Mom’s Korean Beef Bulgogi Recipe

Mom’s Korean Beef Bulgogi Recipe

Here’s the easiest beef bulgogi recipe you’ll find.

If you’re unfamiliar with Korean food, beef bulgogi is a classic Korean recipe that serves as a great introduction to Korean food. Most of my non-Korean friends that eat meat enjoy it, and it’s usually their go-to item to order at restaurants. Would you believe me if I said it’s so easy to make at home and it will taste even better?

Neither of us loves spending a lot of time in the kitchen, so we definitely recommend this recipe for those who want to eat delicious food without the hassle.

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Last Updated: May 25, 2020

Korean Beef Bulgogi Recipe (Adapted from My Mom's Recipe)

This is probably one of our most used recipes at home. Most of the time, Jacob will marinate a large batch (4 lbs at a time) and then freeze it into smaller meal-sized portions. That way, anytime we’re craving bulgogi, we can just defrost it and have an easy meal.

Bulgogi Ingredients (for 3-4 servings)

  • 1 lb beef rib-eye or tenderloin, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 medium-sized onion
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon green onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons rice cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup of Coca Cola
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • 5 baby carrots, thinly sliced (optional)
Beef Bulgogi Recipe Ingredients

Directions

  1. Mix everything else but the beef in a bowl or tupperware to make the marinade.
  2. Add the beef and marinate for a few hours or overnight for best results.
  3. Grill, BBQ, or pan-fry until meat is cooked (approximately 30 minutes).
  4. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve!
Beef Bulgogi Recipe | Tried and True Recipes
Beef Bulgogi Recipe
Beef Bulgogi Recipe

Chef's Notes and variations

  • Instead of crushed pear, I used coke to tenderize the meat. It’s less healthy but was easier and tasted much better in my opinion. But if you want the healthier version use half a cup of crushed asian pear instead.
  • Before you add the beef, taste the marinade to make sure it fits your tastes. Add more sugar or soy sauce to make it sweeter or saltier.
  • We double or triple the recipe to make a large batch, so we can enjoy it anytime with little prep time involved! We just portion it out, and freeze, and thaw overnight when we’ll be eating it the next day.
  • The quality of the meat is really important! We tried to make this with other types of beef, and it tasted pretty terrible.
  • Asian stores have them pre-sliced, but if your beef doesn’t already come thinly sliced, ask the deli if they can thinly slice the meat. Should be about 1/8 inch.
  • We ran out of regular onions in our pantry, so I also simplified the recipe even more by using five stems of green onions instead of both kinds, and it tasted great that way too.
  • We used homemade soy sauce made by a friend of my mom’s. This takes about 6 months to make. If you’re interested in learning how go here. It certainly tastes amazing, but just for ease, I’m totally fine with buying the ones at the asian store.
Mom's Easy Beef Bulgogi Recipe

Have you tried Beef Bulgogi before? Which restaurant had your favorite one?

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How to Make Mom's Authentic Korean Beef Bulgogi Recipe - It's so easy!

Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.

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This Post Has 57 Comments

  1. The foodie in me is enjoying the sounds of this way too much! It looks SO good! I have never had Korean food before, but this sounds like a tasty introduction.

  2. Yum! I will definitely have to make this. I love bulgogi!!

    1. I’m excited for you to try it! :) Actually if you visit again.. you can come over and I can make it for you first! :P

      1. Okay!!! Maybe I will be able to come next time! I would love that! We have a bowling tournament and I’m not sure if we’re driving ourselves or with other people.

          1. I’m not but Iman is! We’ll be at Samstown next Saturday (the 27th?)

  3. Ummm this looks AMAZING.

  4. The picture looked amazing and pulled me into this post. Then I saw where there is Coca-Cola in the recipe. Uhm Hello?! Where have you been all of my life. Printing this recipe NOW :)

  5. I have never had it before! But now I will definitely have to make this and Its something different to order! Thanks so much!

  6. This looks so yummy!

  7. How delicious! I have never tried Korean food before but this sounds absolutely delicious! I definitely need to try this out!

  8. This is one of our fav meals! We are def spoiled when my mom makes it, I’ve yet to try it myself. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. you’re so welcome!! is your mom korean? :) there’s nothing better than a homecooked meal. Plus LA had such good pre marinated bulgogi.. but now that there isn’t too much in Las Vegas.. I gotta do it myself!

  9. I LOOOOOOOVE bulgogi!
    When I made it, I used kiwi and didn’t think to add Coke! Will definitely be making this again with aminos!

  10. omg this looks amazing! i love bulgogi but i’ve never made it. definitely will try it

  11. I M a lover of all korean foods

    1. Yeah.. that saves us SO MUCH TIME!! we have 6 meals ready in the freezer right now. Those types of recipes are always the best.

  12. I don’t eat beef, but this looks like a great recipe that I could try for chicken, as well! <3

  13. That looks sooo yum! We have to try it. It will be our first time cooking Korean food! Can’t wait :)

  14. So I’m really excited I saw this, I used to live on Korean food when I was in LA. You can’t get good Korean in Scotland and I never make it cause I’ve been worried it’ll be difficult but I’m making this for dinner 2moro night. I’m gonna read through your other food posts as well and see what else I can make :-)

    1. korean food is so good in LA. it’s not great in las vegas either! let me know how it turns out! it’s super simple.

  15. Yumm! My goodness that looks DELICIOUS!

  16. ooo I’ven ever had bulgogi before! Looks delicious!

  17. yum! this looks good, and so easy! pinning for later :)

  18. yum!! making me hungry! i should try to make this!

      1. lol ok will do! i’ll go to the korean market when i come back. need to start cooking again!

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