Korean BBQ Bulgogi

Experience the irresistible flavors of my Korean BBQ Bulgogi, a dish that brings the essence of authentic Korean cuisine right to your kitchen! This savory and sweet marinade transforms thinly sliced beef into a mouthwatering delight. With just under 5 minutes of prep time, it’s a breeze to prepare. If you’re looking to recreate the magic of Korean BBQ at home, my recipe is your ticket!

Korean BBQ bulgogi made with sliced ribeye being picked up with a pair of chopsticks.

Why I Love This Recipe

My Korean BBQ Bulgogi is a classic BBQ dish that takes your taste buds straight to the heart of Korean cuisine and is a personal favorite of mine! This recipe features thinly sliced rib-eye marinated in a savory and sweet blend of soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, garlic, and more! It’s a versatile dish suitable for any mealtime, from weeknight dinners to special occasions. The beef becomes tender and bursting with flavors, making it an ideal choice for both KBB enthusiasts and those new to Korean flavors!

Like my other Korean BBQ-inspired dishes such as Korean BBQ Garlic Pork Belly and Miso Pork Belly, this recipe captures the essence of traditional marinated Korean flavors, making it a must-try for anyone craving a taste of Korea. And the best part of my recipe? It’s so easy to make and nearly fail proof! So, let’s dive into creating this Korean BBQ Bulgogi and get grilling right now!

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • Thinly Sliced Rib Eye  you can find thinly sliced meat at your local Asian supermarket under packages labeled ‘shabu shabu’ (thin), or ‘sukiyaki’ (slightly thicker).
  • Onion – yellow or brown onion.
  • Green Onion – green onion scallions.
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds – optional garnish.
  • Garlic– fresh garlic.
  • Jalapeno – fresh whole jalapeno .
  • Soy Sauce – low-sodium Soy Sauce preferred. Can also use tamari for gluten-free.
  • Water – used for the marinade.
  • Sweetener  use your preferred sweetener.
  • Toasted Sesame Oil – 100% Toasted Sesame Oil that should have a dark brown color.  
  • Black pepper – ground.
  • Neutral Oil no taste or flavor with high cooking temperature. Some choices are sunflower oil, peanut oil, sallower oil, vegetable oil, and canola oil. 

🔑 Marinade Secret Ingredient

You can enhance the marinade by including 2-3 tbsp of grated Korean Pear or 1-2 tbsp of pressed Kiwi to naturally sweeten and tenderize the meat, or you can opt for 1/2 cup of Cola instead of water to add extra sweetness to your Korean BBQ Bulgogi.

🥩 Beef Note

The best cuts to use are Rib-eye, Chuck, or Sirloin. You can find these meats already pre-cut in thin slices at your local Asian supermarket, under packages labeled ‘shabu shabu’ (thin), or ‘sukiyaki’ (slightly thicker).

Korean BBQ bulgogi made with sliced ribeye served on a cast iron plate with green onions and toasted sesame seeds sprinkled on top.

Essential Kitchen Equipment

Directions

Step 1 To make the marinade, use a food processor to combine soy sauce, water, sweetener, toasted sesame oil, chopped onions, jalapeno, garlic, and black pepper.

Korean BBQ bulgogi marinade in a food processor.

Step 2 After it’s blended, transfer all to a zip-lock bag, along with sliced beef and sliced onions. Seal the bag, ensuring no air is inside. Massage the marinade into the meat with your hands, place the bag into the fridge for 24 hours.

Bulgogi being marinated in a zip lock bag.

💡 Marinating Pro Tip

For the best results, add each beef slice individually to ensure each piece is covered in marinade. If needed, adjust by adding a bit of Water or Cola for Extra Sweetness. This technique guarantees that every slice absorbs the rich flavors of the marinade.

Step 3 Grill the in a oil coated foil packet at 350F for 4-6 minutes with the cover closed until meat is browned.

Bulgogi being grilled in a aluminum pouch.

