Korean-style marinated beef BBQ

Hi everybody!
I’m eventually posting a video for bulgogi today. I posted a simple bulgogi recipe a few years ago but it was without a video.

Delicious bulgogi depends on three things: a good cut of beef, a delicious marinade, and the method you use to cook it. So I am very pleased to release the best bulgogi recipe that I’ve ever made: it has all 3 of these elements.


First, a good cut of beef always makes for delicious bulgogi. I mentioned using steak in the video: sirloin, tenderloin, or skirt steak. But you still can make good bulgogi without these choice cuts. Whatever you use, it’s very important to choose marbled beef: leaner cuts like brisket will turn out too tough. Cut the beef thinly against the grain to make it easier to chew, and marinate overnight. The marinade will tenderize the beef and it’ll turn out delicious over a charcoal BBQ.

Secondly, the marinade: the marinade in this recipe is the best that I’ve yet developed. But as I’m constantly experimenting with marinades, I may still develop a better one! I’ll let you know if I do. Feel free to modify the ratios here to your taste, or develop your own marinade. If you do, let me know how it turns out. Also, if you can’t find a Korean pear, use ripe bosc pear: 1 small bosc pear for 1 pound of beef is good.

Thirdly, when we talk about the best cooking methods, grilling over charcoal will always be the best. This is because the marinade, juices and fats drip off the meat onto the coals, burn up there, and then come back to the beef in a wonderful smoke that covers the meat with flavor. You can’t beat charcoal for bulgogi.

I was invited to my friend’s BBQ party in the Catskills in upstate New York a while ago. About 20 people got together and everybody brought something to grill. I prepared bulgogi beef, spicy pork, and bulgogi mushrooms for vegetarians. I was very excited to shoot the video because it would be a wonderful chance for you to see how you can enjoy Korean BBQ in the best conditions.

Everybody loved my bulgogi! Surprisingly my marinated bulgogi mushrooms got a lot of compliments. I was absolutely thrilled to see their happy faces when they tasted it. I can imagine all of your happy faces when you share this with your friends and family.

Also, the recipe for the spicy pork BBQ in this video will be posted soon!


  • 1 pound of beef tenderloin, sliced thinly into pieces ½ inch x 2 inches and ⅛ inch thick


Marinade (for 1 pound of beef):

  • ½ cup of crushed pear
  • ¼ cup onion purée
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 chopped green onion
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs brown sugar (or 1 tbs of brown sugar and 1½ tbs rice syrup)
  • a pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1 tbs toasted toasted sesame oil
  • several thin slices of carrot


  1. Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add the sliced beef and mix well.
  3. You can grill, pan-fry, or BBQ right after marinating, but it’s best to keep it in the fridge and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight for a tougher cut of beef. Serve with ssamjang.

for Vegetarians:
Use the same marinade above and replace beef with mushrooms. You’ll need 10-12 large dried shiitake mushrooms. Add a few white mushrooms if you like them.

  1. Soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in warm water for several hours until they’re soft.
  2. Squeeze out any excess water and slice each mushroom thinly.
  3. Slice some white mushrooms, carrot, and onion.
  4. Mix all of it together in the marinade.
  5. Grill, pan-fry, or BBQ.



  1. d3mon1977 Netherlands joined 5/14 & has 1 comment

    When i wanna make this on the bbq, can i ask what is the name of that plate with holes you used in the movie? i’d like to buy something like that. help me please.

    [email protected]

  2. trudefaith victor mt joined 4/14 & has 2 comments

    Hi ! I made this recipe for my family last night and we all loved it ! thank you !

  3. kirameki Austin joined 4/14 & has 1 comment

    I stumbled across this recipe (and your blog!) after chatting with a friend about which cut of beef is typically used for making bulgolgi. As a vegetarian, it made my day that you had thought to write a vegetarian version of the recipe! Bulgolgi is definitely something I’ve missed since I stopped eating meat. Do you think you could use the marinade on tofu, tempeh or other vegetarian proteins? If so, would you use a pound of, say, tofu in place of the pound of beef?

