Bulgogi : Grilled Marinated Meat

Grilled rib eye bulgogi
Grilled rib eye bulgogi on a charcoal grill

Bulgogi is a dish that consists of well marbled grilled marinated beef, chicken, or pork that is commonly found in barbecue restaurants all over Seoul. The most common preparation is to marinate thin slices of beef, such as sirloin, in soy sauce, sesame oil, and garlic.

Literally meaning fire meat, this dish dates back to 37 BC during the Goguryeo era. During this period, meat was often grilled on skewers which was known then as maekjeok.

During the Joseon Dynasty, it was known as neobiani and consumed mainly by the noble and wealthy.

Bulgogi is usually grilled on an open fire or metal dish along with sliced garlic, onions, mushrooms, kimchi, and even egg. The meat is then cut into smaller pieces and wrapped in lettuce or perilla (sesame) leaves and topped with ssamjang, which is a thick and spicy soybean paste. This is known as ssam.

Variations include dak bulgogi (marinated chicken) and dwaeji bulgogi (marinated pork).

Read more about other Korean food dishes