitely a dish to make again.
What is bulgogi?
Bulgogi is a Korean dish of marinated and barbecued ribeye steak. When developing this recipe I looked at quite a lot of recipes and came up with my own easy beef bulgogi recipe. Although I'm not an expert in Korean food, I did a lot of research and I think this is a pretty authentic recipe.
Unlike some recipes, the ingredients are easy to get hold of and if you do some oriental cooking, you've probably got them already. The dipping sauce is also my own invention, but it's something I often make to go with Asian inspired dishes.
What ingredients do you need for beef bulgogi?
To make this easy beef bulgogi you'll need:
- Steak - It's traditional to use ribeye but you can use any good quality steak.
- Rice vinegar - If I don't have any I just replace it with white wine vinegar.
- Sesame oil - This adds a delicious nutty flavour and is hard to substitute.
- Soy sauce - Use a Korean brand if possible.
- Crushed chillies - Crumble up some dried chilli pepper or use chilli flakes.
- Root ginger - I like to use fresh root ginger and grate it. You can also use a ginger paste.
- Black pepper
- Onion - I use a brown onion but red onion also works.
And for the dipping sauce you'll need:
- Soy sauce
- Rice vinegar
- Sesame oil
- Chilli peppers
How to make easy beef bulgogi
There is a full recipe card further down the post but basically this is what you need to do:
Put the steak in the freezer for just half an hour. This stiffens it up and makes it easier to slice thinly.
Prepare the marinade by mixing togther all the other ingredients.
Take the steak out of the freezer and slice it thinly. Put the strips of steak in the marinade along with the onion and leave for at least an hour. I prefer to give the steak at least 24 hours to marinate.
Heat a little oil in a wok or large frying pan and stir fry over a high heat until cooked through.
What can you serve with beef bulgogi?
I like to serve this with rice and lettuce wraps. Put a little rice and bulgogi on a lettuce leaf. Roll it up and dip it in the sauce. Delicious!
You can just serve the beef bulgogi with rice and miss out the lettuce leaves though.
I will also happily add a little Korean gochujang sauce to the side of my plate to give it even more oohph. And if you like kimchi you can serve a little on the side too.
Storing and reheating leftover beef bulgogi
Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to three days. You can reheat by stir frying again along with a splash of water to stop it sticking to the pan. Alternatively, pop it in the microwave until piping hot.
Can you freeze cooked bulgogi?
Yes, you can freeze it for up to three months. Defrost and reheat thoroughly before serving.
More Easy Beef Recipes
If you like this easy beef bulgogi then why not try one of these simple recipes:
Easy Beef Bulgogi Recipe
- 300 g ribeye steak
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1.5 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce Korean if possible
- 1 teaspoon crushed chillies
- 1 teaspoon root ginger grated
- pinch black pepper
- ½ onion sliced
Ingredients for the dipping sauce
- 4 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1.5 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 chillies
- Slice the steak as thinly as you can against the grain. If you put it in the freezer for half an hour first it makes it easier to slice, but it's not necessary.
- Make the marinade by mixing all the other ingredients together until the sugar dissolves.
- Pour the marinade over the beef and onions and mix in well so the steak is coated all over in the marinade.
- Put in the fridge overnight or for at least an hour.
- Prepare the dipping sauce. Slice the chillies finely. Add the other ingredients. Mix well and put in small individual bowls to serve alongside the bulgogi.
- Cook the steak. I usually stir fry it in a wok or large frying pan.
- Serve with rice, lettuce leaves and dipping sauce. To eat put some rice and meat in a lettuce leaf. Wrap it up a little and dip in the sauce.
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Keep in touch
Do let me know if you make this Korean beef bulgogi or any of my other recipes. I love to get feedback from readers.