I think I first heard of bulgogi about a year ago, and wanted to try it, but was afraid because I thought it would be too spicy. I finally tried it, albeit in taco form, and loved it. It wasn’t spicy at all, but rather sweet. It was the kimchi that added a spicy kick. Since then, I’ve been sampling bulgogi all over town, but I thought it was time to try to make it myself at home.
I found a basic bulgogi recipe that even I could follow! I’m always so nervous when it comes to cooking meat. I worry about over cooking it and ending up with shoe leather. I thought this recipe would be good for me since the meat is sliced very thin and cooks for a short amount of time. I did have an issue with browning the meat. I used my cast iron, which I think was fine, but I should’ve drained the meat a bit better before adding it to the pan. The meat did not brown the way I would have wanted it to, but it was cooked perfectly! I loved the pear and ginger combo. I was sweet, yet complex. I also made a sauce for the side just in case the meat was dry. I used it because I liked the flavor, but it wasn’t necessary. I served it with rice, but you could also make lettuce wraps. My favorite part was adding a little kimchi on the side. It provided a great sweet and spicy combo. I love the simplicity of this recipe. It’s easy and relatively quick to prepare and makes you feel like you’re having a fancy dinner night instead of Taco Tuesday 🙂
for the bulgogi
- ¼ pear (, grated)
- 1 garlic clove (, grated)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
- 1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 pound boneless pork loin (, trimmed hanger steak, boneless short rib, or skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (, divided)
- Kosher salt
- Sliced scallions ((for serving))
for the sauce
- ½ cup chopped peeled cored Asian pear ((about ½ large))
- 5 green onions; 2 chopped (, 3 trimmed)
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup mirin ((sweet Japanese rice wine))
- 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons Asian sesame oil
make the bulgogi
- Combine pear, garlic, soy sauce, gochugaru, ginger, sugar, and sesame oil in a large resealable plastic bag or medium bowl. Using a sharp knife, slice meat into very thin strips. Add to marinade, seal bag, and squish everything around until the meat is coated. Let sit at room temperature 30 minutes, or chill up to 8 hours.
- Heat 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high until oil is shimmering. Remove half of meat from marinade, letting excess drip back into bag; season lightly with salt and cook in a single layer without moving until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Toss meat and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until cooked through and crisp at edges, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, remaining meat, and more salt.
- Serve topped with scallions.
make the sauce
- Puree Asian pear and chopped green onions in processor until smooth. Add soy sauce, mirin, and sugar and process until sugar dissolves. Add Asian sesame oil process until sesame oil is incorporated. Transfer sauce to 2-cup measuring cup. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
Adapted from bon appetit