Bulgogi was the first dish I tasted during my very first visit to a Korean restaurant and I still remember how much I enjoyed its unique taste. This famous dish is composed of thinly sliced, marinated and grilled meat. Described like this, bulgogi doesn’t sound particularly original, but I assure you both the marinade and the grilling process with a sauce poured regularly on the meat made my first experience with Korean food unforgettable.
I don’t know about other countries, but here bulgogi is prepared by the client on a very unusual tabletop grill I have never seen elsewhere. Since I don’t have even a standard grill, I assumed I could never reproduce this dish at home. I was wrong! When I saw Bulgogi Deopbap recipe (rice bowl topped with bulgogi) on Hyosun Ro’s blog (Eating and Living) and realised all I needed was a simple pan, I was so happy, I made it practically the day I saw it.
Hyosun Ro’s bulgogi was made with beef, but since I had thinly sliced pork in my freezer (I am a big pork fan), I changed the meat without changing the cooking process. I have prepared at least five bulgogi deopbap dinners in recent weeks and I feel I could have much more often. I never get bored with the delicate, slightly sweet taste of the meat, coated in a delicious sauce, which is partly absorbed by the rice. The marinating time is not long, the cooking time even shorter and I always have the basic ingredients, I find it an excellent easy and relatively quick dinner option. Thank you, Hyosun, for one more easy and delicious Korean recipe!
TIPS: The only modification I allowed myself here was cutting the meat slices into thinner strips. I found it easier to eat when cut this way. I have also used agave syrup instead of honey and sugar.
Asian pear is luckily optional here (I have never managed to buy it).
Preparation: 50 minutes – 1h 30 (including the marinating time)
Ingredients (serves two):
250 g thinly sliced pork (I used pork loin, but fatty cuts will be more tender)
2 spring onions cut into 5 cm (2 inch) pieces
1 medium carrot, julienned or other vegetables of your choice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon each sugar and honey (I used agave syrup)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice wine (I used sake)
1 teaspoon grated/crushed garlic
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
(2 tablespoons grated Asian pear)
100-150 ml anchovy/beef stock or water
1 teaspoon soy sauce (more if using water)
1 teaspoon sugar
In a bowl combine the meat and the spring onions. Add the marinade and let to stand for 30-60 minutes in the fridge.
Heat some oil in a pan. Fry the meat together with the marinade and spring onions.
After about a minute, add the vegetables of your choice and a bit of the sauce.
Stir-fry until the meat is cooked, adding more sauce if necessary and more soy sauce if you find it is not salty enough.
Serve over a bowl of rice.