🔥 Grilling Pro Tip

You can grill the marinated beef directly Without the Need to Wash Off the Marinade.

Recipe Variations

Feel free to switch out the sliced beef with short ribs to prepare Korean BBQ Short Ribs Marinade, known for their succulent tenderness. You can also use chicken thighs for a flavorful Korean BBQ Marinated Chicken dish.

Paring Recommendations

Pair your Korean BBQ with rice, traditional banchan like Korean Spinach Salad or Korean Pickled Vegetables, or enjoy it wrapped in lettuce, rice paper, or pickled radish wraps. For a different meat option, consider including some Pan Seared Korean BBQ Brisket to your meal.

Korean BBQ bulgogi made with sliced ribeye being picked up with a pair of chopsticks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you freeze bulgogi marinade?

Yes! This marinade also works well for meal planning. Just make a whole batch, and throw it in the freezer once the marination portion is completed. If you flatten the zip-lock bags after massaging the meat, it can be a real space saver in your freezer.

How long to marinate beef bulgogi?

For best results, we recommend marinating overnight, or for 24 hours, to ensure all that juicy goodness is soaked all the way through.

Can I make the marinade without jalapeno for a milder flavor?

Yes, the jalapeno is completely optional, so feel free to skip it if you prefer a milder taste.

What's the best way to cook Bulgogi if I don't have access to a grill?

If you don't have access to a grill, you can simply pan fry instead. It's an excellent alternative cooking method that will still yield delicious results.

Storage Tips

To store leftovers, place them in an airtight container and refrigerate. They will remain fresh for 5-7 days when stored this way.

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Watch How To Make It

Korean BBQ bulgogi made with sliced ribeye served on a cast iron plate with green onions and toasted sesame seeds sprinkled on top.

Korean BBQ Bulgogi

Discover the delicious world of Korean BBQ with my -to-follow bulgogi recipe. Perfectly marinated beef that's savory and sweet.
4.16 from 40 votes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: bulgogi marinade recipe, bulgogi recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Marinating Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 10 minutes
Servings: 2
Print Recipe
Calories: 703kcal

Ingredients

Bulgogi

  • 1 lbs Sliced Beef Chuck, Rib-eye, Sirloin
  • 1/4 Cup Onions
  • 2 Stalks Green Onion
  • 1 tbsp Toasted Sesame Seed
  • 1 tbsp Netural Cooking Oil no flavor

Marinade

Instructions

  • Gather all the ingredients.
    Ingredients for Korean BBQ bulgogi.
  • Use a blender or food processor to combine Soy Sauce, Water, sweetener, Toasted Sesame Oil, chopped onions, jalapeno, garlic, black pepper, secret ingredient and form marinade. Transfer marinade to a zip-lock bag.
    Korean BBQ bulgogi marinade in a food processor.
  • Finley slice onion and add into zip-lock, along with sliced beef. Massage in the marinade ensuring equal distribution.
    Bulgogi being marinated in a zip lock bag.
  • Place zip-lock bag flat in the fridge for 24 hours (up to 36 hour flipping over at least once half way through the marinate.
    Bulgogi being marinated in a zip lock bag in the fridge.
  • After marination is complete, cut green onions into 1 inch sticks and set aside.
    Green onions chopped.
  • Preheat grill on high until temp reaches ~350F. In the meantime, make a pan with the sheet of aluminum foil and generously apply cooking oil and transfer beef and green onions. Once grill is up to temp,lower heat to medium-low and place pan on grill. Close lid and cook for~1 minute. After 1 minute, open lid, mix beef around and close lid back. Cook for another 3-5 minutes until beef is cooked while occasional mixing beef and keeping the lid closed.  Once cooked, transfer to serving plate.
    Bulgogi being grilled in a aluminum pouch.
  • Sprinkle sesame seeds and best served with some vegetables.
    Bulgogi served in a plate.

Nutrition

Calories: 703kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 1741mg | Potassium: 726mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 154IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 5mg
*Values Based Per Serving
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