    I’m definitely going to try out the mushroom bulgolgi and be sure to share the original version with my meat-eating friends! ;)

  4. chai_cutie Cebu joined 3/14 & has 1 comment

    hi… how can i make this recipe using 2 kilos of beef?

    • ddnorman Southern NH, USA joined 9/13 & has 75 comments

      Hi chai_cutie!

      Since the recipe is for 1 lb of beef and 1 lb of beef is roughly 1/2 kilo, then 2 kilos is about 4 lbs. In fact its 4.4 lbs. So you could multiply all ingredients by 4 to do 2 kilos of beef.

      Hope this helps!

  5. wernie SG joined 9/13 & has 1 comment

    If I were to replace beef with chicken, which part of chicken should I use and how should I slice it?

  6. okla1004 edmond, ok joined 8/13 & has 1 comment

    Love to try your recipe! but what’s the serving size?

  7. MixKorFam5 California joined 8/13 & has 1 comment

    I just tried this recipe the other day and was a big hit! My mother in law is from Korea and is not easy to please when it comes to food. But she even liked it! My husband enjoyed it so much he wants me to make it for our daighter’s 1st birthday!! Thank you so much!

  8. mrmac1210 Georgia joined 8/13 & has 1 comment

    Sorry if this was already asked, but what type of lettuce leaf was the wrap?

  9. Kimk77 Md joined 7/13 & has 1 comment

    Anyeoung Hasayeo!
    I am so glad I came across your site!! I am Korean but was born here in America, my mom lives with my sister about 10 minutes away which is great because it seems that the only time I get to eat Korean food is going over there! My husband and kids will only eat bulgogi so I rarely make anything else.
    Now that I’ve found your site, I will try and get them to eat more of different foods. My mom has taught me a few of the recipes you have on here but yours are so much more simpler! Thank you so much, I can’t wait until I have more time to read it all!

  10. JBRenee Manila, Philippines joined 7/13 & has 1 comment

    Best bulgogi recipe ever! Thanks for sharing this recipe Maangchi! We loved it! :)

  11. silverthorne Queensland, Australia joined 7/13 & has 2 comments

    Thanks you for the recipe. This is the easiest one that I have found so far and it has become a family favourite. I look forward to making more recipes from your site. Thanks

  12. Miss Kim78 socali joined 3/13 & has 40 comments

    Sometimes I add maesil to the bulgogi marinade. It gives it a nice extra kick while kind of tenderizing the meat a little more. You are so right about the three essentials to make a delicious bulgogi. Once, I was missing one of the three….a good cut of meat. I just used what I had. And the result product wasn’t all that tasty. Other people loved it though. I guess I am a bit more picky about what is considered YUMMY bulgogi lol.

  13. mommyhmb3 Idaho Falls, ID joined 6/13 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi!! I am so glad I found your recipe!! My husband is Korean and the first time I was ever introduced to Bulgogi was in 2009 by my mother in law. She ownes a restaurant in Ashland OR called Bonsai Teriyaki 2. It was by far the best thing I had ever eaten. So delicious and just melts in your mouth. Since she keeps her recipe so top secret, I have searched high and low trying recipe after recipe to find one to compare to hers, well my search stopped here. This Bulgogi recipe is absolutly amazing, I thank you so much for sharing it, you have made my husband and I very happy lol :)

    • Maangchi joined 7/08 & has 11,948 comments

      haha your mother-in-law keeps her bulgogi recipe secret even from you! I’m so happy to hear that you like my bulgogi recipe. That’s a huge compliment!

  14. seldomseenshake Salt Lake City joined 6/13 & has 1 comment

    Made this for my son’s dol. I had a bulgogi recipe but it was not even close to as good as this one. I used sirloin and marinated the meat overnight. This an introduction to Korean food for most of our guests, but everyone loved it! Thank you so much for helping make my son’s dol special.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,948 comments

      Congratulations on your son’s 1 year birthday!
      I’m so happy to hear that your guests enjoyed the bulgogi you made! I can picture your wonderful party and your cute son!

  15. xxmillieann85xx melbourne joined 5/13 & has 2 comments

    is the sauce necessary? what else can I use if i can’t find any doenjang?

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