Beef Bulgogi

BBQ'd Beef Bulgogi Photo: Tim Elwin

BBQ'd Beef Bulgogi
Photo: Tim Elwin

This is staple in our house. The marinade is simple to make, otherwise a store bought one will do the trick just fine. In the homemade version, we use pineapple, pear and onions to act as a tenderising agent for the meat and it works wonders whilst adding a beautiful sweetness.

For the best results, and one that means everyone can cook their own as they go, we suggest using a Korean BBQ Grill Plate for a portable gas cooker, otherwise, a BBQ or even pan will get your through.

If you don't have a Korean BBQ Grill you can get one delivered

This recipe also works well with Pork neck or belly (skin removed) sliced thinly like the beef would be.

Ingredients - The Beef 

500g Thawed Shabu Shabu/Sukiyaki Sliced Beef (from any good Asian Supermarket)


Semi-Freeze a 500g piece of trimmed sirloin (i.e no fat or sinew on the outside at all, marbling is fine) then slice into 1-2mm thick pieces.

Ingredients - The Marinade

500ml store bought Bulgogi Marinade


Make a homemade marinade of;

  • 6 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic, micro grated or minced
  • 1 Teaspoon Ginger, micro grated or minced
  • A good pinch of Sea Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Mirin (cooking rice wine)
  • 1 Tablespoon Sake (otherwise add another tbsp of mirin)
  • 1/2 Large Nashi Pear, grated (otherwise use a Red Apple)
  • ½ Medium Brown Onion, peeled & grated (yes, grated)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Pineapple Puree or Syrup from canned pineapple (Optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons Corn Flour Paste - mix flour with 1 tablespoon water (optional) 
  • 1 tablespoon Gochujang (Korean Chilli Paste) or similar (Optional for heat)
  • Vegetable Oil Spray otherwise 1 tablespoon of Vegetable Oil

Ingredients - To Serve (all optional)

  • Steamed Rice
  • Steamed Broccoli
  • Grilled sliced Zucchini
  • Grilled sliced Capsicum
  • Gomadare (Sesame Sauce)
  • Chopped Shallots
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • Gochujang
  • Lettuce leaves (to fold around the rice and meat)

Method - The Marinade

Add all the marinade ingredients into a bowl and mix well until the sugar and salt are dissolved, then add the meat and coat well. Marinate in the fridge preferably overnight and up to 3 days, otherwise a minimum of 4 hours.

Method - Cooking The Easy Way

Heat a large pan or preferably the hotplate on your BBQ to a high heat. Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil wait 15 seconds then throw all the meat onto the pan/hot plate (without the liquid) and spread part to get as much surface area as possible. Let it still undisturbed for a minute then turn and allow to sit for another 30 seconds or so and repeat until cooked through. This method will cook your meat but often won't caramelize which ads a beautiful much needed level of flavour for this dish so best to use the following method.

Method - Cooking The Best Way

Heat your Grill Plate (on your gas portable oven) or your BBQ grill onto a high heat. Spray with grill with some vegetable oil (easiest with an oil spray otherwise brush the oil on) then lay each piece down on the grill, ensuring that its not overcrowded. Cook each piece for a minute or so without disturbing or moving. This will ensure you caramelize the beef instead of stewing it. Turn and cook for another minute then remove from the grill and repeat until all cooked.

Serve with the steamed rice and whichever other toppings you have chosen.


© Tim Elwin 2016