Dig In: Bulgogi (Korean BBQ)

Korean Beef BBQ (Bulgogi불고기 )

Bulgogi is a traditional Korean dish of thinly sliced marinated beef grilled on a barbecue. The translation of the word bulgogi literally means, Fire Meat


Listed as number 23 on the world’s 50 Best Foods, it comes as no surprise after experiencing the delicious succulent taste. Marinated in a savory sweet concoction the flavors melt into the beef over time allowing for an almost perfect meal. This dish is traditionally grilled, but can also be sautéed for equal enjoyment, and is best served with steamed rice, kimchi, or pickled vegetables.

There are variations to this dish to accommodate even the pickiest of palettes. For instance, there’s Dak Bulgogi (chicken) and Dwaeii Bulgogi (Pork) and for vegetarians, shitake mushrooms may be used as a substitute.

bulgogi2Bulgogi is believed to have originated in one of the three ancient kingdoms of Korea known as Goguryeo, which was located in the northern-central region of Korea.

At one point, Bulgogi was originally called Maekjeok (맥적) where the beef was instead grilled on skewers. Additionally, the dish was once called Neobiani (너비아니) meaning “thinly spread meat”.

 Ingredients and Their Translations

bulgogi3Beef ———————–Soegogi ——————- 쇠고기
Soy Sauce —————- Gajang ———————– 간장
Brown Sugar —— Galsaeg seoltang ——— 갈색 설탕
Sesame Oil ———– Chamgileum —————- 참기름
Garlic ——————– Maneul ———————- 마늘bulgogi4
Green Onions —– Nogsaeg yangpa ——— 녹색 양파
Black Pepper ———– Huchu ———————– 후추
Asian Pear ————- Asia Bae ————– 아시아 배
Onion ——————– Yangpa ———————- 양파
Carrot —————- Dang-geun ——————— 당근

Let’s Get Cooking!

  • 1 pound Beef (shaved thin)
  • 1/3 cups Soy Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 3 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 3 large Cloves Garlic (crushed)
  • 3 Green Onions (minced)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 Asian pear (pureed)
  • 1/4 large Onion (pureed)
  • 1/4 large Onion, (julienned)
  • 1/2 Carrot (match-sticked)
  1. Mix together the beef, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic, green onions, black pepper, pear purée, onion, and carrot.
  2. Allow ingredients to marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or more to allow the flavors to meld together. Hint: the longer it marinates, the more tender the beef will become.
  3. Using a BBQ grill, place the ingredients into a colander or vessel with holes. Grill over high heat until the beef is cooked all the way through and you can smell the wonderful aroma. Optional: this dish can also be sautéed over high heat. The same rules apply.
  4. Serve and enjoy with a side of steamed rice, kimchi, and tazukuri (candied sardines).
Jack Achenbach

Jack Achenbach

I am an SLE Storyteller and a culinary nutrition student at Johnson & Wales University who believes that there is no limit to the size of one’s imagination nor the paths one travels. I am a writer, a sucker for a great story. I am chef with a culinary passion. I am an adventurer because I explore what yet I have not seen. I am a dreamer because I dream the impossible dream.

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