Korean beef bulgogi

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Bulgogi is a very popular Korean dish, usually consisting of grilled and thinly sliced marinated beef. Victoria Glass' easy beef bulgogi recipe uses a ready-made marinade infused with Korean gochujang chilli paste. Garnished with spring onion (another essential Korean store cupboard ingredient) and served with noodles and quick pickled carrots, it makes an easy meal for two.

First published in 2016

Life’s too short to eat dull food. It can be all too easy to fall back on the same rotation of recipes, week in and week out. When you’re hungry after a long day, but tired from a long week, dinner can sometimes feel like a chore. Eating something special needn’t be tricky or time consuming. When it comes to making an impact with flavour, a punchy BBQ marinade will cling to your beef and create a delicious sticky, spicy sauce. The marinade contains a blend of gochujang spices for an authentic Korean flavour.

Bulgogi is a traditional Korean dish, originating from the Goguryeo era. Different regions have their own way of cooking bulgogi, but I like to add grated pear – a common ingredient in Korean marinades, as pears contain calpain, an enzyme which helps tenderise meat. Pineapple and kiwi contain the same enzyme, so you can substitute either if you wish, but I like the subtle flavour that pear brings.

Bulgogi loosely translates as 'fire meat'. If the weather’s nice, you can take it literally and fire up the barbie for these marinated steaks, otherwise a hot frying pan will make this dish the work of moments. Quick, pickled carrot strips are the perfect foil for the sweet, piquant bulgogi and glass noodles are naturally gluten-free (they are made from mung beans or sweet potato) and low-carb and make for a speedy and light summer supper that practically everyone can enjoy.




Marinated steak

  • 2 sirloin steaks
  • 1 pear, grated
  • 180g of Korean BBQ Marinade

Pickled carrot

To serve


Place the steaks in a shallow dish with the grated pear. Pour over the Korean marinade and toss together to coat fully. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or ideally overnight
An hour before cooking, take the steaks out of the fridge to allow them to come up to room temperature
Meanwhile, prepare the carrot pickle. In a small bowl, toss together the carrot ribbons, salt, sugar, soy sauce and mirin. Mix in the red pepper or chilli flakes (if using) and leave to pickle for 30 minutes or until serving
Place a frying pan or griddle over a high heat. Wipe most of the excess marinade off the steaks (reserving for later) and add to the hot pan. Cook for 2 minutes each side for rare, or 3 minutes for medium
Leave the steaks to rest tented in foil for 5–10 minutes. Tip the reserved marinade into a small pan and place over a gentle heat to warm through
Meanwhile, cook the rice noodles in boiling salted water for 4–5 minutes, or according to packet instructions
Drain the cooked noodles and toss with the sesame oil to coat. Divide the noodles and carrots between 2 serving plates and sprinkle over the sesame seeds
Slice the steaks and spoon over the warm marinade. Scatter over the sliced spring onion to serve

Victoria is a London-based food writer and recipe developer. She was the Roald Dahl Museum’s first ever Gastronomic Writer in Residence and has written six books, including her latest, Too Good To Waste.

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