This dish is courtesy of my pen-pal JungHo, who was kind enough to suggest it.
Bulgogi (불고기 ) is marinated beef that is traditionally grilled, although in my case I cooked it inside in a pan. It’s usually served with a spicy dipping sauce, hence the meaning of “fire meat” and wrapped in lettuce.
After browsing through the internet for a good recipe, I ended up just getting a general idea of what was in it and then making my own combination. So this is what worked for me:
1/2 pound beef tenderloin (filet mignon)
5 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp mirin
2.5 Tbsp light brown sugar
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1/4 C green onion, chopped small
1/8 C carrot, sliced or chopped thinly
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp sesame oil
A little bit of vegetable oil for the pan.
- (Optional) Place beef in the freezer for about hour or two until it is slightly frozen. This will make it a lot easier to slice if you are doing it by hand.
- In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, mirin, sugar, sesame seeds, garlic, onion, carrot, and pepper. (That’s everything except the beef and sesame oil) Mix well until the sugar is dissolved.
- Slice the beef into thin strips. Set aside.
- Add the sesame oil to your marinade and stir to combine. (The taste will be stronger if you add the sesame oil in Step 2)
- Add the beef to your marinade mixture and mix it well. You want to make sure the marinade is in between each of the thin slices and has coated all of the beef. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- You want your pan to be very hot, so get it preheated over high heat.
- I turned the temperature down to medium high for cooking, but you can get a feel for how it’s going depending on your stove. Add the beef to the hot pan and cook on both sides. You want it to be “well done” to the point where it gets a little caramelized and darker around the edges and the liquid is reduced. (This is where having a very tender cut of steak is helpful.)
- Serve the cooked meat hot over white rice. Or, if you want to go the traditional route, take a piece of lettuce, add the rice and bulgogi, wrap it up and enjoy.
This serves two, however I think it would be plenty of marinade for a whole pound of meat if you want to up the servings.
Not that you need a picture to know what beef looks like, but this is about how thin you want it: