bulgogi {불고기} from scratch

4:53 PM sians 1 Comments

note | i submitted this recipe in the 'discover korea's delicious secret'. this was part of a full recipe that i combined to add a twist to the classic recipe. i am thrilled when i found a competition that combined both my loves together :: food and super junior :) incidentally, i was also exploring korean food in the past few months so it was perfect! keep your fingers crossed for me, will ya? :)

what was my first ever korean dish i have ever made?

it took me a few minutes to figure it out but the first korean dish i cooked happens to be one of my favorite korean dishes :: bulgogi {불거기}! however, i have to admit i've been cheating by using the bottled marinade from hmart since i didn't know better. but boy, it was a great and delicious short cut dinner. 

bulgogi is one of the most famous korean cuisines. in fact, because it is a mild but very flavorful dish, it is an ideal introduction dish to korean cuisine to someone who has yet to experience the flavors of korea. bul {불} translates to fire and gogi {고기} means meat which makes bulgogi : 'cooking meat on fire'. bulgogi is made using thin slices of sirloin or other prime cuts of beef while the base marinade is usually a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic with addition of some vegetables. at restaurants, you could either ordered cooked served with a side of white rice or you could grill it yourself at the table.

if you refer to the note at the top of the entry, this recipe was a part of a recipe since i needed bulgogi as an ingredient for my other recipes i had in mind. so i've been searching online and comparing ingredients to find out what makes the yummy marinade mixture.

i promise you that this is one of the simplest recipes to make :: the basic steps are to get all the ingredients together for marinade, add meat, leave overnight and cook. sounds simple enough, yes? i would usually prepare all of it the night before to ensure all the meat absorb all the great flavors and also it tenderizes the meat with the addition of grated apple/pear in the marinade. oh and it's always a great idea to make extras! :)


it literally takes a couple of minutes to cook it in a hot pan. i would crank up the heat so that it caramelizes the sugar in the marinade to get a concentrated flavor. anything longer than a few minutes would make the meat dry. 

verdict | i have to say i was pretty proud of myself with this dish. my first thought when i tasted was 'oh, it really tastes like the real deal!' leaving it overnight was a great idea because it allowed the flavors to combine together. sweet, savory beef slices where its meatiness is echoed by the mushroom slices which did a great job of absorbing the marinade. the onions definitely permeated its flavor throughout the dish so if you are not a huge fan of onions you might want to reduce the amount but i loved the sweetness of it and it would go so well with a bowl of warm rice. one thing i would probably fix is the amount of sesame oil which was a lil strong in the dish. .

now that i know how simple it is to make the marinade, i could always just make my own whenever i want to. ^^

so if you would like to have some bulgogi but can't find a korean restaurant to go to (or find bottled marinades) or even just want to make this dish from scratch, the recipe is as follows:

bulgogi {불고기}
recipe inspired by a few recipes i found online.

ingredients |
  • 1 lb thinly sliced ribeye
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 stalks of green onions, sliced 2" lengthwise
  • 0.5 lb sliced mushroom (i used fresh white mushrooms; optional but preferred)

  • 3 tbs soy sauce
  • 1.5 tbs water
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1 tbs rice wine
  • 1 tbs garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1.5 tbs grated fuji apple (typically it should be Asian pear. if you can't find neither, substitute with apple juice)
  • a dash of black pepper
directions |
  • combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and mix well. transfer it to a huge ziploc bag or container.
  • add the beef slices and make sure the marinade and beef slices are mixed well together. 
  • let marinade in the fridge for at least 3 hours or preferably overnight to let all the ingredients meld together. 
  • heat the pan on medium high and then add the amount of marinated meat you would like to have. 
  • cook until the meat is cooked through and slightly caramelized and the onions softens slightly (typically 6-8 minutes)
disclaimer this is written based on my personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others.


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