Korean BBQ beef is known as Bulgogi in Korean. In literal words, it means ‘fire meat’. Bulgogi is a very traditional food in Korea. Now, the popularity of Bulgogi spread to the whole world and many people want to try to cook it at home as well as want to know the best korean bbq beef recipe.
As a traditional food, time by time the process of making Bulgogi changed a lot. Today I will show you the process of korean bbq beef recipe which is modern and you can easily cook in this process. The ingredients are in your kitchen if you already have beef in your fridge.
What Kind of Beef Do You Use for Korean BBQ?
Bulgogi can be made with the tender parts of chicken, pork, or beef. Most typically, bulgogi is made with beef. As I mentioned before, Korean BBQ is made of the most tender meat parts. You can say it may be the beef tenderloin or sirloin.
Cutting Beef for Bulgogi
The process of cutting beef thinly for bulgogi is very tough if you are not an expert. It must be thick like 2mm or 3mm. If you cut your beef thicker than this measurement, the sauce of Bulgogi won’t enter the beef properly.
You can buy Bulgogi special beef from your Korean local market. Just go to the meat section and in the freeze, you will see meat packet labeled as ‘Bulgogi meat’. However, most international people won’t find these meat packets but worry not. Before starting cutting the bulgogi meat by yourself, sharpen your knife well!
After buying beef from the market, wrap each fillet of meat with a food wrapper. Wrap very well so that the wrapper clings with the meat. Then place the meat wrappers in a tray and put them in the fridge.
Keep the meat in the fridge for 2.5-3 hours, until the meat gets a bit stiff. Try to cut the meat into thin slices like 1/8 inch thick. If the meat creases while cutting into the thin slice, then place them into the fridge again to get more stiff.
Ingredients For Korean BBQ Beef Sauce
Now the main part where you will make the Bulgogi sauce. With this sauce, you will marinate your beef. This sauce will make your beef tastier. So, check the measurement of the ingredients.
➪ 1/2 Onions
➪ 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
➪ 1 Tablespoon Minced Ginger
➪ 1/8 Tablespoon ground black pepper
➪ 1/5 Tablespoon red pepper flakes (depends on how spicy Korean beef you want)
➪ 3 Tablespoon Sugar
➪ 2 Tablespoon Rice wine
➪ 6 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
➪ 1 Tablespoon Sesame oil
➪ 1 red apple/pear
If you have gathered all these ingredients in place, then now we will start our sauce-making process. Some people just mix all these items and keep 1/2 hours to marinate well. However, let me tell you the best way to make the sauce more effective for Bulgogi-
1. Gather all the ingredients and pour them into your mixer.
2. Grind your items very smoothly.
3. Then you can set aside the mixer for 30 minutes if you want or you can instantly use the sauce. This way works well to get mixed with beef.
4. Now, wear hand gloves before mixing the sauce with beef. Put the thinly sliced beef in a bowl and pour the sauce on it evenly.
5. Mix and gently massage the sauce with beef well.
6. After mixing the beef well, cover the bowl or box with a tight lid or food wrapper, so no air can get into it.
7. Marinate the meat for at least 3-4 hours. If you have time overnight, then you can keep the box in the fridge overnight for the best ravishing taste and result.
Make Your Beef Soft
Tenderizing your beef is the most important part of making Korean BBQ Beef. If your beef doesn’t get softer, the sauce won’t get through the meat and it will be tasteless.
What ingredients I used in the sauce, there is already a special item that will make the beef tender and boost the taste of Bulgogi. The special item is Red Apple and Pear. The most common fruit is to tenderize beef is the Asian Pear or Korean Pear to tenderize their beef.
You can use Red Apple too. You will see many Korean people use Pineapple or Kiwi for tenderizing. If you have these, you can use them. Yet, be careful about using pineapple and kiwi because they make the beef soft faster than apple or pear.
Always remember one thing- if you marinate your sauce for a long time, it will make the taste very weird and the color will be weirder!
How Do You Make Korean BBQ at Home?
For your information, Korean BBQ Beef can be cooked on the grill or in the pan. Let me explain. On the pan, you can cook bulgogi with different vegetables which can be served with rice as a side dish. On the grill, you can just grill the beef like steak without vegetables. The taste will be different, you can see.
