Korean Bulgogi (Pulgogi) recipe

Bulgogi or pulgogi as it’s pronounced in it’s native tongue is the last in the trifecta of delicious and well known dishes that are served in nearly every Korean restaurant in North America.

This is a sweet and tasty dish that despite it’s name translating to english as “Fire Meat” is not a hot and spicy item. The name most likely refers to the manner in which the beef is normally cooked in Korea where it is grilled over a wood fire as opposed to the frying I use in this recipe. If you want to experience the proper way of cooking this dish then head to a Korean restaurant that has the grill in the center of the table, this is a great way to enjoy korean food and have some fun while doing it.


  • 3 lb thinly sliced beef  (8th of an inch thick, cut across the grain)
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 1 Asian (nashi) pear, peeled
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp sesame seed oil
  • 3 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tbsp ginger, grated
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp black pepper

– Most butchers will slice the beef for you if you ask, and Asian markets may have it pre-cut. If not,  do it yourself by first freezing the beef for an hour or so until stiff, then use a sharp knife to slice it against the grain. If the beef thaws or becomes too soft to slice, just put it back in the freezer to firm up.


  1. Place beef slices in a large bowl and pour the apple juice over it. Using your hands, mix the juice into the beef and set aside.
  2. Grate the onion and pear and combine with soy sauce and sugar – taste it, if it’s sweet enough then continue, if not add more sugar to your liking.
  3. Combine the soy sauce mixture with remaining ingredients and mix well, pouring over beef and hand mixing until all slices are well coated (about 2 minutes).
  4. Cover bowl, place in refrigerator and marinate for at least 3 hours (overnight is prefered).
  5. Drain marinade and dispose of it, cooking beef in a large frying or sauté pan (this will not take long, watch carefully so as not to over-cook).
  6. Serve with steamed rice or as a tasty addition to Jap Chae.

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