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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Amazing! Recipe turned out fantastic. Kiddos said was 10/10. Thanks for the great recipe!
You are so welcome, Shannon! I’m thrilled it was a hit!
This recipe was simple to follow and packed with flavor!!! And we even forgot to add the fried eggs!! It will go on repeat!
I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Trevin!
Love this recipe. So easy and delicious.
I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Norma!
Made this with my daughter! It was outstanding, highly recommend marinating over night. We did both ways snd overnight had more flavor though both were great!
I made it with cabbage salad that had siracha mayo, cilantro, lime and green onions! Divine and my 14 year old loves it too!
LOVE reading this, Samantha! I’m thrilled you and your daughter enjoyed the recipe!
Easy and so yummy! I did a quick pickle of the sliced cucumber in rice wine vinegar for some extra punch
I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Lindsey!
This is one of my daughter and husband’s favorite meals!! And it is really so easy! It just takes some planning because letting it marinate overnight is the best! We have had it without the egg and it is so much ch better with the egg! We tried kimchi with it once and just really didn’t feel like it made a huge difference, so we usually leave that out. Once, I didn’t have cucumber and we did miss that in the dish so I will make sure to always have that when making this. I am so glad I found this recipe! Thank you!
Love, love, LOVE reading this, Maria! I’m so thrilled your family has been enjoying the recipe!
Love this recipe and have made it at least 5 times now. I haven’t made it with regular brown sugar, but used brown Swerve as a sugar substitute. It’s my go-to favorite recipe. Thank you for sharing.
You are so welcome, Claudine! I’m thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe!
Delish! Will definitely make again. Used NY Strip steaks that were on sale, lightly coated in baking soda for 20-30 minutes, rinsed, patted dry, then marinated as above for several hours.
I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Adam!
Family love it! Made me big points at home! Such fantastic flavors!
I’m thrilled your family enjoyed the recipe, Doug!
This was AMAZING. My only regret was not making it the night before for an easier dinner. I completely forgot the cucumbers in the fridge, but didnt miss them. SO GOOD. Even my toddler loved it.
Woohoo! I’m so glad you and your kiddo enjoyed the recipe, Cait!
Great recipe. So simple, I let mine marinate over night.
Excellent! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Phillip!
On the Kimchi, Do you fry it or use it cold straight from the jar?
Hi Sarai! I prefer straight from the jar! :)
Made this for dinner tonight and loved it! I made the pickle recipe that’s likpnked in the comments. In addition, I sautéed shiitakes, carrots, and snow peas in the remaining drippings in the skillet when the steak was finished. Sooooo good!
Yessss! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Janet!
Made this last night. It was delicious. I did use Filet Mignon, because that’s what I had and I also cooked the meat on the bbq on a grill topper so it didn’t fall through. Delicious. Thank you.
You are so welcome, Barbara! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
Made this tonight and it was delicious. Thanks for sharing your recipe.
You are so welcome, Lisa! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
This is amazing!! I totaly recommend this dish, its a very filling dish and all kinds of flavors to it.
I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Lydia!
This was ABSOLUTELY delicious. My entire family including my 1.5 year old. It was soo delicious.. I wouldn’t make any changes!
Woohoo! I’m so happy to read this, Danielle!
Very delicious! Thank you for sharing!!!
You are so welcome, Amanda! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
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.
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?
This is a great Bulgogi recipe. Is going to become my go to!!!
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Lennie!
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!
Love, love, LOVE reading this! I’m so thrilled you and your husband (and your guests!) have been enjoying the recipe.
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!!
Woohoo! I’m so thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe, Terry!
I made this using cauliflower rice and it was amazing! Thank you for the recipe!
You are so welcome, Lori! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
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!
You are so welcome, Readere! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
Incredible recipe. My husband and son could not stop eating until it was gone
I’m so thrilled your family enjoyed the recipe, Sherley!
I am going to try this version. My sister in law is Korean and I love her version. Going to see how this compares.
I hope you enjoy the recipe, Laurie!
How did it compare?
It is sooooo easy and delicious!
Thank you for the recipe
You are so welcome, Fira! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
Amazingly easy and delicious! I used an eye round roast that my hubs sliced into 1/8” pieces and it did not disappoint! Literally minutes to make and get on the table.