On pan fry, with vegetables, the beef will release some juice, which will make the whole beef a juicy texture. That will be very suitable to eat with rice.
Another way, BBQ beef won’t release any juice but it will add a smokey flavor to your grilled BBQ. This smokey flavor is mouth watery(which is my favorite!). Now let’s see the basic method of beef bulgogi recipe-
Ingredients of Korean BBQ Beef as Main Dish(On Frying Pan)
1. Heat your frying pan or skillet very well.
2. Spread some cooking oil in the pan and add the vegetables with beef in the pan and begin stir-frying.
3. You can add honey to caramelize the beef and it will also enhance the taste(Optional).
4. Cook the meat on medium-high heat for 5 minutes(time depends on how cooked you want your meat and vegetables).
5. When you get your desired texture of beef and vegetables then garnish with some sesame seeds and green onions on it. Done your juicy, mildly sweet soft Bulgogi!
➪ 800g tender parts of beef(thinly sliced)
➪ 2 stalks of Green Onion(thinly sliced)
➪ 1 Yellow Onion(thinly sliced)
➪ 1/2 Carrots(thinly sliced)
➪ 1 Tablespoon cooking coil
➪ 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
➪ 1 Tablespoon Sesame Seeds
Korean BBQ Beef in Grill(without vegetables)
1. First heat your grill and spread oil.
2. Place the meat on the grill and flip each side after 2/3 minutes. Grill the meat like this for 5/6 minutes until you think the meat is ready.
Now, taste your smokey, savory, and mouth watery grilled Korean BBQ Beef.
How to Create Smokey Flavour in Pan Fried Bulgogi?
I have heard some people complain about the smokey flavor missing in juicy vegetable Bulgogi. With vegetables, Bulgogi is quite juicy so the smokey flavor got vanished in it. However, there is a very well and secret way to add this smokey flavor in the pan Bulgogi. Want to know? Carry on reading then!
The main secret part is cooking in a very well heated iron frying pan and place beef in a small batch. So, first of all, heat the frying pan very high so when you will place the meat on the pan, it will immediately start sizzling and searing. It will add a very special and different tasty flavor.
Now the most important secret part of creating smokey flavor is, you have to add meat in a small batch. Don’t make your pan overcrowded with meat and vegetables. Why? Well, when you overcrowd your pan with meat and vegetables, they begin to release juice while getting cooked.
This juice absorbs the smokey effect. So, you have to cook the beef in a small batch for creating the smokey effect. Or, you can also use a very big frying pan if you don’t want to cook the bulgogi in the continuous process. Enjoy your tasty juicy smokey flavored korean bbq beef recipe!
What to Serve Korean BBQ Beef With?
I have already discussed the Korean BBQ beef recipe. Now time to know how to serve it. Simply you can serve Korean Bulgogi with rice and with other side dishes. For grilled BBQ beef, use some perilla leaves or lettuce leaves to wrap. You can pair this delicious wrap with some spicy or nonspicy kimchi.
At the weekend time, you can arrange bulgogi with rice and kimchi for a quick and easy family meal. You will get praise from your family members as well as another cooking experience in your bucket.
If you arrange an outdoor or indoor BBQ party, then Korean BBQ Beef with the leaves wrap is the best option ever. Don’t forget to pair some soju, beer, or coca-cola.
How to Store Bulgogi?
After your party, if you have some leftover Bulgogi, then you can store the cooked or grilled BBQ beef in the fridge for a couple of days.
In any case, if you have just marinated beef leftover, then you can store that in the fridge for 3-5 days and in the freezer, it can be a few weeks. If you keep the meat for a long time in the fridge, you won’t get the best taste in the beef.
You already got the recipes or ways to make korean bbq beef recipe at home. The process is very easy even for new cookers. Now, you can enjoy your Korean bbq short ribs at any time at home. You can also check some recipes in Youtube.
The ingredients measurements I mentioned in this article will be suitable to serve for 4-6 members. You can increase or decrease the measurement according to your necessary.
I will be glad if my comprehensive article can be helpful to make your Korean BBQ beef at home. So, are you ready to make your tasty, smokey, spicy-sweet, juicy Bulgogi? Happy cooking time!