I was a little late to the Korean Beef, better known as Bulgogi, food train. The first time I heard of it was when my mother came home from someone’s home for dinner, raving about this Korean beef that the husband made for dinner. When my mother raves about someone’s cooking, I pay attention. Of course, as we do in our family, we look up recipes and history about the dish, and set about seeing which version we like best.
This recipe is a super simple marinade which actually works great on chicken as well. I will admit, I don’t know how authentic this is. I see all sorts of Bulgogi recipes out there, some with vegetables, some without. If anyone has more authority on what authentic Bulgogi is, please comment and let me know. I want to know!
Authentic or not, this dish is fantastic, never mind being fast and easy and the perfect meal for a weeknight.
You can leave it marinating for 30 minutes, but I like to leave it marinating the day before I know I won’t have time to cook; then I can just come home and fry this up and within a few minutes, fantastic dinner is on the table. Or sometimes I’ll leave it marinating in the morning and voila, dinner is served in under ten minutes.
Gochujang is a red chili paste that can be found in the Asian section of your supermarket, and if not, Asian specialty stores. It’s a thick condiment that’s spicy and pungent in flavor, which is why you usually need a very small amount of it. We have a one pound tub of it that we bring from Canada and keep it refrigerated after opening. It keeps well in the fridge and even though we use it in different dishes, lasts us awhile. I used to be afraid of going on the search for ingredients I don’t use a lot, but I’m not anymore. I like having the access to a flavor profile that is different from our every day tastes here in Mexico.
If you want to mix it up, make it and eat in over rice, in tacos, or even toss it in a salad. Add some pepper for color if you so choose. I do promise that you’ll fall in love with the flavors and want it again and again.
- 1/3 bosch pear, grated
- 2 TAB soy sauce
- 1 TAB gochugaru
- 1 TAB ginger, diced
- 1 TAB brown sugar
- 1 TAB sesame oil
- 1 lb boneless sirloin steak
- vegetable oil for frying
- 4 green onions, chopped
- Bibb Lettuce leaves, washed and dried
Combine pear, soy sauce, gochugaru, ginger, brown sugar, and sesame oil in a bowl. Slice steak into strips and add to bowl. Combine well. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, or pour into a resealable ziploc bag, seal well, refrigerate up to 8 hours. Heat a large skillet with vegetable oil, cook beef until lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes. (Or alternatively, grill on a bbq about a minute per side). Transfer to plate, top with green onions.
Serve in washed and cleaned lettuce leaves or over rice if you prefer.