Definitely filed under our “Favorites”.
Woohoo! I’m so thrilled you and your husband enjoyed the recipe, Judy!
I’m excited to try this recipe!! Is the nutrition info for the whole dish or a certain serving size?
Hi Allison! The estimated nutritional info is for one serving. :)
I tried this recipe last night and my family enjoyed it so much! I kept a copy and will definitely be on my favorite recipe file.
I’m so thrilled to read this, Racquel!
I made this the other night. I didn’t have gochujang chili sauce so I mixed gochujang and siracha together. Came out amazing! will be making this again! YUMMY!
Woohoo! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Michelle!
Made this recipe for dinner tonight! Really appreciated the tips on how to cut the beef as thinly as possible. The meal was pretty good but the ginger really overpowered all of the other flavors. I will absolutely be making again but will likely cut the ginger in half (or a little more than half). Thanks for the recipe!
You are so welcome, Erin! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
This is super easy and full of flavour. We all loved it, definitely going to be a regular favourite! I’m off now to search for some more inspiration on your site
I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Amanda! Welcome to Just a Taste :)
The marinade was awesome. Love your recipes.
Yay! I’m so thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe, Patrice!
I thought there would be a section telling us how to pickle the cucumbers.
Hi Theresa! You can soak the cucumber ribbons in rice wine vinegar with a pinch of sugar, or follow this recipe for Pickled Cucumber Noodles (and just make ribbons, if you prefer): https://www.justataste.com/chilled-sweet-and-sour-cucumber-noodles-recipe/ :)
This was excellent. My teenage boys had 3 servings.
WOWZA! I’m so thrilled your family enjoyed the recipe, Missy!
Absolutely delicious!! I only marinated for 30 minutes and it was still so flavorful. Definitely will make again.
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Erika!
I was hungry for asian food ( the small town we live in is extremely limited) so I wanted an easy recipe to satisfy my “been to Korea” Husbandand myself. Well this worked!!! I used only 1 tbls of Sriracha sauce. But other wise per directions. Very Good will keep and do again mainly cus it was easy. FYI used Aldi Sirloin Steak and cooked the last of the marinated for a sauce.
Yay! I’m so thrilled you and your husband enjoyed the recipe, Amber!
I just made this recipe and it was a huge hit with the whole family. Thanks for sharing,and keep up the good work.
I’m thrilled your family enjoyed the recipe, Jack!
Love this recipe!!! So tasty and easy for a weeknight. Going to try this week with sliced pork and see how that goes
Woohoo! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Dani!
Thank you for this delicious recipe! I’ve made this many times but now use monkfruit brown sugar instead to keep it keto friendly. I also add broccoli to add vegetables. Wonderful dinner!
I’m so happy to read that you’ve been enjoying the recipe, Toni!
My husband and I have made this recipe several time now. We LOVE it!!!
I’m so happy to read this, Caroline!
I can’t believe how delicious this was! I added avocado and passed on the eggs. Made it with brown rice and pickled red cabbage. Out of this world!
2 lbs. of beef was too much for us, but we will have amazing leftovers.
I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Barbara!
This meal is fantastic, the flavors are explosive and just what I was looking for! Thanks for sharing!
You are so welcome, Paige! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
This came out beautifully, even my first fried egg was perfect! The flavors were wonderful, and the household was very pleased with the results! Highly recommend!
I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Caitlin!
What did you pickle the cucumber ribbons with? They look very simple….all the pickled cucumbers recipes I’m finding have a lot of spices and I do not want to mask the bulgogi flavors in this recipe!
Hi Kelly! You can soak the cucumber ribbons in rice wine vinegar with a pinch of sugar, or follow this recipe for Pickled Cucumber Noodles (and just make ribbons, if you prefer): https://www.justataste.com/chilled-sweet-and-sour-cucumber-noodles-recipe/ :)
Hi what’s the brand of your soy sauce? Thanks
What is all the Nutrition facts on this meal?
Hi Shane – You can find the estimated nutritional info by clicking on the purple button below the recipe that says ESTIMATED NUTRITION INFORMATION. :)
This one is a definitely keeper. I have 5 kids and they all have completely different taste in food. This is one of the 1st meals in a while they all ate. We have tried a ground beef version with a sour cream Sriracha sauce. My oldest loves it everyone else didn’t . But this version everyone loved and surprisingly everyone ate the Kimchi I made.
