Korean Beef Bulgogi Recipe from Nourishing Traditions

korean beef bulgogi

I’ve been eating bulgogi (Korean barbecued beef) since before my twin girls came home from Korea 17 years ago. This dish is delicious with kimchi or any of the fermented vegetables, especially ginger carrots, or both! I didn’t start making this at home until a year or two ago though, and I didn’t realize how easy it actually was to make. Most restaurants use the regular soy sauce to marinate their meat instead of gluten free tamari, so it’s hard to find a gluten free bulgogi out of the house.

Tips for making Bulgogi

  • Don’t be afraid of letting the beef marinate overnight, or start marinating in the morning for that night’s dinner. The flavor is much better when marinated for longer than 2 hours.
  • These strips of beef are so thin that they cook very quickly. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn as the sugars in the raw honey (if used) will make them burn sooner.

Korean Beef (Bulgogi)




Serves 4

Page in NT: 335


  • 1 flank steak (other cuts of meat could also be used such as sirloin, ribeye)
  • 1/2 cup naturally fermented soy sauce (use tamari for gluten free)
  • 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and grated on a microplane
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or Sriracha sauce (omit for this to be nightshade free)
  • pinch of stevia powder or 2 Tablespoons raw honey
  • 4 Tablespoons coconut oil, divided
  • 1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 green onions, chopped


  1. Using a very sharp and heavy knife, slice the flank steak as thinly as possible across the grain and on the diagonal. (This will be easier if the meet is partially frozen.)
  2. Mix other ingredients and marinate beef in the mixture, refrigerated, for several hours or over night.
  3. After marinating is complete – you can fold or “ribbon” the strips and stick them on skewers, making four to six brochettes, if you’re going to cook the meat on a barbecue or grill. See below for stove top directions.
  4. In a heavy cast iron enamel pan, heat 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil and fry the sweet onions until browned. Then add the green onions and fry for an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Remove all onions from the pan, but leave any browned bits in the pan. Add 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil and start frying the beef in batches, 1-2 minutes per side.
  6. Serve over white rice or soaked brown rice, and serve with kimchi, pickled ginger or ginger carrots.

Photo courtesy of Renée Suen on Flickr

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