불고기 = Bulgogi

August 29, 2011 § 2 Comments

If you like beef, then you will LOVE this dish!  I received a request to make this at the same time that I have been thinking about it.  I made this once before about 5 years ago and it was pretty awful.  Since then, we purchased pre-marinated beef at the Korean market.

I don’t have exact measurements yet (will post next time) since I fell into that vicious cycle of adding more ingredients, tasting, adding more, tasting more, etc.  However, the husband and I were so pleased with this batch that I couldn’t wait to post it and brag! 🙂  In my opinion, being able to make delicious bulgogi is sort of a “rite of passage” to Korean home cooking.

The ingredients are simple and requires very little preparation.  For the photos below, I used the following:  LOTS of garlic, onions, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, honey, honey powder, green onions and sesame seeds.

  1. To a blender, I added about 8 cloves of garlic, a tiny splash of water, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey powder, honey and sugar.  Aside from the garlic, I basically had to keep adding some more of each of the ingredients and tasting it.
  2. Into a large ziplock bag, I added sliced yellow onion, about a little over one pound of very thinly-sliced ribeye beef and poured the marinade into the bag.  I used my hands to make sure the marinade covered each slice and also added the sesame seeds.
  3. Then placed it in the fridge overnight.
  4. While cooking it on medium to high heat, I added sliced green onions towards the end (to keep the color green).

We had this for dinner tonight with the usual side dishes—kimchi of any kind is a must with this (I know I say this about a lot of Korean meals, but this is really a must with bulgogi).  We both thought that it should be a little sweeter, so I’ve already added some more sugar to the remaining batch.

A few notes to keep in mind:

  1. The key point here, is to remember that the marinade should be sweet.  The sweetness can come from any one of the three I used, but I decided to use all of them since I had them available.
  2. Korean pear can be added to the marinade.  This should be blended—no chunks of pear.  This is to tenderize the meat.  One can also add some Sprite or 7-Up or any lemon/lime cane soda.  By the way, one should not substitute a lemon for the Korean pear.  It should be either the Korean pear or the carbonated drink.
  3. Another ingredient to add while cooking:  bulky mushrooms of any kind, like button or shitake (I would avoid enoki-type ones).
  4. Sesame seeds are optional—I like them in there, but the spouse insists that it is not normally added.
  5. Remember not to over-cook the beef.  Otherwise, it will get too tough.

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