Love reading this, Victoria! I’m so thrilled your family enjoyed the recipe!
Absolutely delicious and addicting! Thank you for the wonderful recipe, this has become famous on our weekly rotation.
I’m so thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe, Sarah!
Hi Kelly, thanks for sharing. Does the recipe also work for pork?
Love this! I used a london broil and it totally worked. SO glad my cousin made this for us when she was visiting back in October. We now love this recipe.
Yay! I’m so thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe, Kelli!
How do you pickle the cucumber ribbons? I don’t see that step in the recipe? Thanks
Hi Tammy! If you’d like to pickle the cucumber you can soak the cucumber ribbons in rice wine vinegar with a pinch of sugar, or follow this recipe for Pickled Cucumber Noodles (and just make ribbons, if you prefer): https://www.justataste.com/chilled-sweet-and-sour-cucumber-noodles-recipe/ :)
Can I use stew beef?
About how long do you sear the beef on each side?
Hi Austin! Cook the beef about 2-3 minutes per side.
Easy to make and delicious. A crowd favorite at my house.
I’m so thrilled to read this, Yvette!
I have 2 New York steaks in the fridge, can I use those?
Can I skip the sesame oil? What can I use in place of sesame oil? Thank you!
Hi Maria! Feel free to swap in whatever oil you have on hand as it won’t drastically change the outcome, just the flavor a bit. :)
This looks so delicious!! Could I use fondue meat as it is already thin sliced?
That *should* work!
My SIL from Korea used to make Bulgogi for us. Years later I saw some bowls in Costco’s frozen section. They were good but stopped carrying them. I am so happy to have this easy recipe and the meat is marinating right know. I can’t wait to dig in!
So you don’t pickle the cucumber?
Hi Jenny – If you’d like to pickle the cucumber you can soak the cucumber ribbons in rice wine vinegar with a pinch of sugar, or follow this recipe for Pickled Cucumber Noodles (and just make ribbons, if you prefer): https://www.justataste.com/chilled-sweet-and-sour-cucumber-noodles-recipe/
can i add the remaining marinade to the pan, reduce & use as a sauce for the finihed bowl? I think I’m gonna lol
Hi Christine! For food safety reasons I’d recommend once you’re done marinating the meat, discarding the used marinade. In the future, you can set aside some of the mixture prior to marinating to then make a sauce. :)
Delicious bowl of food and easy to do!! ❤️
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Sam!
I am so glad I stumbled across this recipe. I cooked up the meat tonight and served on brown rice with a side fried Cajun cabbage dish. The flavor of the meat is amazing. I will definitely make this again. Maybe even next week!!!!!
Amazing! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Dawn!
Looks delicious, in going to try it for dinner but I don’t have any shallots can I use regular Spanish onion? Also any recommendations on a good Kimchi brand?
Hi Kelly! Spanish onion will work and I really like the Wildbrine Korean Kimchi. :)
Another hit! Two thumbs up from the family and be making again
So good!! I will be making this again for sure.
I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Vanessa!
I made this tonight……yummmmmooooo. It was delicious. It tasted just like what I get at the sushi place for my bento box. Defiantly making it again.
I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Micaela!
Stunning recipe! The beef was melt in the mouth flavour bomb! Definitely one to do again.
I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Jayne!
Where is there part for the pickled cucumber?
Hi Adam! You can soak the cucumber ribbons in rice wine vinegar with a pinch of sugar, or follow this recipe for Pickled Cucumber Noodles (and just make ribbons, if you prefer): https://www.justataste.com/chilled-sweet-and-sour-cucumber-noodles-recipe/
The Bulgogi bowl looks so delicious! As soon as I have a minute I am going to make it. Yummy!
Thanks, Nona! I hope you enjoy the recipe!
Hi, Is the chili garlic sauce a necessary part of the recipe as I don’t believe there is a kosher version here in Australia. We have Sweet Chilli Sauce but not this. Do you have substitutes or can you give me an idea of what it achieves so that I can add more of something else.
Hi Debra! No, it’s not essential, but it does provide some great flavor. You can definitely skip it :)