This Bulgogi recipe is from Chef David An who used to be the chef at a Korean restaurant called So Hyang in LA. His use of water is quite unconventional, but it works really well. My husband who normally doesn’t like bulgogi is in love with this version. A must try!
In the ingredient shot, I have two kinds of soy sauce because I ran out of the normal Kikkoman one. I plan to talk more about soy sauce and other ingredients in full postings sometime in the near future. The left soy sauce bottle that looks empty is the dark kind (joh-rim-gan-jang 조림간장). It’s been boiled, reduced and spiced up with mushroom and other stuffs (beef, kelp, plum, garlic etc.) to have more flavor. I use this one for making dumpling sauce. On the right side, the full bottle is light soy sauce (this bottle is specifically Japanese Usukuchi, similar to guk-gan-jang 국간장 in Korea). The light soy sauce is usually used to season soups. Since I didn’t have the normal one (regular Kikkoman), I mixed half of these dark and light ones, and bulgogi turns out just great.
Follow the recipe for the first time, and you can always modify and improve upon on your next try. Chef An’s recipe is slightly sweet to me, but my husband doesn’t want to change a thing about it to ruin the “perfect balance”. Feel free to add other vegetables (carrots, mushrooms, more onions) and starch noodle in the pan as you cook. Enjoy with rice and Kimchi (a must!!).
Serving Size: 4 people
Total Time: 20 minutes prep time + marinate overnight + 10 minute cooking time
1.5 – 2 lbs sliced rib eye (frozen ones are fine)
1 bundle of green onions
½ cup of soy sauce
½ cup of sugar
3 cups of water
1/6 cup of pineapple juice
1/6 cup of cooking wine or soju or sake
1 teaspoon of diced garlic
½ teaspoon of pepper
1/8 cup of sesame oil
Rib eye – For frozen ones, let it thaw in fridge for a few hours. Assuming the rib eye is well sliced, cut the slice into half.
Orange and Onion – Cut into ¼ inch thick rings.
Green onions – Cut the stalk into 4 parts. For the white bottom part, I usually chop them into small circles.
Marinade sauce – Mix all liquids together except sesame oil (soy sauce, water, pineapple juice and cooking wine). Add sugar, diced garlic and pepper. Mix well. Add sesame oil as the last liquid. Add onion rings, orange rings and green onions.
1. Place the rib eye in a large bowl and pour down the marinade sauce. Massage the meat gently with your hands (wear a latex/plastic glove) to marinate.
2. Leave it overnight in fridge. I didn’t have space in my fridge and left them outside in the deck. A single advantage of freezing cold weather :)
3. Cook in a frying pan or pot in medium high heat for 5-10 minutes. You don’t need all those marinade sauce – a third or half of leftover sauce should be sufficient since your meat is already marinated!