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Pork Bulgoge - a marvelous Korean stir fry with a bit of a kick!

Pork Bulgoge

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My family goes nuts for this Pork Bulgoge, an easy Korean stir fry with amazing flavors!

My hubby did not grow up with any ethnic foods other than the occasional pizza. I’m glad I’ve swayed him over to loving other cuisines, like this quick and scrumptious pork stir fry!

Pork Bulgoge  in a white bowl over rice and garnished with chives    

What is Pork Bulgoge or Bulgogi?

Although I was exposed to Asian food growing up, it wasn’t anything that appeared at our dinner table. I love making stir-fries for my family, but had never made any Korean food till my friend, Norm, shared his recipe for pork bulgoge, which translates to fire pork. A simple marinade, with soy sauce, sesame oil, sherry, garlic, fresh ginger and more, permeates the thinly sliced pork before being tossed into a hot pan to cook. It’s the crushed red pepper flakes that give this dish its fire!

Bulgogi (bool-GOH-gee) translates to fire meat in Korean and is usually made with pork or beef. To make, thin, marinated slices of meat are cooked on a barbecue or stovetop.

Served over white rice, this Korean stir fry is a quick, flavorful weeknight meal! I reminded the persnickety hubby that he did not eat any Asian food when we got married and he was dubious about the first stir fry I served him. He quickly became a fan. If my picky family approves, I bet yours will, too.

Check out my Beef Bulgogi for another delicious meal! And these Quick and Easy Asian Take Out Recipes you can make at home.

Pork Bulgoge in a square white bowl over rice

Tips for Making This Easy Korean Stir Fry

Norm’s recipe was published in Everyday Food Magazine, and after making it the first time, I can see why it was selected. Here are some tips for making this Korean stir fry.

Start with Pork Tenderloin

  • The EDF magazine editors changed the cut of pork to tenderloins from a fattier cut of pork. Tenderloins are leaner and really simple to cut into thin medallions.
  • PRO-Tip: I like to slice while the pork is still slightly frozen, which makes it easier to make very thin slices.

Cook Quickly and in Small Batches

  • If you have a wok, it’s perfect for this dish. I just use a large saute pan.
  • When making a stir fry, cook it in small increments. Add some of the pork and onion mixture to your hot oil, cook, then remove to a serving bowl before adding more pork.

Tweak This Pork Bulgoge Depending on your Heat Tolerance

  • I’ve cut the red pepper flakes by a lot, and this pork bulgoge quickly became a family favorite. My husband, especially, does not like really spicy foods. If your palate can handle the heat, feel free to double the crushed red pepper flakes.
  • If you’re trying to follow a low-carb diet, serve this pork in lettuce leaves instead of on rice.
  • Sprinkle your pork with sesame seeds for an elegant finishing touch! Flowering chives are a gorgeous addition if your garden is in bloom when you make this!
Overhead view ofPork Bulgoge in a round white bowl
Pork Bulgoge - a marvelous Korean stir fry with a bit of a kick!

Pork Bulgoge

A flavorful Korean stir fry that comes together in minutes!

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


  • 1 pound pork tenderloin (sliced wafer thin (easy to do when partially frozen))
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4-6 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry or sake
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (I cut it down to 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1 large onion (cut into 12ths)
  • Toasted sesame seeds to garnish (optional)
  • Peanut oil


  1. Mix all ingredients except peanut oil and sesame seeds. Set aside to marinate at least 10 minutes.
  2. In wok or large skillet, heat oil. Add marinated meat/onions in batches, frying till no longer pink. When all batches are cooked, return meat to pan to reheat.
  3. Serve over rice with a garnish of sesame seeds if desired.


Recipe courtesy of my friend, Norm Matthews

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 521Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 100mgSodium: 990mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 34g


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15 comments on “Pork Bulgoge”

  1. I love the simplicity of this dish, Lizzy. It sounds delicious from looking through the list of ingredients and I’d love to make it. My family has been giving me grief for not cooking meat lately, lol! So maybe I’ll surprise them!

  2. Excellent dish! The flavors look incredible (we’d keep the full 2 tsp of pepper flakes in this spicy, heat loving house!) Thanks for sharing Norm’s dish 🙂

  3. This looks like it would have so much flavor! It also looks like an easy one to prepare – perfect for work nights.

  4. This is one of my favorite foods. I always order it when I go to the Korean restaurant near my house. Now I’ll be able to make it on my own. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe!

  5. Lizzy, this looks and sounds delicious (and quick and easy). Great flavours and your presentation is lovely.

  6. My family would love this dish! So simple and yet to elegant.

  7. I’ve never heard of pork bulgoge before! This looks like the perfect weeknight dinner. Pantry items + fast cooking time!

  8. Lizzy-Hopefully this post will go through now. I logged on differently, with Mozilla Firefox.
    The marinade for you delicious Pork Bulgoge is almost exactly the same marinade that could be use for most of the Asian dishes.
    Never realized it is a Korean dish…so easy, comforting, and something everyone in the family will like…minus all the red pepper flakes (that I have to use very little of, just like you did:D

  9. I love Korean dish and this is my 2nd favorite dish after Kalbi! I’m so happy non-Asian person making Asian dish (I’m not Korean but still happy!). And I didn’t miss – I LOVE the Asian-ish fabric/linen!

  10. Thank you Liz. This is good as is with lean pork tenderloin and also good with the much fattier pork shoulder (Boston roast) sliced wafer thin. Sometimes we eat it with rice and kimchee all wrapped in a quarter sheet of laver. (seaweed)

  11. Simple yet packed with many tastes. I recently bought some pork to get out of my “chicken-habit” and this is a lovely way to start.

  12. Wow, this sounds fantastic! I am bookmarking this now : )

  13. mmmm! Sounds so good… Simple, but flavorful!

  14. Yum! I love pork tenderloin. This dish looks fantastic.

  15. I enjoy exploring international cuisine when the recipes are straightforward and delicious. Thanks for sharing this!

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