Head to the grill for Korean barbecue

  • Article by: NICK EVANS THEKITCHN.COM
  • Updated: July 30, 2014 - 1:12 PM

The secret to making good Korean Bulgogi-style grilled steak is in the marinade.

Photo: Nick Evans • TheKitchn.com,

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Korean barbecue is such a fun meal out, especially if you can find a place that has the individual grills in each table. You just pick out your proteins and vegetables, and then grill them over flames right at your own table.

My favorite dish is bulgogi — savory and slightly spicy grilled beef. The flavors are intense and completely addicting. Turns out you can get that same Korean barbecue flavor by marinating a thin steak overnight and grilling it at home.

The list of ingredients for the marinade might look extensive, but most of them are basic. The one exception is a slightly spicy Korean chili paste called gochujang. It’s really the most important piece of the puzzle, so it’s worth hunting down at an Asian market.

After you pulse the marinade ingredients together in a food processor, scoop out about ½ cup of the marinade and set it aside. This extra is for drizzling over the steak once it’s cooked — the finishing touch.

The rest of the marinade goes straight on your steak. Cover the steak on all sides and store it in an airtight container overnight.

Bulgogi is typically thinly sliced before being grilled, but here I decided to grill it whole to keep things really easy on myself — and avoid any precious slices of steak from falling through the grates.

Grill the steak over medium-high heat. Depending on the thickness and cut, it’ll take 6 to 8 minutes per side. You’re shooting for a medium-rare steak; a meat thermometer should register 130 to 135 degrees in the thickest portion.

Slice the steak thinly and serve it with simple garnishes. I chose to serve it on jasmine rice with some kimchi, fresh cucumber and fresh cilantro.

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