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.
4.87 from 15 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. 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!

  2. 5 stars
    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.

  3. 5 stars
    This meal is fantastic, the flavors are explosive and just what I was looking for! Thanks for sharing!

    1. 5 stars
      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!

  4. 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!

    1. Hi Shane – You can find the estimated nutritional info by clicking on the purple button below the recipe that says ESTIMATED NUTRITION INFORMATION. :)

  5. 5 stars
    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.

  6. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious and addicting! Thank you for the wonderful recipe, this has become famous on our weekly rotation.

  7. 5 stars
    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.

    1. 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. :)

  8. 5 stars
    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!

  9. can i add the remaining marinade to the pan, reduce & use as a sauce for the finihed bowl? I think I’m gonna lol

    1. 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. :)

  10. 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!!!!!

  11. 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?

  12. 4 stars
    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.

  13. 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.

    1. Hi Debra! No, it’s not essential, but it does provide some great flavor. You can definitely skip it :)