Korean Beef can be served in many ways. The thin slices of beef are marinated in a delicious sauce for several hours to absorb all the taste of the herbs, spices, and other flavorings. The tender beef is often used in making BBQ beef sandwiches, wraps, or tacos. It is super simple to cook in just a few minutes and can be served spicy, sweet, or savory.
If you like traditional Korean food, you can use Korean beef to make any kind of Asian food that the whole family will love. Add it to spring onions, snap peas, green beans, and julienned carrots topped with red pepper flakes on a bed of jasmine rice for a quick hearty meal. This is a big hit at my house. My family loved it. The kids gobbled it down without even knowing what it was!
What is Korean beef?
Korean beef can be a type of meat or an absolutely delicious Korean recipe. Hanwoo cattle are raised free to range in South Korea in the countryside. They are known for their slightly sweet and beefy flavor due to the organic mixed grain and grass they eat. The Korean dish is actually called Bulgogi. Korean beef bulgogi is made with thin sliced beef flavored with ground black pepper, garlic, sesame oil, sugar, green onions, toasted sesame seeds, and soy sauce.
Korean beef bulgogi recipe
One family favorite in my house is beef bulgogi. The meat is super tender, and it is easy to cook in minutes. First, soak the beef in the marinade for at least three hours or preferably overnight. Then, transfer meat to a large skillet with hot oil and cook on medium-high heat for two minutes per side. If you think this sounds easy, that’s because it is! To make the marinade, use red pepper flakes, grated Asian pear, freshly grated ginger, minced garlic, sesame oil, brown sugar, and rice vinegar.
Leftover Korean beef
You can use leftover Korean beef for sandwiches, tacos, casseroles, soups, and salads or just eat it as a snack. If you cannot use it in a few days, wrap it in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Then, put it in a freezer bag, and be sure to get all the air out when sealing. It can be frozen for up to 90 days.
How to serve Korean beef
- Korean beef with green onions, brown sugar, grated ginger, and soy sauce.
- Sesame beef with sesame seeds, rice vinegar, fresh ginger, and sesame oil.
- Sweet and sour Korean beef with vegetables tossed in garlic and honey sauce.
- Korean BBQ beef with your favorite BBQ sauce, 1 tablespoon of honey, and soy sauce.
- Korean beef tacos with taco seasoning, red pepper, ginger, garlic, and kimchi.
- Cheesy Korean beef with gouda or ricotta cheese and soy sauce.
Frequently asked questions
What cut of beef is best for Korean beef?
I chose flank steak because it is easy to cut into thin slices and has a hearty robust taste, but traditional Korean beef is made with sirloin beef. You can also use tenderloin, which is a tender cut that will turn out wonderfully. You do not even have to marinate it longer than a few hours. Other cuts include brisket, ribeye, and top-round steak.
Can I use a different meat?
There are other meat options you can choose as long as it is sliced thinly. Chicken is a nice choice because it has a mild taste and soaks up all the flavors in the marinade. Pork is another mild meat you can use that goes with everything. Turkey is another meat that tastes great. My family loves marinated turkey bulgogi sandwiches.
Can I make this in a slow cooker?
Korean beef can easily be cooked in a slow cooker or crockpot. Just slice the meat as in the regular recipe. Doing it this way, the meat does not have to be marinated. Just pour a cup of beef broth with the remaining ingredients into your slow cooker. Add your sliced beef and let it cook on low for seven to eight hours or on high for three to four hours.
Tips and Tricks
- Korean beef can be served hot or cold depending on the recipe.
- If you cannot find thinly sliced beef at the grocery store, make it yourself by slicing up some flank steak, ribeye, sirloin, or another cut of beef with a mandoline.
- The trick to slicing beef easily is to freeze it first. After being in the freezer for about 30 minutes, you can cut it into thin slices super easy.
- Korean beef can also be used in any ground beef recipes such as sandwiches or casseroles.
- Make it your own. Use any spice and herb combination you like for your Korean beef.
- You can use any pan to saute your beef, but a cast iron skillet will give it a delicious crispy crust.
- Cook in batches so the oil will stay hot. You always want to start with a hot skillet.