Beef Bulgogi


5 from 34 votes
Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.

Learn how to make restaurant style beef bulgogi at home; sweet, smoky, and perfectly grilled. Ready in minutes and sure to impress! 

beef bulgogi.

It’s no secret we are huge fans of Asian cuisine.

I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering I come from a half-Asian background. Many of our dinners are Asian-inspired, and we have a few favorites: Sesame chicken and chicken adobo.

However, when we whip up a fresh batch of bulgogi sauce, bulgogi beef is on the menu!

Table of Contents
  1. What is bulgogi? 
  2. The best bulgogi recipe
  3. Ingredients needed 
  4. How to make beef bulgogi? 
  5. Tips to make the best recipe
  6. Storage instructions 
  7. More Asian recipes you’ll enjoy
  8. Frequently Asked Questions
  9. Beef Bulgogi (Recipe Card)

What is bulgogi? 

Bulgogi is a combination of two Korean words, “Bul” meaning “fire” and “Gogi”, which translates to “meat”. Hence, this dish is famously called “fire meat.” The name reflects the way this traditional Korean dish is cooked. 

When making traditional bulgogi, thin slices of beef, chicken, or pork are cooked on a grill after marinating them in some bulgogi sauce.

The best bulgogi recipe

After spending time in Korea, I made it a mission to recreate the famous beef bulgogi and keep it as authentic as possible. Honestly, this truly tastes like authentic Korean food that you’d find at any good restaurant.

  • Full of flavor. The marinade provides a blend of flavors and gets a smoky flavor during cooking, making it super flavorful.
  • Quick and easy. With very little hands-on time, this recipe comes together quickly.
  • Works with ground beef. While thinly sliced steak is preferred, this works just as well with ground beef.
  • Customizable. While rice is a popular serving suggestion, it tastes delicious over some noodles too.

Ingredients needed 

You’ll love the simple and easy ingredient list for such a flavorful and delicious recipe. Here is what you’ll need:

  • Beef steak. Denver, ribeye, sirloin, or skirt steak are the best cuts to use. 
  • Bulgogi sauce. Skip the expensive store-bought options and make your own at home- it’s so easy and tastes so much better.
  • Oil. Just a touch of any neutral flavored oil to help with cooking. There is already some sesame oil in the actual sauce/marinade. 
  • Onions. Trimmed and sliced. 
  • Salt and pepper. To taste. 

How to make beef bulgogi? 

This recipe is very simple and follows a simple 3-step process. I recommend prepping the sauce and beef in advance, so there is minimal hands-on time. Ready to make some bulgogi? 

Step 1- Freeze and slice the beef 

Start by freezing the beef to make it easier to cut and a way to tenderize it. To do this, cover the beef in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer for an hour until partially frozen. After this time, use a sharp knife to slice it up. 

sliced and trimmed beef.

Step 2-Marinate the beef

Next, add the sliced beef, bulgogi sauce, oil, and onions to a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix well. Let everything sit for 5 minutes, but if you have extra time, you can marinate it for four hours. 

how to make beef bulgogi.

Step 3- Cook the bulgogi

Now, cook the beef. Add a touch of oil to a non-stick pan, skillet, or barbecue. Once hot, add the beef and cook for 30-40 seconds before moving it around until tender, which usually takes around 4 minutes.

bulgogi beef.

Tips to make the best recipe

  • Use good quality beef from a butcher, not a mainstream grocery store. The latter tend to use less than stellar cuts of meat that often contains sinew, bones, and excess fat. 
  • While the beef can be cooked on a skillet or stovetop, try to use a barbecue when possible. It provides the quickest sear and natural smoky flavor. 
  • For the best flavor, marinate the beef for at least an hour, or overnight. This really lets the flavor seep into the beef. 

Storage instructions 

To store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to five days.

To freeze: Place the cooled leftovers in an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months. 

Reheating: It’s best to reheat the beef on a hot skillet or non-stick pan. 

beef bulgogi recipe.

More Asian recipes you’ll enjoy

Frequently Asked Questions

What to serve with bulgogi? 

As beef bulgogi is super flavorful, it’s best to pair it with some steamed rice (we like instant pot brown rice or jasmine rice) or, for something fun, baked sushi or some sushi rice. We sometimes serve it over Korean spicy noodles.

Is bulgogi spicy?

While this dish has some spice elements, it has more of a sweet and umami flavor. However, you can adjust the spice level by adding some hot sauce or Korean chili sauce, gochujang.

Calories per serving?

Per serving, there are just 334 calories. Adjust the calorie count to compensate for rice or side dishes.

beef bulgogi recipe.

Beef Bulgogi

5 from 34 votes
This beef bulgogi recipe is made with thinly sliced marinated beef that is seared to perfection, that tastes like something from a restaurant!
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 10 minutes


  • 1 1/2 lbs skirt steak
  • 1/2 cup bulgogi sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1/2 large onion thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  • Place the beef in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer for at least an hour. Once firm, use a sharp knife to slice it into 1/4-inch strips.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the sliced beef, along with the bulgogi sauce, oil, and onions, then season with salt and pepper. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes, or up to two hours.
  • Once ready to cook, add oil to a non-stick skillet and place it over hot heat. Once hot, add the beef and cook for 1-2 minutes, until seared on all sides.
  • Transfer to a plate and cover with tin foil for 3 minutes. After that, serve immediately.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 150kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 20gFat: 6gSodium: 819mgPotassium: 305mgFiber: 0.2gVitamin A: 8IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 12mgIron: 2mgNET CARBS: 4g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Korean
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

You May Also Like

5 from 34 votes (31 ratings without comment)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    DELICIOUSNESS! Served over white rice. This was my first attempt at making a korean dish, so happy I did! Thank you for posting.

  2. 5 stars
    great dish, would not have known where to start otherwise, nice to know too how to make bulgogi sauce, so appreciate that recipe too, thank you