Main course on fire! Bulgogi(불고기) is a tasty Korean meal made with grilled marinated beef. It is one of the most popular traditional foods of Korea. The word Bulgogi means fire meat in Korean, so that should give you some clue about what to expect from this delicious dish!
It is believed that it was originated from Goguryeo, where it was called Maekjeok (맥적), and in the Joseon Dynasty it was traditionally served for the wealthy and nobility, and was called Neobiani (너비아니), meaning “thinly spread” meat.
If you want to prepare a good Bulgogi; choosing the correct meat, the marinating process of the meat and the cooking method are crucial. It is usually made with thin slices of sirloin or tenderloin. You have to marinate the meat before cooking so it will be tender and flavory. To marinate the meat, the most used ingredients are soy sauce, black pepper, garlic, onion, sugar, sesame oil and Korean pear. If you cannot find Korean pear, ripe bosc pear is all right too. Then there is the cooking method. As you can guess, the traditional cooking method for this one is grilling but you can find a lot of people who prefers pan-cooking. You may try both, but I suggest you definetely try the grilled one!
If you are in Korea, you can find this delicious dish in barbecue restaurants. You can also find Bulgogi-flavoured hamburgers in fast-food restaurants. It is a very popular meal there so if you visit the country, don’t come back without trying it!
Main Ingredients of Bulgogi: Beef and other ingredients for marinating it
My Korean Kitchen
New York Times Cooking
Savory Sweet Life
Crazy Korean Cooking
Martha Stewart (Pork Bulgogi)
Photo: Elsie Hui