Beef Bulgogi is a Korean dish usually made of marinated beef with vegetables. One element of a good bulgogi is the cut of beef like tenderloin or sirloin. But you can still make tasty bulgogi without these choice cuts. Whatever you use, it’s very important to choose marbled beef: leaner cuts like brisket will turn out too tough. Cut the beef thinly against the grain to make it easier to chew, and marinate for an hour or overnight.
The marinate plays an important role to make the meat tender. Use Asian pear or kiwi to incorporate in your marinate. These fruits have enzymes the makes the meat tender faster and tasty. Do not use pineapple because it’s too sweet and tropical flavored.
So whether you’re planning to a potluck or just a simple week-day dinner, try this recipe and let us know how it went. It’s so easy to make and fun to eat with friends and family.
The secret ingredient is always LOVE
Tips for Beef Bulgogi
- The enzymes from the grated Asian pear sweeten and tenderize the pieces of caramelized beef. If you don’t have Asian pear you can use kiwi but you have to reduce the amount since it’s a bit strong.
- You can grill the meat over charcoal or a grill pan over the stove top works well too. You can also pan-fry your bulgogi for a nicely caramelized meat and serve it in a sizzling plate like our sisig recipe.
- 500 grams beef (tenderloin or top sirloin) (cut into thin strips)
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- ½ kiwi or Asian pear (grated)
- ½ onion (sliced)
- 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp sesame oil
- ½ onion
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 tsp green onion (chopped for garnishing)
- 1 tsp sesame seeds (garnish)
Marinating the beef
- Place the meat and marinating ingredients in a large bowl. Mix gently with your hands to combine everything well. Marinate the meat for to an hour or overnight.
- Preheat a large pan/skillet and add 2 tbsp. cooking oil. Saute onions until translucent.
- Add the marinated beef over high heat. You can crowd the pan to generate some liquid and let the meat cook in its own juice. Stir and cook for 5 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink. Use all the marinade if you want some sauce at the end.
- Transfer in a serving plate and garnish with chopped green onions and sesame seeds. Bon Appetit!
Thank you for for sharing this recipe. For the first time, I tried using the kiwi instead of the pear version for marinating and it really, really taste good.
Yes Kiwi will work too. Thank you for trying the recipe and I’m happy you liked it.
I put a bit of regular coke in the marinade because my supermarket was out of both kiwi ( my usual) and Asian pear – this is a hack my Korean American friends taught me – what are your thoughts on this?
Hi Barbara, Yes, coke or any soda is a good alternative if you can’t find kiwi or Asian pear. This is also a common practice with Filipino barbecue dishes to help tenderize the meat. Hope this helps and thanks for dropping by. Cheers!