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