Spiced Up Beef Bulgogi

beef bulgogi

Saying that I'm obsessed with Korean BBQ is an understatement. And if you've been to Korea Town in Los Angeles, you know that the cheaper places always have a ridiculousy long wait time. The longest I've waited to be seated at an all-you-can-eat kbbq is a whopping 3 hours! Ain't nobody got time for that!

So I started searching and experimenting in order to recreate my favorite choice of meat every time I get kbbq: bulgogi beef. Once the marinated meat sizzle on the hot pan, oh man! Your place will instantly smell like K Town (assuming you don't already live there).


WHAT MAKES THIS RECIPE DIFFERENT?  There is a twist in this rendering of the famous dish. Normally, bulgogi beef at the restaurant will be predominantly sweet, and to be honest, the marinade is a bit watered down. In this recipe, we kick it up a notch with added spiciness from our sauce Nam Prik Chili Sauce and the marinade is at full strength. You'll definitely taste the flavor in this homemade dish.


SECRET TO A DELICIOUS DISH  To recreate the signature smokey, charred aroma in that kbbq joint you frequent, it is best to use a large cast iron skillet to cook your meat. The cast iron acts like a grill and will caramelize the marinade and meat juice to perfection. Also, the different cuts of meat DO make a difference in this dish. The best I found turns out to be flank steak. Most other cheaper cuts will render the meat tough and chewy after cooking.


marinated beef bulgogi


 beef bulgogi plated with chopsticks





  • 1 1/2 lbs flank steak, cut into thin strips
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Nam Prik Chili Sauce
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 stalks green onion, chopped
beef bulgogi plated with nam prik chili sauce and rice



  1. Combine soy sauce, sugar, Nam Prik Chili Sauce, garlic, sesame oil, ginger, pepper, and green onion to make marinade.
  2. Marinade beef in sauce for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Heat up cast iron skillet over med-high heat until hot. Add minimal amount of cooking oil (if your skillet is already seasoned, this is not necessary).
  4. In several batches, cook the meat. Be sure to let the meat and marinade caramelize on one side before stirring.
  5. Serve with rice and steam vegetables (if desired).

**Recipe Ideas: this would also be great in a lettuce wrap as a midday snack!