Bulgogi (thinly sliced beef)
Serves 4 | prep 20 mins | total time
- 450g ribeye steak, trimmed of fat
- 3 tbsp caster sugar, or to taste
- 1 small Asian pear or other hard sweet pear, grated coarsely
For the marinade
- 3 tbsp soy sauce (we like Kikkoman)
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
- 1¼ tsp grated root ginger
- 5 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
For the vegetables
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, sliced thinly
- 4 button mushrooms, sliced thinly
- 1 small carrot, julienned (we like to use a julienne peeler to get long strips)
To garnish and serve
- a few chives, cut into 7.5cm lengths
- ½ tsp black sesame seeds, toasted
- ½ tsp sesame seeds, toasted
- cooked short-grain white rice, to serve
- soft lettuce leaves, such as red butterhead, curly leaf or round lettuce, for wrapping
Prepare the beef to the end of step 3 the day before and chill. Return to room temperature before cooking.
- Firstly, put the steak in the freezer for 25 minutes to firm it up, then cut into very thin slices across the grain. Place the beef, sugar and pear in a large shallow bowl and massage through to work in the flavours. Let it sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.
- For the marinade, whisk the soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, ginger, garlic and vegetable oil together in a large bowl or container with a lid.
- Using your hands, shake off the excess sugary liquid from the beef and discard. Add the beef to the marinade; mix to coat well. Cover with clingfilm or a lid; set aside at room temperature to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight in the fridge.
Tip To make your own ssamjang sauce, mix together 60g Yogiyo Gochujang Cooking Sauce, 60g miso paste, 25g finely chopped spring onion, 1 tsp sesame seeds and ½ tsp toasted sesame oil, and serve with the bulgogi.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, 6-8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and carrot and cook until slightly softened, another 5 minutes. You don't need to brown the vegetables, just soften them.
- Increase the heat to high. Add the meat mixture, including the marinade, to the vegetables in the frying pan and mix well. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is done to your liking; for slightly pink or medium rare, about 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to a serving dish. Garnish with chives and sesame seeds. Serve with rice and 'ssam' leaves (soft lettuce leaves) for wrapping, spring onion salad and ssamjang sauce (see Kitchen Secret), with kimchi alongside.
How to eat bulgogi:
Take a soft, pliable lettuce leaf, spoon in a bit of rice, a generous smear of ssamjang and then add a piece of meat. Finally, top off with some kimchi or spring onion salad and wrap it all up like a burrito.