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sweet and spicy korean beef bulgogi in a bowl with toasted sesame seeds and scallions

Korean Beef Bulgogi Over Rice

  • Author: Stacey
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 portions 1x


Easy Korean beef bulgogi over rice that will drive your taste buds crazy. A little sweet, a little spicy and a lot of deliciousness!


Units Scale
  • 1 1/2 pounds of thinly sliced ribeye or sirloin steak
  • Olive oil or neutral oil for cooking meat
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted (optional)
  • 1 small bunch of scallions, chopped and divided

For the marinade:

  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated (about 1 inch of ginger)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 pear, peeled and grated
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon gochugaru (Korean chili flakes - see note #1)
  • 2 tablespoons sambal chili sauce (see note#2)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions

For the rice:

  • 1 1/2 cups white rice (I used basmati) Whether you use regular white rice or basmati, simply cook according to package instructions. Remember to add salt and butter (or olive oil) to the pot.


  1. Don’t forget to watch my video with all the step-by-step instructions. 
  2. The marinade: Finely dice the garlic and put in a bowl. Grate the ginger (an inch or so) and add to bowl. Add brown sugar, honey, ½ a pear (grated), soy sauce, gochugaru, sambal chili sauce, sesame oil and chopped scallions. Mix well then set this aside. Give it a taste here. If you want it sweeter add more sugar. You want it spicier? Add more sambal or chili flakes.
  3. The thinly sliced ribeye. I bought mine at a Korean market. If you do not have access to this you can buy ribeye or sirloin steaks, put them in the freezer for an hour or so before you start this recipe. This way it will be easier to slice the meat. Cut the meat as thin as possible before marinating – no more than a ¼” thick. If you’re using the already-sliced ribeye, pull apart the thin slices and put them in a bowl. My video shows this well. 
  4. Pour the marinade over the meat. Gently mix the meat around and massage the marinade into the slices of ribeye or sirloin until all the meat is coated. Wrap the bowl in plastic and let it marinate for 30 minutes. 
  5. Around this time would be good to start cooking the rice.
  6. If you are toasting the sesame seeds you should do that now. Heat them in a pan on low heat and toss them a few times. It takes about five minutes or so. They burn easily so be careful.
  7. I used two pans to cook the meat so it would take less time. Heat a little olive oil or neutral oil in your pans. Maybe 1 tablespoon per pan. Heat should be medium-to-high here. 
  8. Start adding the meat to the pan. It will cook very quickly – maybe one to two minutes on each side and it’s done. There will be a nice caramelization in the pan from the brown sugar and pear that will give the meat a good sear on the outside.
  9.  Transfer the cooked meat to a plate or sheet pan when finished cooking. 
  10. Everyone can serve themselves or you can put all the meat in a serving bowl and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and fresh scallions. Serve with rice.


  1. If you don’t have gochugaru, you can use regular chili powder, chili flakes or red pepper flakes work here too. Just remember different brands have different intensity of heat. You know your brand so add according to your heat preference. 
  2. If you don’t have Sambal chili sauce, Sriracha sauce will work too. That seems like a more common thing people have in the cabinet. Add to the marinade according to your heat preference. Try one tablespoon at a time and taste it to see if it’s spicy enough. 
  3. The sesame seeds. One tablespoon may be enough for you. I toasted 2 tablespoons because I knew I would use it for something else.