Learn how to make this easy and delicious bulgogi sauce and start making your Korean favorites at home! Sweet and salty, it works as a marinade, dipping sauce, or even a dressing!
Coming from a half Asian background, it should come as no surprise that I have a slew of Asian inspired recipes.
I know I shouldn’t play favorites, but we are obsessed with making beef bulgogi, especially for its sauce!
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What does bulgogi sauce taste like?
Bulgogi sauce is considered being the BBQ sauce of Asian and Korean cuisine. It’s sweet, smoky, and slightly tangy, and has a subtle spice hit thanks to the chili sauce. In many Korean restaurants, they actually serve this as a dipping sauce too!
Sure you could buy the pre-bottled kind, but where is the fun in that? Making your own is so easy.
Why this bulgogi sauce recipe will be a condiment staple:
- Ready in seconds. No boiling, steaming, or caramelizing required- everything is whisked together in one bowl.
- Authentic flavor. This sauce is sweet, it’s tangy, and it has some spice. Honestly, you’d think this was from a Korean restaurant.
- Versatile. While this sauce is famous in beef bulgogi, it can also be used as a marinade or sauce too.
What we love about this recipe is just how easy is it to make. If you find yourself with a delicious cut of beef, pork, or chicken, simply slice it up and make this sauce and you’ll have dinner ready in minutes!
This recipe uses very simple and uses basic pantry ingredients. The only one you might need to hit up the grocery store for is the Gochujang, but it’s so popular, you’ll find it at any basic store or even online. Here is what you’ll need:
- Soy sauce. Low sodium and gluten-free options work.
- Brown sugar. Adds sweetness and balances out the salty and umami ingredients.
- Sesame oil. A must for Asian marinade or sauces. A little goes a very long way, so try not to go overboard with it.
- Pear. Finely grated to an almost mushy texture. If you can find it, you can also use pear juice.
- Garlic. Freshly minced.
- Gochujang. Very popular in Korean cuisine, this is their staple chili pepper sauce. If you can’t find this anywhere, you can use any chili sauce of choice.
How to make bulgogi sauce
Making this sauce is very simple.
All you do is whisk the ingredients together until combined. If you notice some separation, let it sit for half an hour.
Start by mixing the soy sauce with all the ingredients except for the grated pear.
Next, gently fold through the grated pear until combined.
How to use this sauce
If you’ve been to any Korean restaurant before, you’ll know that you can get all kinds of bulgogi based dishes, including chicken, seafood and tofu.
Jazz up some noodles by making it the main sauce in a chow mein or noodle stir fry.
- To store: If you haven’t used the sauce to marinate beef or chicken (or any other protein), you can store leftovers in the refrigerator, covered, for up to one week. Sometimes the sauce will thicken and if that happens, let it bring it to room temperature before using it.
- To freeze: Place the sauce in a shallow container and store it in the freezer for up to two months.
More sauce recipes to try
Frequently Asked Questions
While Bulgogi sauce is sometimes considered to be a Korean BBQ sauce, their actual BBQ sauce is actually sweeter and doesn’t include any spice.
Thanks to the popularity of Korean cuisine, most grocery stores sell pre-made bulgogi sauce. Alternatively, you can also buy it online.
- In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients, except for the pear and Gochujang.
- Fold through the grated pear until just combined. Add the gochujang and use immediately.
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