This Korean Beef Bulgogi recipe is full of delicious Asian flavors!
This marinade is packed with sweet, savory, and smoky flavors from the soy sauce, sesame oil, and fresh ginger making this marinade a go-to favorite for any meat. This recipe pairs well with our Spicy Asian Cucumber salad.
Ingredients for our Korean Beef Bulgogi Recipe
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
- Minced garlic – 3 cloves
- Sriracha sauce – 2 teaspoons, or add more for a spicer marinade
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- Finely chopped scallions – we use 2 scallions
- 1-1/2 pounds skirt steak or flank steak
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
How to make Korean Beef Bulgogi:
- The marinade: In a medium bowl mix together soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic, Sriracha, sugar, and scallions. Whisk together until well blended.
- Add steak to the marinade covering both sides of steak.
- Marinate for 6 hours prior to grilling in the refrigerator. Skirt steak will cook up better the longer it is marinated. Overnight is great but, no longer than 24 hours.
- Heat the grill to medium-high.
- Remove steak from marinade and reserve about ¼ cup of marinade.
- Oil the grill rack, then grill steak, turning over after 5 minutes. Cook for 5 minutes on the other side. Steak should cook for 10 minutes in total.
- Heat the ¼ cup of leftover marinade either on the stovetop or in the microwave. Be sure to bring the marinade to a boil.
- Transfer steak to cutting board or platter to rest for 5 minutes.
- Thinly slice steak across the grain.
- Drizzle heated marinade over the top of the sliced steak and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds for garnish. Serve.
What is Korean Beef Bulgogi?
Bulgogi simply means “fire meat”. It is a Korean style of grilling marinated beef or pork, on the barbecue, or on a stove top grill pan.
What cut of meat is best for Korean Bulgogi?
We prefer to use skirt steak with this Bulgogi recipe but flank steak is also a great choice.
What is the difference between Skirt steak and Flank steak?
Skirt steak is a thin, quick-cooking cut of meat that delivers big flavor. The cut is a long thin piece, but it’s a prime cut. Skirts normally come in pieces weighing 3/4 to 1-1/2 pounds, and you should look for thicker pieces.
Flank steak is similar, has lots of intense beefy flavor, but can be a little tougher so may require a longer marinade.
Both cuts are great steaks for marinating, but skirt steak tends to be more tender. Eat it thinly sliced and cut against the grain to maximize tenderness.
How do you cut steaks against the grain?
It’s a familiar term but what does it mean? In simple terms, it just means it’s the direction of the muscle fibers in meat. So carve across those fibers, rather than parallel with the fibers. This will result in a more tender slice of meat.
How is Bulgogi traditionally served?
Korean style Bulgogi is traditionally served sliced and with many small side dishes called “banchan”. It’s fun to add lots of flavorful dishes, but we chose to keep ours pretty simple and we also include a side of rice.
Here are a few simple ideas for Banchan:
- Bean sprouts marinated in sesame oil and sprinkled with sesame seeds and coarse sea salt
- Scallions (green onions) sliced on the diagonal
- Leafy green lettuce pieces to wrap up the bulgogi (like a little burrito)
- Sauteed spinach with sesame oil and seeds
- Our Spicy Asian Cucumber Salad
Pair this steak with delicious recipes from our site:
- Asian Coleslaw with Peanut Dressing is a great side dish with this steak
- Traditional Korean-style Scallion Pancakes with Ginger Soy Dipping Sauce are the perfect starter!
- Spicy Szechuan Green Beans bring even more flavor to the meal
Korean Beef Bulgogi Recipe
- Grill or Grill Pan
- ¼ cup light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 3 clove minced garlic
- 2 tsp Sriracha sauce
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 whole scallions, finely chopped, reserve green part for garnish
- 1½ pounds Skirt steak or flank steak
- 2 tbsp Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
- In a medium bowl mix together soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, Sriracha, sugar, sesame oil, and white part of scallions. Whisk together until well blended.
- Add steak to marinade covering both sides of steak. Marinade for 6 hours prior to grilling in the refrigerator. Skirt steak will be more tender the longer it's marinated. Overnight is great but, no longer than 24 hours.
- Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. Remove steak from marinade and reserve about ¼ cup of marinade.
- Oil the grill rack, then grill steak for 5 minutes on the first side. Flip over and cook for additional 5 minutes on the other side. Grill for 10 minutes total.
- Transfer steak to cutting board or platter and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Thinly slice across the grain.
- While steak is resting heat ¼ cup of leftover marinade either on the stovetop or in the microwave. Be sure to bring it to a boil.
- Drizzle heated marinade over the top of sliced steak. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and green part of scallions for garnish and serve.