WTF Is Bulgogi?

By Betchy Crocker

If you’re all tuned in to the up-and-coming shit on the culinary horizon, you’ve definitely heard of bulgogi. If not, you may have heard the word and wondered if it was a new kind of super chlamydia or designer label.

WTF is it? The word bulgogi, when translated, means fire meat. This Korean dish usually consists of grilled marinated beef, ginger, scallions, garlic, mushrooms, and soy sauce. Occasionally, those crafty Koreans will even use grated pear as a tenderizer for the meat AND for a dash of sweetness. It’s usually served with tons of accoutrements from rice noodles to scallions to kimchi. The great part about bulgogi is that it’s trendy, delicious, AND you can easily make it yourself. We’ve adapted this recipe from the New York Times.


  • 1 lb boneless beef tenderloin
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped Bosc pear—make sure that shit is ripe
  • ¾ cup onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp black pepper

If your beef is hella fresh, wrap it tightly in plastic and place in the freezer for an hour to firm up. Once that’s all set, remove beef from the freezer and cut across the grain into thin slices. Set aside.

In a food processor, combine the garlic, pear, onion, and ginger until it’s hella smooth. Grab your sliced beef, a giant plastic resealable bag, and combine the pear marinade, beef, and remaining ingredients, mixing well. Seal, then refrigerate for about 2 hours.

Right before you’re ready to cook, prep all your garnishes or, like, whatever you plan on serving the beef with or in. We recommend big lettuce leaves, cooked rice, hot peppers, cucumber and carrot spears, and even kimchi.

Heat a pan over high heat and add all of the meat and its juices to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is gone and the meat is brown on the edges. Serve immediately.

Congrats on your first foray into Korean food, betch. 




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