Who doesn’t love Korean food? Bulgogi, specifically is a popular Korean dish that everyone is familiar with. Wouldn’t it be impressive if you were to master the recipe to make Bulgogi? Well, the good news is that cooking bulgogi is easier than you think! If you’re already familiar with cooking, then it will be even easier. But for those who are just starting out or interested in adding a Korean dish to their repertoire then this is the perfect chance!
What is Bulgogi?
First of all, let’s define what Bulgogi is. When translated literally from Korean, the word Bulgogi translates to fire meat. It is often cooked from the tender parts of chicken, pork or beef. But in general, Bulgogi is most widely known to be cooked using beef.
The first part of cooking Bulgogi is selecting which cut of beef to be used for cooking. As we prefaced above, Bulgogi is usually cooked using tender parts of the animal. Popular choices include top sirloin and beef tenderloin. If you have a more liberal budget, you can opt for the rib eye cut which delivers a more flavorful and juicy texture when compared to other cuts. The rib eye cut also has a good amount of marbling, making it perfect to cook it over a grill.
Keeping in tradition with the Korean Bulgogi recipe is to cut the beef into thin slices before proceeding to cook them. Now, this is easier said than done. But we’ll give some tips to make the process easier.
Anyone who’s ever tried to cut raw beef knows how difficult it can be – now imagine cutting it into thin pieces. The trick to do this is to wrap each piece of meat/fillet individually with plastic wrap and mildly freeze them. That’s right! Freezing them partially (2-3 hours depending on the freezer) will give them just enough rigidity to let you cut them neatly into thin pieces. It also helps if you have a sharp knife, or if you sharpen the knife before you cut the meat. The ideal thickness of the meat is 2mm – 3mm per slice.
Marinating the Bulgogi
This step is just as important as the previous one as it will determine the flavor of the Bulgogi itself. To get that savory flavor of authentic Bulgogi, you will need a blend of brown sugar, garlic, Asian pear, ginger, ground black pepper, sesame and a quality soy sauce, as the soy sauce is the key ingredient here. The combination of these ingredients delivers a savory main flavor, with additional salty, nutty and mildly sweet secondary flavor.
For our purposes, the Kikkoman Soy Sauce delivers the perfect balance of quality and flavor to satisfy our needs. In fact, Kikkoman has been the staple soy sauce in most Bulgogi recipes for years; therefore, they even have a special Soy Sauce that is formulated to marinate Bulgogi, aptly named the Kikkoman Bulgogi Sauce.
Cooking the Bulgogi
Bulgogi can be cooked in one of two ways: either on the stove on a pan/skillet with vegetables, or cooked on a BBQ grill without vegetables.
The skillet cooking method with veggies will naturally have more juice, which makes it perfect for serving with a bowl of steamed rice. That extra juice is often more desirable for people wanting a wholesome meal with rice. Meanwhile, the BBQ cooking method won’t yield as much juice as it will drip in between the grill but has the advantage of the additional smoky flavor from the fire – making it the preferred choice from some people.
Whichever cooking method you choose both will deliver an authentic Korean Bulgogi dish for you to serve for your friends or family. Plus, you’ll add a Korean cuisine under your list of recipes!
Are you ready to cook your own Korean Bulgogi? Get your fresh ingredients here from Puri Pangan Utama!
Puri Pangan Utama is the trusted food distributor based in Bali. We provide high-quality ingredients for our customers and business partners. Learn more about our food selections by visiting our website!