Friday, June 4, 2010

Bulgogi – Korean BBQ

For those that didn’t know I lived in South Korea for 5 years.  So Korean food is part of my blood.  I often make Korean dishes and very often to go the Asian Grocery stores here and get some fresh Kimchi.

For those that are new to Korean food there are a few things that are key to Korean cooking. Here are 4 things you need to know or get, to start cooking Korea food. There is a lot more to Korean food but these are 4 key starting points.

  1. Kimchi a traditional Korean fermented dish made of vegetables with garlic, salt and chili past, the seasoning varies a little depending on the family. It is most commonly made with napa cabbage and other vegetables such as radish, green onion, chive, and cucumber. Kimchi is the most common banchan, or side dish, in Korean cuisine. Kimchi is also a main ingredient for other common Korean dishes such as Kimchi stew;  kimchi jjigae), Kimchi soup ( kimchi gook), and kimchi fried rice kimchi bokkeumbap).
  2. Gochujang is an amazing chili paste that is used in Korean cooking and also as a condiment.  It is spicy but with a little bit of sweetness.
  3. Doenjang  is a traditional Korean fermented soybean paste. Its name literally means “thick paste” in Korean.  Also used as a condiment with Bulgogi or in marinades.
  4. Sesame oil is an oil from sesame seeds. It is very common cooking oil in the Korean kitchen.

Bulgogi is one of my favorite Korean dishes.  In restaurants this meat is broiled at the table on a grill over charcoal or gas.  The meat is very thinly sliced, most American grocery stores will not slice the meat this thin, you can do it yourself if you freeze the meat, it is much easier to cut thinly.  But if you go to an Asian grocery store you can get thinly cut sukiyaki meat that works great with bulgogi.

Then once you are ready to eat this bulgogi it is served with lettuce, difference kinds of kimchi, doenjang and rice.  They way I love to do it is take a piece of lettuce, put some doenjang on it, meat, rice and kimchi and make a roll.  It is delishhh!

Another new condiment you might see here is Mirin. Mirin is an is an essential condiment used in Japanese cuisine, and a sweet rice wine. I like to use this for cooking in stead of sugar if you need to add some sweetness.

For those that do not live close to an Asian grocery store you can eliminate the kimchi, doenjang and use other chili peppers and it will still turn out great.

For other variations to this recipe you can also do this with pork or chicken.


Bulgogi – Korean BBQ

1 lb very thin sliced beef
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp miring or sugar or 1/2 Asian pear in small cubes sliced
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
4 medium green onions chopped
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 tsp fresh ginger finely chopped
1 tbsp rice wine
2 Korean fresh chili peppers sliced or 1 tsp of dried Korean chili flakes

In a bowl add the soy sauce, mirin (sugar or pear if you choose to use that) sesame oil, salt, pepper, green onions, garlic cloves ginger, rice wine and chili pepper.  Stir all together.  Then add your thinly sliced meat.  Marinade for a few hours.

Serve with lettuce, kimchi, doenjang, and rice.

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24 Responses to “Bulgogi – Korean BBQ”

  1. 1

    Deanna — June 4, 2010 @ 3:13 pm

    I love bulgogi. I’ve always seen it made with short ribs that are cut into long thin strips. Fresh from the grill with the fat still sizzling? Its the best.

    • Delishhh replied: — June 7th, 2010 @ 3:47 pm

      Deanna, so when they make the short ribs version it is called Galbi, the marinade is pretty much the same but i prefer Bulgogi over Galbi but i think that is just a matter of what kind of meat you like. But most of the time here in the US they are called Korean BBQ and you just have to say if you want the Galbi or Bulgogi. All the side dishes and kimchi stays the same.

  2. 2

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  3. 3

    Magdalena — June 4, 2010 @ 3:38 pm

    I have read about this bulgogi lately, but I have never tried (and I would like to). It intrigues me.

    • Delishhh replied: — June 7th, 2010 @ 3:49 pm

      Oh Magdalena – most eastern European folks that i know that enjoy herring, sauerkraut etc. also enjoy kimchi, I think it is in the same family just a spicy version of it. If you ever make Bulgogi you have to let me know what you think, the kimchi it is best if you just buy it for the first time.

  4. 4

    anabel — June 4, 2010 @ 6:40 pm

    Looks delicious. Wish I could find the ingredients down here.

    • Delishhh replied: — June 7th, 2010 @ 3:50 pm

      Anabel – Someone else asked me about these ingredients and you can get most of them online, even sells them.

  5. 5

    Anne's Kitchen — June 4, 2010 @ 11:40 pm

    Hey Delishhh!
    I’ve been meaning to write to you for ages, so here I finally am! 🙂 I didn’t know you lived in South Korea for so long, that’s pretty cool! So please share more Korean recipes for us, I’m a total fan of Kimchi and regularly hunt some down in London’s Koran shops!
    Looks and sounds yummy what you made here!

    • Delishhh replied: — June 7th, 2010 @ 3:51 pm

      Anne – I am so glad you stopped by, i love your blog. I will definitly share some more recipes. I am glad we have some more kimchi lovers here 🙂

  6. 6

    Tatiana — June 5, 2010 @ 12:56 am

    You should try Asian Home Gourmet Bulgogi Marinade . Is easy and tasty. The recipe has all the authentic ingredients.

    • Delishhh replied: — June 7th, 2010 @ 3:36 pm

      Tatiana, I will have to try that. I have tried other marinades and they are usually too sweet for me. But i will try this one and let you know. Thanks for letting me know and thanks for stopping by.

  7. 7

    Tomi — June 5, 2010 @ 11:16 am

    Sounds dee-lish! I enjoy cooking and would love to share this recipe on my blog.

    • Delishhh replied: — June 7th, 2010 @ 3:17 pm

      Tomi – please do share this recipe on your blog just please link back to me. Thanks!

  8. 8

    IslandEAT — June 6, 2010 @ 10:20 am

    Hi, Ewa. I really enjoyed this post – and learned more about two key aspects of Korean cuisine (I’ve known about kimchi and sesame seed oil for years but never knew too much about “gochujang” and “doenjang”).

    I hope all is well with you, just “south of the border”!



    • Delishhh replied: — June 7th, 2010 @ 3:34 pm

      Hi Dan, i am glad you learned something new :). You have to try out gochujang at least, i don’t know about you, but i love chili sauce and this is a really good one that one just gets addicted to.

  9. 9

    Leslie — June 6, 2010 @ 3:00 pm

    Thank you for being a follower on Blog Frog. I haven’t really worked on creating a community there and I haven’t kept up with my followers. I’m trying to change that:)

    • Delishhh replied: — June 7th, 2010 @ 3:34 pm

      Leslie – oh thanks so much for stopping by.

  10. 10

    pierre — June 6, 2010 @ 11:22 pm

    hi there i must admit that kimchi has been difficult for me but bbq is ok !! Pierre de Paris

    • Delishhh replied: — June 7th, 2010 @ 3:35 pm

      Pierre, i can understand the kimchi part. But you can have just the BBQ and rice and it is still very good.

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