My co-worker Euna was kind enough to share her mom’s beef kalbi/bulgogi recipe with me. We’ve always been a fan of Korean barbecue — we go to K-Town on 32nd Street once a month or so — but we’ve never attempted to make it on our own.
We’ve seen recipes for it online before, but something always held us back. What if it’s not as good as what we order at restaurants like Miss Korea and BCD Tofu? But a tried-and-true recipe from a Korean momma, that we trust.
• Rib steak or sirloin, sliced thinly
• 4 tbsp. soy sauce
• 2 1/2 tbsp. sugar (we used white sugar, but we may try brown sugar next time)
• 1 1/2 tbsp. minced garlic
• 3 tbsp. sesame seeds
• 1 1/2 tbsp. sesame oil
• 1/2 tbsp. ground black pepper
• 3 tbsp. rice wine (a.k.a. mirin)
• 2 tbsp. chopped scallions (optional)
Step 1: Mix soy sauce, sugar, minced garlic, sesame seeds, sesame oil, ground black pepper and rice wine in a plastic container with a lid.
Step 2: Marinade thinly sliced beef for 4 to 6 hours. Leave it in the refrigerator. Euna says the longer you marinade it for, the more tender the meat will get.
Step 3: Heat pan or grill to medium heat with a little oil. We used a cast iron skillet for a nice sear. In batches, cook meat for 3 to 4 minutes per side.
Optional: In the same pan or grill as the meat, cook onion slices, mushrooms and corn — just like they do at the Korean barbecue restaurants.
Success, you guys! It was delicious and tasted just like the real deal despite the fact that it was cooked by amateur cooks like us!