30 min serves 6-8

Korean Beef Bulgogi and Cucumber Salad

Bulgogi gets its sweet & spicy flavor courtesy of Korean gochujang and pear. Ripe pears make the marinade sing. Give a grocery store pear 3 or 4 days on your countertop to ripen. Don't forget to tenderize the sirloin steak, so the marinade soaks in nicely. It is best to let the marinade soak for 4 hours.



  • 2 packages Pre top sirloin or petite sirloin
  • 1 ripe pear, quartered, core discarded, coarsely grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane or passed through a garlic press
  • 2 T grated fresh ginger
  • 4 T low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 T gochujang (Korean red pepper paste, available in most ethnic sections of the grocery store or online)
  • 2 T light brown sugar or honey
  • 1 T toasted sesame oil
  • 1 T high heat cooking oil such as grapeseed
  • Garnish; 3 scallions, trimmed, white and green parts, sliced thinly on the diagonal
  • 1 to 2 T white sesame seeds
  • 3 C cooked white or brown rice, 1 C store bought kimchee and crisp iceberg lettuce wraps for serving
Cucumber Salad: 
  • 1/2 C seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 1 English cucumber peeled and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 small red onion thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 to 2 T sambal oelek (start with 1 T and add additional if you like the salad with more heat)
  • 1/2 t lime zest
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 T fish sauce
    Toasted sesame seeds
    Chopped fresh herbs such as thai basil, mint, or cilantro
  1. Remove sirloin from package, blot dry with paper towel and tenderize using your preferred method. Place tenderized sirloin on a plate and chill in your freezer while you prepare the other ingredients. This will help you get uniform, thin slices.
  2. Mix grated pear, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, gochujang, brown sugar or honey, and sesame oil in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake until well mixed and sugar has dissolved.
  3. Remove sirloin from freezer and place on clean cutting board. With a sharp knife cut sirloin against the grain into thin slices.
  4. Place sliced sirloin in a food storage bag and pour marinade over the meat. Seal and refrigerate for 4 hours, turning bag occasionally.
  5. Remove meat from refrigerator after 4 hours. Strain reserved marinade and place in small saucepan over medium low heat. Simmer reserved marinade while you cook the sirloin.
  6. Preheat a cast iron skillet and add 1 T of the high heat cooking oil and half of the sliced sirloin. You want the meat to be in a single layer so work in batches based on the size of your cast iron pan. Sear meat for 1 minute then toss with tongs, continue cooking for a total of 3 minutes, until cooked through and crispy on the edges.
  7. Pour half the reduced marinade over the sirloin, reserving the rest to serve on the side if desired.
  8. Place cooked rice on the center of a platter and top with sirloin. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds, serve kimchee and lettuce wraps on the side.
  9. To prepare the cucumber salad: In a small pan bring vinegar, sugar and salt to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to your serving bowl to cool, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Refrigerate tossing occasionally for at least 30 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped herbs if desired. (Salad keeps in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 4 days.) 


Korean Beef Bulgogi and Cucumber Salad

Amount per 188

  • 280kcal

  • 5.26g

  • 8.52g

  • 45.87g


Recipe developed by   Jennifer Borchardt