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Bulgogi, sometimes known as Korean BBQ beef, is a dish of thinly sliced grilled steak that has been marinated in a sweet soy, sesame, and garlic sauce. If you want to spice it up, serve the beef in lettuce cups with rice and hot pepper paste (gochujang).

Recipe Summary

10 mins
5 mins
1 hr
1 hr 15 mins
4 servings

This restaurant-worthy beef bulgogi recipe is easy to make and impossible to resist. A sweet and savory marinade, made with ingredients you probably already have on hand, ensures melt-in-your-mouth bulgogi every time. 

What Is Bulgogi? 

Bulgogi, or Korean barbecue, literally means "fire meat." Thin slices of beef (or sometimes pork) are marinated in a sweet-savory sauce, then grilled to juicy and flavorful perfection. 

Learn more: What Is Bulgogi?

Bulgogi Pronunciation

"Bulgogi" is pronounced "bul-GOH-gee."

Beef Bulgogi Ingredients

You can make this simple beef bulgogi with just eight ingredients:

This recipe calls for flank steak because it's tender and flavorful. You can also use skirt steak or hanger steak. 

Soy Sauce
Salty, umami-rich soy sauce is the base of this beef bulgogi marinade. 

A couple tablespoons of white sugar lends sweetness, balancing the other savory flavors. 

Green Onion and Garlic
Chopped green onion and minced garlic add flavor to the marinade, without overpowering the other ingredients. 

Sesame Seeds 
You can use toasted or un-toasted sesame seeds. 

Sesame Oil
Use good quality sesame oil for the best flavor. 

Finish strong with a touch of black pepper. If you used low-sodium soy sauce, you can also add a pinch of salt here if you want. 

How to Make Beef Bulgogi 

You'll find the full recipe below, but here's what you can expect when you make this top-rated beef bulgogi:

Marinate the Steak

Place the flank steak in a shallow bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients and whisk until blended. Pour the marinade over the steak — make sure the meat is completely covered. Cover the bowl and allow the beef to marinate in the fridge for about an hour.  

Grill the Steak

On a lightly oiled grill set to high heat, cook the beef until it's charred and completely cooked through. This should take about 1 or 2 minutes on each side. 

What to Serve With Beef Bulgogi

Recipe creator Tenny Sharp suggests serving in lettuce cups with rice and gochujang. You can also pair the beef bulgogi with one of these delicious, Korean-inspired side dishes:

For more inspiration, explore our collection of Essential Korean Side Dishes

How to Store Beef Bulgogi

Store leftover beef bulgogi in the fridge in an airtight container for up to four days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove. 

Can You Freeze Beef Bulgogi? 

Yes, you can freeze cooked beef bulgogi. Allow it to cool, then place it in a freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the fridge overnight. 

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"This was amazing," raves Corinne. "I used brown sugar instead of white. My husband wants to eat this once a week. I made the Asian Cucumber Salad recipe from this site to go with it. This will definitely be something I make again!"

"Phenomenal," according to Sheila. "One of the best recipes I have found on this site. I have added it to our meal rotation and served it with broccoli or bok choy on the side along with the rice. Fantastic."

"Since I always marinate it overnight, I don't fuss much over the slicing of the beef," says SummerSandals. "I cut it as thin as I can with my terrible knives and don't worry about it too much. Make sure all of the sugar dissolves in the marinade before adding it to the beef. I use brown sugar and it takes longer to dissolve. Since I hardly ever buy green onions, I use white or red onions and it works great."

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Whisk soy sauce, green onion, sugar, garlic, sesame seeds, sesame oil, and pepper together in a bowl.

  • Place flank steak slices in a shallow dish. Pour marinade over top. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

  • Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil the grate.

  • Quickly grill flank steak slices on the preheated grill until slightly charred and cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

Nutrition Facts

232 calories; protein 16.2g; carbohydrates 12.4g; fat 13.2g; cholesterol 27.2mg; sodium 1157.4mg. Full Nutrition