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 31 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.

  6. 5 stars
    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”.

  7. 5 stars
    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.

  8. 5 stars
    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!

  9. 4 stars
    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!

  10. 5 stars
    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

  11. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious!! I only marinated for 30 minutes and it was still so flavorful. Definitely will make again.

      1. 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.

      2. Yay! I’m so thrilled you and your husband enjoyed the recipe, Amber!

  12. 5 stars
    I just made this recipe and it was a huge hit with the whole family. Thanks for sharing,and keep up the good work.

    1. Love this recipe!!! So tasty and easy for a weeknight. Going to try this week with sliced pork and see how that goes

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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. :)

  17. 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.

  18. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious and addicting! Thank you for the wonderful recipe, this has become famous on our weekly rotation.

  19. 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. :)

  20. 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!

  21. 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. :)

  22. 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!!!!!

  23. 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?

  24. 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.

  25. 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 :)