Ditch the delivery and whip up a make-ahead recipe for Easy Beef Bulgogi Bowls served with pickled veggies and fried eggs.

Top down view of two bowls containing easy beef bulgogi, white rice, a fried egg, cucumber ribbons, fresh cilantro and kimchi

This is the true definition of a “meal in-a-bowl”: marinated beef Bulgogi, pickled cucumbers, spicy kimchi and a fried egg, all served atop a bed of rice. Lunch, dinner and/or leftovers is done!

Thinly sliced beef bulgogi

The real secret to restaurant-worthy Bulgogi is to very, very thinly slice the beef. The thinner it is, the faster it will cook and the more tender and melt-in-your-mouth it will be.

Slicing a raw steak at room temp can be difficult, so here’s the trick: Pop the beef into the freezer for about 10 minutes then grab your sharpest chef’s knife and start slicing. The quick freeze helps firm up the fat, making the steak easier to slice to your desired thickness (i.e. THIN!).

Sliced beef in clear bowl with marinade

This marinade knocks every flavor element out of the park. It’s savory (hello, soy sauce!), sweet (I see you, brown sugar!), sour (shout-out to the rice wine vinegar!) and loaded with a garlicky, gingery punch. The longer the beef sits in the marinade, of course the more pungent those flavors will be, so don’t hesitate to toss it all together a day in advance and save yourself some prep time when hunger calls!

Top down view of Easy Beef Bulgogi Bowls with a fried egg, cucumber ribbons, white rice, fresh cilantro and kimchi

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Main Course

Easy Beef Bulgogi Bowls

Ditch the delivery and whip up a make-ahead recipe for Easy Beef Bulgogi Bowls served with pickled veggies and fried eggs.
4.91 from 30 votes
Top down view of two bowls containing easy beef bulgogi, white rice, a fried egg, cucumber ribbons, fresh cilantro and kimchi
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients 

For the beef bulgogi:

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoons chili garlic sauce or Gochujang Chili Sauce, or more to taste
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons minced ginger
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 2 pounds ribeye or top sirloin steaks, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices (See Kelly’s Note)
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

For assembling the bowls:

  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 4 fried eggs
  • 1 cup homemade or store-bought kimchi
  • 1 English cucumber, cut into ribbons

Instructions 

Make the beef bulgogi:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, chili garlic sauce, rice wine vinegar, garlic, ginger and shallots. 
  • Add the sliced beef to the bowl with the marinade and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate the beef for a minimum of 2 hours and up to overnight.
  • Heat a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the vegetable oil then using a slotted spoon, add the marinated beef, searing it quickly on all side and being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Transfer the beef to a plate. 

Assemble the bowls:

  • Divide the rice among four serving bowls and top it with the beef bulgogi.  
  • Top each bowl with a fried egg, a portion of kimchi and cucumber ribbons. Serve immediately. 

Kelly’s Note:

  • To thinly slice the steak, place it in the freezer for 30 minutes to help it firm up before using a sharp knife to cut it into thin slices. 
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!

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Nutrition

Calories: 935kcal, Carbohydrates: 69g, Protein: 58g, Fat: 47g, Saturated Fat: 21g, Cholesterol: 302mg, Sodium: 2229mg, Potassium: 948mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 30g, Vitamin A: 350IU, Vitamin C: 3.4mg, Calcium: 100mg, Iron: 6.1mg

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Comments

  1. Hi Kelly,

    I just made this recipe for the 3rd time tonight. The first time I made it, it turned out perfectly. The marinade coated the meat perfectly when I cooked it. For some reason the 2nd and 3rd time I made, it the marinade was more watery when I cooked the meat, and did not “stick” to the meat. All 3 times I prepared and marinated the meat the night before. The flavors were amazing each time, I just can’t figure out why it was so watery the last few times.

    1. Hi Nora! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipe. Did you use the same cut of beef and slice it the same each time?

  2. 5 stars
    I make this frequently! It is one of my husband’s favorites. I’ve done with chicken as well, just pouring reduced sauce, which I’ve made ahead of time, over the almost cooked chicken in my wok and simmer until the chicken is done. I have made this multiple times for dinner guests set up as a rice bowl bar and its always a hit — who doesn’t like a delicious rice bowl? This is a fantastic recipe and you can easily tailor it to your taste, plus it’s easy to double or triple the recipe. We add endamame, shredded carrots, sugar snap peas and asian sautéed mushrooms along with spicy cucumbers, kimchee and over easy eggs. Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. Love, love, LOVE reading this! I’m so thrilled you and your husband (and your guests!) have been enjoying the recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    Love this quick recipe! It’s my go to bulgogi recipe when I want to make it at the last minute. As long as you marinate it for a half hour it still comes out very tasty!! It’s great with white jasmine rice and kimchi. It’s even great in sliders with sliced onions, green onions and mayo! Yum!!

  4. 5 stars
    OMG amazing! I love that marinade! I made the bowls as written and it all went together so well. Fast and easy also. Perfect for a week day dinner. Thanks for the great dinner!

  5. I am going to try this version. My sister in law is Korean and I love her version. Going to see how this compares.

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