Spicy Bulgogi

매운 불고기

A spicy version of one of the most popular Korean dishes.

Servings: 4


2 pounds lean beef (Rib eye, Flank Steak, Tenderloin, or your favorite cut)



3/4 cup natural brewed soy sauce

2 each fresh red chili peppers

1/2 each small onion

1/2 each small Nashi pear or semi sweet apple

8 each cloves garlic

1 ounce fresh ginger

2 tablespoons fine ground red chili pepper

1 tablespoon brown sugar

3 each spring/green onion

2 teaspoons pure toasted sesame seed oil

1 tablespoon rice wine

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

water as needed

Bulgogi Sangjju Ssam (bulgogi in loose leaf lettuce rolls)

Additional Ingredients

4 bunches red leaf lettuce

4 cups “sticky” rice

6 each cloves garlic

5 each fresh jalapeño peppers

Ssam jang

4 tablespoons of soybean paste (Korean-doenjang/Japanese-Miso)

4 tablespoons medium ground red chili powder

1 teaspoon sugar

2 each green/spring onion

4 each cloves garlic

1 tablespoon of sesame seeds

1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil

1 tablespoon rice wine

1 tablespoon soy sauce



Mix Marinade:

Cut onion, pear/apple, pepper, and ginger into small pieces and place in blender with garlic and just enough water to blend into a smooth liquid.

Pour into medium mixing bowl.

Trim root and top 1/8 inch of green onion, rinse in cold water, and finely chop. Add to bowl.

Add all other ingredients. Mix well and let stand for at least fifteen minutes.

Note: If marinade is very thick, you can thin it by adding water and soy sauce in a 1 to 1 ratio.

Prepare Meat:

Hand trim any outer fat from your cut.

Freeze meat until stiff to help in slicing.

Slice meat very thinly (slightly thicker than deli sliced meats)

Very lightly salt each slice on both sides and let stand for ten minutes.

Place meat into a bowl, pour in enough marinade to just cover the meat and mix well. (Any leftover marinade may be refrigerated for later use)

Cover and place in refrigerator. Let meat stand in marinade for at least one hour.

Meat may now be placed in zip lock style bags and frozen for later use or cooked.


Grill: Heat grill on high heat. Grill until browned on both sides (10 to 20 seconds)

Stir Fry: Heat wok or stir fry pan to high heat, add meat, (you may add other vegetable like sliced carrot, onion, and separated broccoli crowns at this point) and stir fry until well browned.

Serve with steamed white rice and ban chan.

Bulgogi Sangjju Ssam (bulgogi in loose leaf lettuce rolls)

Prepare Bulgogi as above.

While marinating:

Mix the Ssam jang

Finely chop the garlic and green onion. In a small mixing bowl, add all Ssam jang ingredients and mix well.

Add a small amount of water if needed to maintain a mixable paste.

Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

Separate lettuce leaves, rinse, and drain. Gently pat dry and place on a serving plate.

Thin slice the garlic and peppers, and place in separate small dishes.

Cook the Bulgogi as above.

Serve with one bowl of rice for each person.

How to Eat

Put one leaf of lettuce in one hand, add a little rice, a piece of bulgogi, some sliced pepper and garlic, a bit of kimchi, and a bit of the Ssam jang. Carefully close your hand, forming the lettuce into a ball around the “stuffing”, and eat the whole roll in one bite. A little practice may be needed to get that “one mouth full” size right.