Aug 3, 2020

Bulgogi Beef and Rice Bowl

Prep Time: 1 hr
Cook Time: 15 mins
Bulgogi, Korean BBQ beef, which translates from Korean to “fire meat” is thinly sliced, almost shaved pieces of beef marinated in a sweet, flavorful, soy-based sauce and cooked until the sauce caramelizes and the meat is cooked through.

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Bulgogi, Korean BBQ beef, which translates from Korean to “fire meat” is thinly sliced, almost shaved pieces of beef marinated in a sweet, flavorful, soy-based sauce and cooked until the sauce caramelizes and the meat is cooked through. I enjoy making this bowl for weeknight meals since the meat cooks so quickly. I serve the beef over rice with sesame seeds alongside cabbage, sliced cucumber, kimchi, and ribbons of carrots and green onions.

Bulgogi Beef and Rice Bowl

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Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Beef – I use a well-marbled cut of beef like ribeye or sirloin steak, areas of the cow where the muscles aren’t used as much because in these cuts the beef is very tender and stays tender when quickly cooked in a cast iron pan.
  • Kiwi – I add kiwi to the marinade to help tenderize the meat (pear is often used for this purpose as well).
  • Carrots – While the carrots can simply be sliced, I love the presentation of slicing them into ribbons. I thinly shave the carrots using a mandolin (watch your fingers, it’s sharp) and add them to a bowl of ice-cold water.
  • Gochugaru – Gochugaru is a Korean red pepper powder. It’s also known as Korean chili pepper or Korean hot peppers. Substitute cayenne or red pepper flakes if gochugaru cannot be found.
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How to Make Bulgogi Beef and Rice Bowl

  • Slice the meat. Freeze steak for 2 hours to firm it up, this makes for easier cutting. When firm, use a sharp chef’s knife to thinly slice the meat. Add to a large resealable container.  
  • Make the marinade. Add the kiwis, garlic, green onion, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, brown sugar and ginger gochugaru to the bowl of a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Marinate the meat. Pour the marinade over the sliced meat and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to overnight. 
  • Cook the meat. Drain the excess marinade from the meat. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil and heat through. Working in batches, add half the meat to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce caramelizes and the beef cooks through, about 6 minutes. Remove the meat to a bowl and return the pan to heat, continuing with the remaining beef.
  • Assemble and serve. Divide rice among 4 serving bowls and top with cooked bulgogi, sesame seeds, carrots, cucumber, cabbage, kimchi and green onions. Serve immediately.
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Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

  • If you can’t find kiwis, swap with pears. The also have enzymes that will help tenderize the meat.
  • Freezing the meat before cutting it makes it easier to thinly slice.
Bulgogi, Korean BBQ beef, is thinly sliced beef marinated in a soy-based sauce cooked until the sauce caramelizes and served over rice.

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Bulgogi Beef and Rice Bowl

Print Pin
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 15 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the bulgogi beef: 

  • 2 pounds well-marbled, boneless ribeye or sirloin steak
  • 2 medium kiwis, peeled and quartered 
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 3 green onions, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (or tamari)
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 inch knob ginger, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon gochugaru or red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For assembly:

  • 6 cups steamed long-grain white rice
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and shaved
  • 1 small English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup shaved purple cabbage
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped Napa cabbage kimchi
  • 2 medium green onions, thinly sliced

Instructions:

For the bulgogi beef: 

  • Freeze steak for 2 hours to firm it up, this makes for easier cutting. When firm, use a sharp chef’s knife to thinly slice the meat. Add to a large resealable container.  
  • Add the kiwis, garlic, green onion, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, brown sugar and ginger gocharu to the bowl of a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the marinade over the sliced meat and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to overnight. 
  • Drain the excess marinade from the meat. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil and heat through. Working in batches, add half the meat to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce caramelizes and the beef cooks through, about 6 minutes. Remove the meat to a bowl and return the pan to heat, continuing with the remaining beef.

For assembly: 

  • Divide rice among 4 serving bowls and top with cooked bulgogi, sesame seeds, carrots, cucumber, cabbage, kimchi and green onions. Serve immediately. 

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