Beef bulgogi lettuce wrap with kimchi. Square photo.
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5 from 13 votes

Beef Bulgogi (Spicy Korean BBQ)

Korean Beef Bulgogi is a dish that is packed with sweet and spicy flavor in the marinade, which is surprisingly easy to make. A healthier BBQ option!
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: beef bulgogi, korean bbq
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 231kcal
Author: Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice


Quick Pickled Carrots

  • 2 carrots cut into matchsticks or thinner
  • 2 tbsp salt will be rinsed off
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar 125ml
  • 1/2 cup water 125ml
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic smashed

Beef Bulgogi

  • 2 tbsp garlic minced
  • 1-2 tbsp ginger minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion sliced
  • 5 spring onions reserve a little of the green for garnish
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp gochujang leave out for milder*
  • 1 tbsp rice wine (mirin) or sherry, dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp grated kiwi or onion, Asian pear**
  • 1/4 tsp pepper optional
  • 1 lb beef thinly sliced*** 450g

Serve with

  • steamed rice
  • 1 head lettuce iceberg, romain, little gem etc
  • spring onions sliced, the green part
  • sesame seeds
  • kimchi or quick pickled carrots see above for carrots


Quick pickled carrots

  • Salt the carrots: Cut carrots into matchsticks or thinner and place in a bowl. Drizzle a generous amount of salt on top. Don’t worry, we will wash it off. Rinse them after 15 minutes, and you’ll notice the salt has taken a lot of water out of the carrots.
  • Mix with the rest: Mix rice wine vinegar, water and sugar together with coriander seeds, ginger and garlic. Pour over the carrots and stir to coat. Let it sit for an hour before eating, but longer is also good. Keeps well in the fridge.

Beef bulgogi

  • Marinate: Mix all the beef marinade ingredients, except for the beef. Carefully mix in the thinly sliced beef (see above for tips) with the marinade ingredients. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes – 1 hour.
  • Cook the beef: Cook the beef bulgogi in small batches on high heat. Add a little neutral oil to the pan. Focus on the meat (leave the onion stuff in the bowl), it needs only a couple of minutes in the pan. Set all the cooked beef aside and reduce the heat.
  • Cook the rest of the marinade: We can now cook the marinade; the onion and green onion and delicious sauce. This needs around 5 minutes on medium heat. Mix it with the cooked beef. Sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional).


  • Serve with steamed rice and big leafy greens such as iceberg, little gem, or romaine lettuce. Also don’t forget either the mega quick pickle or kimchi!
  • Take one large leafy green, add 3-ish tbsp of steamed rice, top with beef bulgogi, kimchi or pickled carrots, sesame seeds and the green parts of the green onion. Enjoy as a wonderful lettuce wrap!


* Bulgogi is often served with kimchi, which is already really spicy. I would not add more than 1 tbsp if served with kimchi. More if served with carrots.
** Bulgogi is traditionally tenderized using Asian pear. This is a thing that is not easy to find in grocery stores, but you can easily use grated kiwi or onion instead.
*** It is easier if you half-freeze the meat before slicing. Wrap in cling foil and place in the freezer for an hour. If you use smaller steaks, 20-30 minutes would be enough. So when you take it out, it is a lot firmer and easier to slice!Also remember to cut the beef against the grain, this way the beef will be more tender.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 2 wraps
Servings Per Container 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories 231 Calories from Fat 84.6
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9.4g 14%
Saturated Fat 2.4g 12%
Trans Fat g
Cholesterol 68mg 23%
Sodium 601mg 25%
Total Carbohydrate 11.8g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1.2g 5%
Sugars 7.6g
Protein 24.3g 49%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Only the beef calculated. Nutrition information is an estimate and is provided for informational purposes only. If you have any specific dietary concerns, please consult with your healthcare practitioner.