Named for the Korean words for “fire” and “meat,” bool kogi starts with thin slices of rib-eye, which are marinated in a sweet-salty blend of soy sauce, brown sugar, Asian pear, garlic, ginger, ground black pepper and sesame oil. Grilling meat for this dish can be done either using a barbecue griddle or a stove-top one. There is no strict rule to this. As long as you get that charred grilled taste, you are good to go. Although, using a pan that needs charcoal for grilling results to a lump of more flavorful meat from the smoke of the charcoal. Oftentimes, thinly sliced sirloin or ribeye is used in this type of dish. Having a decent amount of fat between the spaces of the lean meat helps keep the juiciness of your dish.
Bool kogi can be made using pork, beef, or chicken. Perhaps the most commonly used protein for most restaurants in Korea is the Samgyeopsal or pork belly. There are sveral variations of a Korean grilled beef that is bool kogi such as Dwaeji-bool kogi or pork version and Ttukbaegi-bool kogi or hot pot bool kogi.
Once marinated it is served to cook on a charcoal grill on a brazier at your table. Served with some steamed rice and with other Korean side dishes, including Korean ssamjang (Korean bbq dipping sauce) and some kimchi (pickled cabbage). When grilling, the meat is commonly accompanied by slivers of garlic, onions, and peppers.
To enjoy this dish, the grilled beef is wrapped in lettuce leaves with grilled garlic and adding the kimchi. Once rolled, enjoy by dipping in the ssamjang sauce. In Korea and most Korean-themed restaurants, bulgogi is enjoyed around the table with a grilling pan in the middle. The smokey aroma and flavor are well enjoyed with a bottle of soju, a Korean alcoholic beverage. Bool kogi is best enjoyed as soon as it moves out of the pan.
This authentic Korean recipe calls for the addition of gochujang sauce, a traditional Korean sauce. This sauce has a bold sweet/spicy/umami flavor with an underlying funk. Gochujang is a smooth, fermented chili paste seasoned with salt and added with rice powder for texture. This is a staple condiment used in Korean dishes used to enhance flavor. There is absolutely no need to make one yourself as this condiment is readily available in most Asian grocery stores throughout the world.
Bool Kogi recipeCourse: MainCuisine: KoreanDifficulty: Easy
- Bool Kogi
400g Beef Rib Eye
2 bulbs finely minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
2 tablespoons Soy sauce
2 tablespoons of Sake
1 asian pear or red apple
2 teaspoons of Gochujang Sauce
2 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
- To Serve
½ brown onion diced
½ carrot Diced
150g Bean sprouts
1/2 bunch Chinese chive – chopped
1 tablespoon of white sesame seeds
Sesame oil (for finishing)
Store bought Korean Kimchi to serve
Steamed Rice to serve with.
Lettuce leaves to serve.
- Wrap meat tightly in cling wrap and place beef into freezer and let meat partially freeze – 1hr. This will make the meat easier to cut.
- Remove the meat from the freezer and remove the cling wrap. Slice the meat thinly across the grain. Ideal thickness is 2mm to 3mm (1/8 inch). Place in a bowl.
- Blend the marinade ingredients in a mixer or food processor until smooth. Set aside.
- Add Marinade to bowl of beef and mix well until combined and meat is well covered.
- Cover the bowl with cling wrap and marinate the meat for at least 4 hours in the fridge. (Marinating overnight produces a better result).
- In a hot heavy frying pan or bbq plate add oil and fry the chopped carrots and onion until softened, then add the beansprouts continuously stirring, add the marinated beef still stirring until beef is browned.
- Add 1/2 bunch of chopped Chinese chive, white sesame and sesame oil at the end and fry for one minute.
- Remove pan from heat and transfer beef to a serving plate. And garnish with white sesame seeds.
- Served with some steamed rice and kimchi (pickled cabbage) and lettuce leaves.
- To enjoy this dish, the grilled beef is wrapped in lettuce leaves adding the kimchi.
- Once rolled, enjoy by dipping in the ssamjang sauce (Korean bbq dipping sauce).
tips and tricks
- If you are buying a whole slab of meat and plan on slicing it yourself, put the slab inside the freezer for at least 2 to 3 hours to make the slicing easier.
- The key to getting a well-marinated and juicy cut of bool kogi is to slice the meat as thinly as possible.
- The best meat portions you can use are sirloin and rib eye, but you can also use brisket.
- Being generous to using marinating ingredients such as garlic and soy sauce can help tenderize your meat slices.
- Add complexity to the flavor of your meat slices by adding gochujang to your marinating sauce.
- When grilling, simultaneously grill the meat with onions, garlic, and some pepper to add flavor and can also be added to the lettuce wrap. You can also brush the meat with the marinating sauce during grilling to prevent the meat from drying up.
- When eating with rice, a dash of sesame oil at the end will add more complex flavors to the dish. Finish the meal with sliced scallions and sesame seeds.
- Grilling over charcoal gives a different flavor and eating experience but needs more skills to perfect the cooking.
- Instead of sliced pears in the marinating sauce, you can also use other fruits such as apples. The organic acids from these fruits help tenderize the meat.
- Although there is no need to marinate the thinly-sliced meats for several hours, keeping them in the marinating sauce while refrigerated will result in a more flavorful dish.
- Using brown sugar creates a more caramelized flavor when compared to using white or washed sugar.