Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Grayce's Bulkogi

I don't know if it's "bulkogi" or "bulgogi", but no matter how you spell it, this stuff is delicious! There are probably as many versions of this stuff as there are people who cook it. This particular recipe comes from Darren's Japanese grandmother, Ba-Chan. The recipe is actually Korean, and Ba-Chan once mentioned that a Korean woman told her she was making it all wrong. Regardless, it is a great Asian-y marinade for beef. We've also used it for chicken or pork with equally delicious results.

I first had this dish four years ago when I went on vacation with Darren and his family to Donner Lake. It's a beautiful part of California. It was my first meeting with most of Darren's family. They've been going for as long as Darren can remember. The bulkogi was great, and Darren's Ba-Chan is an excellent cook.

The marinade has soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and some other stuff. The recipe calls for green onions, but I didn't have any, so I left them out. You can also spice it up a bit with some Sriracha. I would have done it, if I had remembered. I did it last time...
Mix all of the ingredients in a gallon ziplock plastic bag and squish it around to dissolve the sugar and distribute the garlic, ginger, and sesame seeds (I did a terrible job of documenting this, and forgot to take a picture until it was all put together). Then add the meat of your choice and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
I suggest turning it over a few times during the marinating process.

On a side note, a lot of bulkogi recipes call for thinly sliced meat. I have eaten it that way and marinated the meat that way, too, but this is Ba-Chan's recipe, and I am going to follow it. She marinates slabs of meat. The meat can be grilled, broiled, or stir fried to desired doneness. I have had it both grilled and broiled by Darren's grandparents. Today we are going to grill it and serve it with rice.

I heated the grill to medium high and cooked the bulkogi for 3 minutes per side.

I let the meat rest for 10 minutes after cooking and then sliced it thin and served it with rice.

I have vowed to make this again soon and use a variation that is a little more traditional Korean - thinly slicing the meat before marinating, and maybe even add a little fruit juice. I'll keep you posted.


  1. Okay, that looks SO GOOD. What is that cut of beef? (I know nothing about cuts of beef)

  2. Kyle, that is round steak, but the original recipe calls for flank or tritip, but they didn't have those at the store when we went. I think strip would work well, if you like a thicker cut of meat. The round wasn't as tender as it is when Darren's grandparents make it.

  3. What kind of grill are you using on that cooktop? we've been looking for one for ages but they all have a ridge on the edge so that only the rim is on the surface, or does it still work well with the ridge. We have a 'bridge burner' set up so that we can use a large rectangle flat fry pan just fine, but want an indoor grill/griddle.

  4. We are using a NordicWare grill. It has the lip and is reversible to a griddle. It seems to work fine. Calphalon makes one that is double-burner and flat on the bottom that is probably really good. I like their double-burner griddle.