Korean Beef Bulgogi is a quick, stir-fried Asian dish that is chock full of marvelous flavors including garlic and fresh ginger. A little spicy, a little sweet, and totally delicious. I have a feeling you’ll love it as much as my family does. 

This Beef Bulgogi Recipe got a hearty approval from my picky husband who grew up in a meat and potatoes home where pizza was exotic. I think you’ll become an instant fan, too.

Square white plate of Beef Bulgogi.

Why You Must Make

  • Pork Bulgoge (or pork bulgogi) has frequented our menu for years, thanks to a friend who had his recipe published in a Martha Stewart magazine.
  • Beef bulgogi made with thinly sliced flank steak was a hit!
  • The bulgogi marinade is versatile and is also delicious when used with chicken or pork.

Ingredient Notes

  •  Flank Steak – Sliced very thin; easy to do when partially frozen.
  •  Soy Sauce – Use less to reduce sodium or buy low-sodium soy sauce
  •  Brown Sugar – The sweetness helps balance the savory ingredients.
  •  Toasted Sesame Oil – The toasted version is more flavorful.
  •  Garlic – Minced
  •  Ginger – Freshly grated 
  •  Dry Sherry – Most of the alcohol will cook off while the beef is stir-fried.
  •  Crushed Red Pepper Flakes – More or less to taste
  •  Onion – Peel and cut into 12 wedges
  •  Olive or Canola Oil – Canola and peanut oil have higher smoke points than olive oil so are better for stir-frying.
  •  Toasted Sesame Seeds – To garnish, optional.
  •  Romaine or Butter Lettuce -To serve, optional, for a low-carb version.
  •  Steamed White Rice – To serve.
White platter of Easy Korean Beef Stir Fry.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You  Cook Bulgoge?

This is a super easy recipe. Just prep the ingredients, mix them together (except for the oil), and let them marinate for about 30 minutes. PRO-Tip: I like to slice my beef when it’s partially frozen as this enables you to make very thin slices.
When you’re ready to cook, get out your wok or a large surface saute pan. Heat the oil, then add as much of the marinated beef and onions as will cover the surface in one layer. Cook, stirring until onions and beef are cooked. Continue to cook in small batches until all ingredients are done. Sprinkle with sesame seeds to garnish if desired.

How Do You Serve a Korean Beef Stir Fry?

The hubby had his bulgogi over steamed rice, but I made lettuce wraps with mine for an uber-healthy meal. Roll up the lip-smacking strips of beef in a Romaine or Bibb lettuce leaf for a low-carb entree. Add a bowl of vibrant steamed veggies for a terrific accompaniment.
This combination gets rave reviews around here! When the hubby doesn’t complain that his mouth is on fire when I use crushed red pepper flakes, I give myself a pat on the back. Feel free to up the pepper flakes if you’re a fan of heat. I have a feeling you’ll adore this beef bulgogi recipe, too.

What is Bulgoge/Bulgogi?

It’s a Korean term combining the word for fire (BUL) and the word for meat (GOGI). It’s a dish made of sliced beef marinated in a sweet, savory, and spicy sauce before cooking over a fire until caramelized.

How Do You Garnish Bulgoge?

Sprinkle your finished dish with sesame seeds, and/or green onions (scallions) thinly sliced on the diagonal.

Can You Add Pear to this Bulgoge?

Yes, adding grated fresh pear to the marinade is a common addition.

Is Bulgogi Healthy?

According to the Interactive Butcher Counter, flank steak is considered a lean cut of beef and perfect for a healthier meal.

Beef Bulgogi on a square white plate with chopsticks

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Beef Bulgogi | Korean beef stir fry flavored beautifully with soy, fresh ginger and garlic!

Beef Bulgogi

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Yield 4 servings

A delicious Korean beef stir fry adapted from Norm Matthew's recipe.


  • 1 pound flank steak, sliced very thin (easy to do when partially frozen)
  • 3-4 tablespoons soy sauce (use less to reduce sodium)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 12 wedges
  • Olive or canola oil
  • Toasted sesame seeds to garnish, optional
  • Romaine or butter lettuce to serve, optional


  1. Mix all ingredients except olive or canola oil, sesame seeds, and lettuce. Set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil. Add marinated meat/onions in batches, frying till no longer pink.
  3. When all batches are cooked, return the meat to the pan to reheat.
  4. Serve over rice or in lettuce cups with a garnish of sesame seeds if desired.


Marinating time is not included in total time.

You may also make this dish with boneless, skinless chicken or pork tenderloin.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 433Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 1011mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 5gSugar: 9gProtein: 37g


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