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Beef Bulgogi

Bulgogi is the centerpiece of Korean barbecue. It’s the most popular dish among those who know and love the cuisine and it’s also the one thing you order if you have no idea what to order.

What is it? Essentially just thinly sliced grilled beef that’s been marinated a specific way, with sesame, scallions, pears, and more.

We cut out a few of the traditional ingredients to make the marinade simpler, so you can get it on the table faster.

Or, use the extra time to get creative with your banchan. Those are the little side dishes served alongside the meat that you wrap up with the bulgogi in a lettuce leaf. Think kimchi, hot peppers, crunchy veggies, and brown rice.


  • 1 pound extra lean sirloin
  • 1 tablespoon agave
  • 1/4 cup lite soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 head of lettuce, such as Green Leaf or Boston, washed and drained


  • For easier slicing, place beef in freezer for 30 minutes. Cut across the grain so meat will be tender. You want super thin slices – ¼ inch thick at most.
  • In a bowl, stir together agave, soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, scallions, garlic, ginger and black pepper. Add the meat until all the slices are coated.
  • Cover and marinate 1-2 hours at room temperature or 4-24 hours in a refrigerator.
  • Barbecue meat 1 minute on each side. Serve immediately in lettuce cups. Eat like a sandwich.


It’s a great way to create the Korean barbecue experience at home and makes for a super clean, protein-rich meal. Just choose high-quality grass-fed beef and load up on the veggie accoutrements.

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