One of my great blessing in life was having met my best friend and roommate, Lan, sixteen years ago. With her I’ve found a compatriot, confidante, ultimate road-trip partner and someone who I know ALWAYS has my back. She’s family by choice, my love for her is every bit as strong and binding as the love I have for the family I have by blood. She’s my sister-friend, and I couldn’t imagine my life without her.
One of the many perks of knowing her has been the opening of new culinary doors. Lan’s parents immigrated from Korea, and so through her I’ve come to know the delights of Korean cuisine… long before Korean food started to be cool. Some of my favorites are: Mandoo – pan fried dumplings, Jajangmyun – noodles in black bean sauce, Tang Soo Yook – sweet and sour pork or beef, and of course Bulgogi – Korean BBQ.
Bulgogi is a delicious comfort food, that couldn’t be easier to make. The secret is in the thinly sliced beef, usually a prime cut like sirloin or rib eye, and the simple marinade which makes it nice and tender, and so full of flavor!
Traditionally, Bulgogi is grilled on gridirons or perforated domed griddles that sit on braziers, which is how you’ll find it at Korean restaurants. But it can also be pan-fried, which is how we do it. Did I mention that it’s absolutely delicious?!
I hope maybe the next time you have your bestie over for dinner you’ll give this recipe a try and count your blessings. Nothing helps you get through the ups and downs of life better than the company of a good friend… and comforting food!
- 1 lb. thinly sliced beef, preferably rib eye
- 1/2 C. soy sauce
- 3 Tbs. sesame oil
- 1/2 C. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. crushed garlic, or 1 clove
- optional, squeeze of lime juice
- garnish, toasted sesame seed
- garnish, sliced green onions
- To make the marinade, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, garlic and lime juice in a glass bowl. Whisk to combine all the ingredients.
- Add the sliced beef to the marinade and cover. Allow to marinade for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator, but preferably overnight. We usually make it in the evening for dinner the following night, giving it a full 24 hours to really soak in the flavor and tenderize the meat.
- When you’re ready to cook, heat your pan on Medium to Medium-High heat. Pour the entire contents of the bowl in the pan, including the marinade (this will make a nice sauce to spoon over your dish).
- Once the beef has browned and is no longer pink, and the marinade has thickened you’re done! Couldn’t be easier.
- Serve the Bulgogi over a bed of rice (we prefer jasmine rice), and garnish with the toasted sesame seed and green onion. Make sure to spoon a little of the extra marinade over everything.