Friday, November 30, 2007


Bulgogi is one of Korea's most popular beef dishes. It involves marinating beef in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and other ingredients that vary by region. I first heard about this dish on the Nest Hawaii board, where nestie MrsRollergirl had shared her recipe. Her husband is Korean, and this recipe is from his mother. I kept seeing post after post from various people raving about it! With so many great reviews, I knew I had to try it. When I asked MrsRollergirl how I could credit her mother-in-law for the recipe, I gave her a few ideas... I said she could post just her first name, or something like Mrs. S, if she didn't want both her first and last name posted. She told me to credit it to "Mrs. Sassy Pants" ;)

I have never had bulgogi anywhere else, so I really can't vouch for how 'authentic' this is; regardless, I love this dish :) I usually prepare it the day before and let it marinate in the fridge overnight, so it makes a great weeknight meal because all I have to do when I get home from work is throw some rice in the rice cooker and stir fry the meat. Be careful at the end when you are thickening up the sauce -- taste it as you go along (after it has heated through) because if you simmer it too long, the sauce will be way too salty!

*Edit: I used a petite sirloin for this recipe because that is what I had on hand (which is good but not great in terms of tenderness). If you like your beef very tender, use short loin cuts (porterhouse, T-bone, top loin, tenderloin). The most tender cuts will be your Chateaubriand or Filet, which are the best parts of the tenderloin.

Another thing to note is that if you are buying soy sauce, make sure you don't skimp. Authentic soy sauce is made from fermented soybeans. If you look closely on the labels, the cheaper brands contain "hydrolyzed soy protein" instead. That said, I haven't noticed much of a difference in flavor with the "less sodium" soy sauces, so I tend to use those instead. Make sure you also refrigerate your soy sauce after opening, otherwise it may become slightly bitter over time.

from Mrs. Sassy Pants ;)

1 1/2 lb. top sirloin or other tender steak, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup soy sauce (I used Kikkoman 37% less sodium soy sauce)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4-6 green onions
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp black pepper

Brown the sesame seeds lightly in a pan with a small amount of butter (I used 1/2 tbsp), stirring constantly; cool, then pulverize in a food processor (or crush inside a ziploc).

Combine the sesame seeds with the remaining six ingredients and mix well. Add beef and marinate at least 1 hour.

Remove meat from marinade and stir fry on high heat. Once cooked, transfer meat to a plate. Pour leftover marinade back into pan and simmer for about 10 minutes until sauce thickens. Add meat back to the sauce and cook until heated through. Serve on sticky rice.


  1. i keep hearing about this dish and i cant wait to try it! sounds yummy!

  2. This looks very easy and sounds yummy. I'm always looking for easy-to-make weeknight dinners and this looks like it may fit the bill. Did you use top sirloin, as called for? I like my beef very tender, so am curious how it turned out for you.

  3. i used a petite sirloin which was what i had on hand (good but not great in terms of tenderness). if you like your beef very tender i would use either short loin cuts (porterhouse, t-bone, top loin, tenderloin) or chateaubriand/filet which is technically part of the tenderloin

  4. mmm i'm so putting this on my list of meals to try!