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Classic Korean Barbecue (Bulgogi)

Bulgogi (불고기) is another Korean BBQ beef dish that is popular like galbi. Bulgogi, however, is easier to prepare than galbi. Since it uses very thin cuts of meat, it is quicker to marinate and cook. Bulgogi is named after the fact that it is traditionally grilled over an open flame. It quite literally means fire (bul, 불) meat (gogi, 고기) in Korean.

Classic Korean Barbecue (Bulgogi)


For the Marinade:
• Soy Sauce: 1/2 cup
• Sesame Oil: 2 tablespoons
• Brown Sugar: 2 tablespoons
• Honey: 1 tablespoon
• Garlic: 4 cloves, minced
• Ginger: 1 tablespoon, grated
• Asian Pear: 1/2, grated (or 1 small apple)
• Green Onions: 4, finely chopped
• Ground Black Pepper: 1/2 teaspoon
• Sesame Seeds: 1 tablespoon
For the Beef:
• Ribeye or Sirloin Steak: 1 pound, thinly sliced against the grain
For Serving:
• Lettuce Leaves: For wrapping
• Cooked Rice: 4 servings
• Kimchi: For garnish
• Sliced Garlic: Optional, for serving
• Sliced Green Chilies: Optional, for serving
• Ssamjang (Korean BBQ Dipping Sauce): For serving


1. Prepare the Marinade:
◦ In a large mixing bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, honey, minced garlic, grated ginger, grated Asian pear, chopped green onions, ground black pepper, and sesame seeds.
◦ Mix well until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
2. Marinate the Beef:
◦ Add the thinly sliced beef to the marinade, ensuring each piece is well coated.
◦ Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.
3. Prepare the Grill:
◦ Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. If using a charcoal grill, ensure the coals are hot and have an even heat distribution.
◦ Alternatively, you can use a grill pan or a cast-iron skillet on the stove.
4. Grill the Beef:
◦ Remove the beef from the marinade and let any excess drip off.
◦ Grill the beef slices for about 1-2 minutes per side, or until fully cooked and slightly charred. Avoid overcooking to keep the meat tender.
5. Serve:
◦ Arrange the grilled beef on a serving platter.
◦ Serve with lettuce leaves, cooked rice, kimchi, sliced garlic, sliced green chilies, and ssamjang.


Serving Suggestions:
• To enjoy the Korean barbecue, place a slice of grilled beef in a lettuce leaf, add a spoonful of rice, a piece of kimchi, and any optional garnishes like garlic or chilies. Top with a dollop of ssamjang, wrap it up, and enjoy!

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