Dinner Tonight: Korean Barbecue Beef Bulgogi Recipe

Beef bulgogi on a romaine leaf with some white rice.

Serious Eats

I'm still new to this whole Korean barbecue world, but my first foray into the cuisine amazed me. It was kalbi (or galbi), and it has you take thinly sliced short ribs (one of the toughest, fattiest cuts on the steer), marinate them for a few hours, and cook them quickly over high heat. This is a miraculous use of an ingredient that previously I'd only braised for hours on end.

This version of bulgogi that I adapted from Epicurious uses thinly sliced rib-eye or sirloin, and it's even faster than the method above. These get a quick, 30-minute dip in a flavorful marinade—and then it's on the grill and off in a matter of minutes. It doesn't get much simpler.

What you decide to pair the meat with could take longer. I like the idea of wrapping it in lettuce with a little rice. Bibb works best, but the romaine I had on hand wasn't awful. Some kimchi, of course, wouldn't hurt. Neither would a hit of the spicy bean paste. Of course, you could just stuff it into your mouth with a fork if all of this construction is taking too much time.

Recipe Details

Dinner Tonight: Korean Barbecue Beef Bulgogi Recipe

Prep 35 mins
Cook 10 mins
Total 45 mins
Serves 2 to 3 servings


For the Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon mirin

  • 1/2 medium onion

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated

  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the bulgogi:

  • 1 pound rib eye, thinly sliced

  • Lettuce, romaine or bibb

  • 1 cup cooked white rice

  • 1/2 cup kimchi

  • 4 teaspoons hot bean paste


  1. Add the soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, mirin, onion, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, and black pepper to a large bowl. Whisk until combined. Toss in the meat, cover, and set in the fridge for 30 minutes.

  2. Preheat a grill pan or a large iron skillet to high heat. Remove the meat from the marinade, and then toss in the pan. Cook for a few minutes on each side, until nicely browned.

  3. Serve the beef with lettuce, white rice, kimchi, and hot bean paste.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
648 Calories
37g Fat
26g Carbs
52g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 3
Amount per serving
Calories 648
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 37g 48%
Saturated Fat 15g 75%
Cholesterol 153mg 51%
Sodium 949mg 41%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 52g
Vitamin C 3mg 15%
Calcium 71mg 5%
Iron 7mg 36%
Potassium 790mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)