Bulgogi Beef (Korean Barbeque) Recipe

Bulgogi Beef (Korean Barbeque)

Serves 4

Bulgogi, directly translated as "fire beef," is a classic and popular Korean dish. The marinade traditionally contains kiwi, used for its powerful meat-tenderizing enzymes. Wrap it in lettuce leaves or serve atop bibimbap – bowls of rice, meat and vegetables all topped with fried egg.


  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 pounds beef top sirloin, 1/8-inch sliced (see Cook’s Tips)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled, divided use
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and rough chopped
  • 1/2 kiwi, peeled
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon high-heat vegetable oil, divided use
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds


  1. In a large bowl, mix baking soda with a tablespoon of cold water. Add beef and mix until evenly coated with baking soda solution. (See Cook’s Tips.) Set aside.
  2. Slice onion in half. Cut one half into thin slices; cover and refrigerate. Roughly chop other half.
  3. Chef's Note:
  4. Make marinade: In a blender, combine chopped onion, garlic, ginger, kiwi, soy sauce, mirin, sugar, sesame oil, and pepper. Blend until smooth.
  5. Pour marinade over beef and mix until evenly coated. Refrigerate for 1 hour or up to overnight.
  6. Heat a large non-stick skillet or wok on high heat. Add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil and sliced onions. Sauté until caramelized on edges but still crispy. Transfer to a serving platter.
  7. Return skillet to burner. Heat 1 - 2 teaspoons vegetable oil over high heat. Add 1/3 - 1/2 of beef with marinade and cook, stirring often, until sauce has evaporated, beef is cooked through, and edges are browned. Repeat with remaining beef. (Working in batches avoids crowding the skillet and enables proper browning.) Wash skillet between batches to prevent sugary sauce from scorching. Transfer cooked beef to serving platter and place atop sautéed onions.
  8. Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds before serving.
  9. Cook’s Tips:
  10. Partially freeze beef before slicing to achieve extra thin strips. Or, save time and ask your local butcher to thinly slice beef for you. They may already have it ready!
  11. Treating beef with baking soda allows meat to absorb more marinade and remain juicy and tender after cooking. It also allows for better browning by preventing meat from releasing moisture in pan.


Amount Per Serving (based on 4 servings)
Calories: 320
Saturated Fat: 2.5 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Total Fat: 10 g
Cholesterol: 115 mg
Sodium: 2270 mg
Carbohydrates: 12 g
Fiber: 1 g
Added Sugars: 3 g
Total Sugar: 7 g
Protein: 44 g
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