Bulgogi ( 불고기 ) is probably the most beloved Korean dish among foreigners. Whenever we ask our guests what they like to eat they will definitely answer “Bulgogi !”. Indeed, whether you cook it on the barbeque or fry it in a pan, eating Bulgogi is always fun. Especially, eating with your hands, to make a wrap of lettuce and cooked meat, makes eating Bulgogi even more delicious.

Most foreigners are only familiar with the beef Bulgogi, but there are some other delicious variations like dwaeji (pork) bulgogi ( 돼지 불고기 ) , dak (chicken) bulgogi ( 닭 불고기 ). Bulgogi can also be used with noodles like in japchae ( 잡채 ), or in bibimbap ( 비빔밥 ) and kimbap ( 김밥 ).

Bulgogi literally means “fire meat’ referring to the fact that the meat is normally grilled on a fire. These days people often use a special plate on a gas burner that can be used inside and outside.

Gasburner and typical Korean cooking plate for bulgogi or other dishes
Gasburner and typical Korean cooking plate for bulgogi or other dishes

Bulgogi is normaly served with a bowl of rice, with kimchi, lettuce, ssamjang or an other dipping sauce. With a cup of soju this dish will only taste better !

I would like to share my favorite Bulgogi recipe that we normally use at home.

Use 500 gram of beef or sirloin, cut very thin strips (partially freezing the beef helps with cutting clean slices) and marinate for 24 hours with a marinade of :

  • 1 cup of soy sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 1 crushed clove of garlic
  • 4 tablespoons of roasted and crushed sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar to keep the meat soft
  • 1 tablespoon of soju or dry sherry
  • a pinch of pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of chopped spring onions
  • 1 sliced onion
  • optional : 1/2 teaspoon ginger finely minced

My favorite Bulgogi dipsauce

  • 1 tablespoon of sesame salt
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of wine
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of chopped spring onions
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon op black pepper

Mix well and place in the refrigerator. Stir well before serving and have a nice meal !

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