Classic Bulgogi For Your Korean Bapsang

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Bulgolgi (pronounced bul-go-gi) is a staple dish in Korean cuisine, featuring thinly sliced marinated beef traditionally cooked over charcoal. The word itself translates to “fire meat,” referencing the sizzling and smoky flavors imparted by the grilling process. However, modern adaptations allow for delicious bulgogi on your stovetop or even in a pan, making it a fantastic option for a quick and flavorful weeknight meal.

This recipe guides you through creating authentic bulgogi for your home bapsang (Korean dining table).

Slow Cooker Beef Bulgogi
Slow Cooker Beef Bulgogi


1 pound beef chuck eye roast, thinly sliced (around 1/8 inch thickness)

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Korean pear juice (or substitute with 1 tablespoon apple juice)
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean chili paste) – adjust for spice preference
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame seeds (for garnish)
  • Green onions, sliced (for garnish)

  • Directions:

    1. Marinate the Beef: In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, honey, ginger, garlic, pear juice, gochujang, rice wine vinegar, and black pepper. Add the thinly sliced beef and toss thoroughly to coat the meat in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or ideally, several hours for deeper flavor.

    2. Cook the Bulgogi: Heat a large skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the marinated beef and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan, as this can lead to the meat steaming instead of searing.

    3. Serve and Enjoy: Plate the cooked bulgogi and garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onions. Traditionally, bulgogi is served with rice, kimchi, and other banchan (Korean side dishes) for a complete and satisfying bapsang experience.

    Nutrition Facts (per serving):

    Calories: 400

  • Fat: 20g
  • Carbohydrates: 20g
  • Protein: 30g
  • Sodium: 800mg (depending on soy sauce brand)

  • Note: This is an approximate nutritional breakdown and may vary depending on the specific ingredients used.


    Bulgogi is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in various ways. It’s perfect for a main course, served with rice and vegetables, or even used in lettuce wraps or Korean tacos. The sweet and savory marinade combined with the tender beef creates a truly delicious and satisfying meal.

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    1. Can I substitute the beef cut?

    Yes, you can substitute the beef chuck eye roast with other thin cuts like flank steak, skirt steak, or even thinly sliced tri-tip. However, keep in mind that the cooking time may vary slightly depending on the chosen cut.

    2. What if I don’t have Korean pear juice?

    Apple juice is a perfectly acceptable substitute for Korean pear juice in this recipe. It adds a similar touch of sweetness and acidity.

    3. How spicy is this recipe?

    The amount of gochujang determines the spice level. Start with 1 tablespoon and adjust to your preference. You can always add more at the table for those who like it hotter.

    4. Can I cook bulgogi in advance?

    Yes, marinated bulgogi can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Simply cook it as instructed when you’re ready to serve.

    5. What are some good side dishes for bulgogi?

    Kimchi, Korean pancake (kimchi jeon), stir-fried vegetables, and japchae (glass noodles) are all excellent accompaniments to bulgogi.