Korean Beef Barbecue Bulgogi

Ingredients for bulgogi

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Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
438 Calories
31g Fat
7g Carbs
32g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 438
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 40%
Saturated Fat 9g 47%
Cholesterol 99mg 33%
Sodium 1300mg 57%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 32g
Vitamin C 2mg 12%
Calcium 43mg 3%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 491mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

You can't call yourself a Korean cook without knowing the recipe for how to make what is arguably the most famous Korean dish - bulgogi. If you don't know what bulgogi is, you're in for a real treat.

This most popular of Korean dishes includes thinly sliced meat that has a smoky-sweet flavor when broiled or cooked on the grill. Bulgogi is even delicious stir-fried, and the tender beef can be used in anything from Korean “sushi” rolls (kimbap) to stir-fried noodles (japchae, chapchae). Bulgogi is usually accompanied with lettuce wraps and spicy red pepper paste (kochujang) for wrapping and spicing up the meat.

Of course, many Westerners can't handle much heat, so if you'd rather go without the red pepper paste, feel free to skip it, but know that it is delicious. If you can tolerate spices and don't have a medical condition, like an ulcer, that might make spicy food a bit risky for you, enjoy the meat along with the paste. To say that it is delectable would be an understatement. Now, on to the recipe.


Steps to Make It

  1. To begin, it's very easy. Simply prepare Bulgogi marinade according to the directions on the package.

  2. If the beef is not sliced, slice it into thin, finger-length strips.

  3. You'll need to mix the marinade into meat with your hands or with chopsticks, making sure all the meat is covered.

  4. Refrigerate the beef for at least 3 hours or overnight.

  5. Once the meat has been refrigerated for an appropriate amount of time, grill it, broil it or stir-fry the beef until it is well-done and caramelized on the outside.

  6. When you're done, serve the beef with rice, lettuce leaves, and side dishes.

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.


  • For the beef, top sirloin or tenderloin work best, but almost any steak cut will do. The best quality meat will obviously taste the best, so don't skimp on cost, unless you truly cannot afford quality beef.
  • If you can, ask the butcher at the meat counter to slice it for you into very thin strips. Korean and/or Asian grocery stores will often have meat for Bulgogi pre-sliced for sale. So, try to find an Asian supermarket in your area where the butchers will be accustomed to slicing the meat very thinly for patrons.
  • If the beef is not pre-sliced when you buy it, a trick to making it easier to cut at home is to freeze the beef for 15 minutes before you slice it.
  • When marinading the beef, for tougher cuts, the more hours, the better. So, double the amount of time the beef will stay in the fridge if you have a batch of tough meat. You can also freeze the uncooked marinated beef in small amounts for later use.