Legendary Dishes | Bulgogi (grilled beef strips)


An essential ingredient of this traditional Korean dish is the Asian pear, colloquially known as the apple-pear.

The flavour is enhanced with sesame, oil and toasted seeds.

The garlic, ginger and shallots add piquancy while the soy and sugar provide colour and caramel.

The beef strips are traditionally cooked with carrots, onions and spring onions but they are optional.

Rib-eye is the preferred cut, sirloin is also acceptable.


  • 500 g beef, lean, cut into thin slices
  • 1 Asian pear (or half small apple and half small pear)
  • 100 g shallots, thin sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 60 ml light soy sauce
  • 3 cm ginger root
  • 30 ml sesame oil
  • 30 g sugar
  • 30 ml rice wine
  • 30 ml water
  • 2 spring onions, thin sliced
  • 10 g sesame seeds, dry toasted

Blend pear or apple and pears, garlic, ginger, shallots, soy sauce and some water into a paste.

Combine the paste with the spring onions, sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, rice wine and sugar. Marinade the beef slices in this mixture for 24 hours.

Finish (optional)

  • 150 g mushrooms, thin sliced
  • 100 g carrot, peeled, thin sliced
  • 100 g onions, thin sliced
  • 15 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Place the marinated slices of beef on a hot grill, turning each time they began to take on colour.

Stir fry the carrots, mushrooms and onions in a little oil until they begin to soften, sprinkle with black pepper.

Serve with the beef strips.