Thursday, September 9, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Bulgogi

A few weeks ago, we had an end of summer/company BBQ at my boss's house. His girlfriend, Helen is Korean and served Bulgogi (for the second year in a row). It is an amazing dish and Helen was kind enough to share her recipe, which is easy to make...a great summer appetizer and can easily be turned into a main meal with veggies and rice.

Bulgogi is a Korean dish that usually consists of marinated beef, although chicken or pork may also be used. Bulgogi literally means "fire meat" in Korean, which refers to the cooking technique—over an open flame—rather than the dish's spiciness. It is made from thin sliced of sirloin which is marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic and scallions.

Helen's Bulgogi

1/2 Tablespoon Sugar
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
3 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Korean or Japanese cooking wine
1 Tablespoon Vinegar

3 Garlic Cloves, grated or minced fine
1/2 Cup Green Onions
1-1.5 lbs. of thinly sliced rib-eye steak
1 large head of green leaf or iceberg lettuce


It is very important to partially freeze the meat first, this aids you in cutting the meat into thin slices. Make sure the meat is still frozen, but workable.

Cut the meat into thin thin as possible.

Put the slices into the large mixing bowl and sprinkle sugar over it and mix with hands or chopsticks. Let it sit for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the marinade.

Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, black pepper, cooking wine and vinegar. After mixing, taste it. You want to have a slightly salty, sweet taste. If it's too salty, add a bit more sugar.

Mince garlic into small pieces (or use a grater), cut green onion into 2 to 3 inch pieces and put into sugar/meat mixture. Mix well, using hands or chopsticks. It is important to mix thoroughly so the marinade is evenly distributed throughout the meat.

Refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.

Either pan fry in a hot and oiled pan or you can grill, preferably using a grill pan. Some people prefer to cook the bulgogi until some of the edges have turned dark brown and crispy.

To serve, wrap meat in lettuce - like a little taco with some rice (Helen also served with kimchi).

Recipe courtesy of Helen (thanks for making this again....sorry we demanded that you make it or the BBQ was off...we were only joking)
Image courtesy of Google Images (Helen was too camera shy)