Detroit Eats

Musings of A Detroit Based Food Fanatic

Just Messing Around in the Kitchen #4 – Korean Bulgogi

with 13 comments


     One of the most important things a kitchen when your “just messing Around in the kitchen” can have is a well stocked pantry. After all,having to shop for 20 different items before you even get started takes all the fun out of the effort, not to mention that it can also take a chunk out of you wallet. I try to be prepared to go in several directions when I’m in the kitchen. For Italian I always have staples like olive oil (extra virgin), Balsamic vinegar,Parmesan Cheese and pesto (home made). If I am feeling spicy and want to go south of the border I have Chili powder,olives,rice,beans and mole sauce,well, you get the idea!

     I was making dinner and thinking of my daughter. She is still in Seoul, South Korea teaching English. Anyway, I had an English chuck roast and I thought about giving it a Korean twist. In the pantry I already had Sesame oil/seeds,garlic,green onion and sake and this was pretty much all I needed to make the marinade for the beef. I had all the makings for Bulgogi.

   Traditionally this dish is made with short rib that is specially cut for this purpose (very good). In the past I have also used beef tenderloin (fabulous) but that’s not what I had. The trick to using the Chuck roast lay in slicing the beef very thinly across the grain. For this I had the perfect tool. I used my brand new food slicer. Once I had slice the beef it was time to marinate it.

Bulgogi Marinade

4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons Maple syrup
1tablespoon pear or pineapple juice
2 tablespoons Sake
2 tablespoons Sesame oil
3 tablespoons Chopped green onion
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon ground sesame seed


Mix all ingredients, making sure to dissolve the brown sugar. Marinate the beef for at least 2 hours and not more that 4.

When my beef was ready to be cooked I got the BBQ going and made sure to oil the grates properly so the beef wouldn’t stick. I then grilled the beef very quickly. You don’t want to overcook this as the beef is very thin to start with.


  • In a traditional Korean meal this would be served with what is called Banchan. Banchan is the traditional assortment of small dished that accompany every Korean meal. Most are pickled and some are very spicy. Banchan always includes Kimchi. Rice is also included at every meal.
  • Instead of Banchan I made a stir –fry of Spinach and bean sprouts that I seasoned with Sesame oil. It’s a very good combination.
  • While I try to not endorse any particular brands I will recommend Kadoya brand Sesame oil for your pantry. It is available in most Asian groceries. The right Sesame oil makes a big difference in cooking.
  • Since Maple syrup isn’t produced in Korea it really isn’t part of the marinade recipe. Usually honey is used but I didn’t have any so I used the maple syrup in my fridge.

“Namwi ddeoni deo keo boinda”

“A good start is important to any effort”


Written by Ed Schenk

April 26, 2010 at 9:08 pm

13 Responses

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  1. Ed: This dish is making my mouth water! 🙂

    Jim Peake

    May 13, 2010 at 10:29 pm

  2. This looks great. I am always happy to find Korean recipes that I can make easily from home, and this marinade looks TASTY. (Thanks for finding my blog, by the way!)


    May 10, 2010 at 10:27 pm

  3. I’m loving the maple syrup in this recipe.


    May 6, 2010 at 9:31 am

  4. The flavours here are great. So maybe I can’t go to Korea like your daughter but I can make this and imagine I am there:-)


    May 2, 2010 at 11:12 pm

  5. Dear ED – The marinade has the best flavors! And I love kimchi. I used to teach English to Korean kids in Sydney and they used to pay me in kind inviting me to yummy dinners!

    I still remember this wonderful baby octopus they made for me with sesame seeds.

    Lovely post!

    Devaki @ weavethousandflavors


    April 29, 2010 at 11:48 pm

  6. I know what I’m having for dinner tonight!

    said daughter

    April 28, 2010 at 9:51 pm

  7. You’re marinade sounds fantastic. This is the kind of food that I love, ever ingredient on the list is delicious. I bet it was one tasty steak.


    April 28, 2010 at 10:50 am

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