bulgogi bao with homemade steamed buns on fmitk.com

Bulgogi Bao with Spicy Cucumbers and Kimchi Slaw

Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest5Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someonePrint this page

bulgogi bao with homemade steamed buns on fmitk.com

This bulgogi recipe is based on my best friend’s Aunt Tracie’s recipe. I’ve never actually seen her measure anything so this was a bit of trial and error on my part, based on my memories of her making the recipe. My first batch was a salty meat bomb… I added wayyyy too much soy sauce and let it marinate wayyyy too long. When you’re using soy sauce in marinades you have to be careful, things can get very salty very quickly. Feel free to substitute low-sodium soy sauce in this as well.

Once I did get the marinade right, however, it was amazing! You’ll need thinly sliced beef for this. At the Asian markets, sometimes it’s labeled as “shabu shabu” cut. Sirloin or ribeye both work well for this. If you don’t have an Asian market around, you could ask your butcher to cut the meat thinly, or you can freeze a hunk of meat and cut it yourself with your sharpest knife.

Steamed buns can be purchased at Asian markets as well, but it’s so doggone easy to make them yourself! If you’re new to / scared of cooking with yeast, this is a great intro recipe from my friend Jamie. No baking required, just a little time in the steamer!

You’ll find a few recipes below:  the bulgogi, a link to the homemade steamed buns (they’re so easy to make, promise!), spicy Korean cucumbers and an Asian pear and kimchi slaw I made up because I wanted something crunchy on top. I know it looks like a lot, but it’s all easy peasy – just mix it all up in a bowl.

One more note and then we can start cooking – once you have some of the basics of an Asian pantry on hand, you’ll pretty much be able to make anything:

I  always have these stocked (and usually different types of each… you mean you don’t have 4 types of soy sauce? dark, light, tamari and low sodium? oh. oh okay). In combination with your other pantry basics (garlic, onions, etc), you’ll be able to whip up Korean, Thai, Japanese and more!

Okay, let’s cook!

bulgogi bao with homemade steamed buns on fmitk.com

You’ll need rice wine, sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, brown sugar, thinly sliced beef, green onion, ginger, garlic, Asian pear and onion.

bulgogi bao with homemade steamed buns on fmitk.com

See how thin the beef is? A little thicker than this will still work well.

bulgogi bao with homemade steamed buns on fmitk.com

In a food processor, puree the Asian pear, onion, garlic and ginger. Alternately, if you don’t have a food processor, grate the onion and pear, reserving the juice, and finely chop the ginger and garlic.

bulgogi bao with homemade steamed buns on fmitk.com

Add in the soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, rice or red wine, green onion and sesame oil; stir to combine. Add in the beef.

bulgogi bao with homemade steamed buns on fmitk.com

Let the beef marinate at least one hour, and up to 4. Any longer than that and it may get too salty.

While the beef is marinating, make the spicy cucumbers and kimchi slaw.

bulgogi bao with homemade steamed buns on fmitk.com

For the spicy cucumbers you’ll need sugar, rice vinegar, gochugaru, sesame seeds, green onions, sesame oil and cucumbers.
In a small bowl, mix everything except the cucumbers. Dip in a cucumber slice and adjust seasoning (sugar, salt, sesame) as needed. Add in sliced cucumbers and chill until ready to use.

bulgogi bao with homemade steamed buns on fmitk.com

For the kimchi slaw you’ll need kimchi, Asian pear, sesame oil, rice vinegar and a carrot.
Slice the kimchi and juilenne the pear and carrot. Toss with sesame oil, vinegar and a little kimchi liquid from the jar. Chill until ready to use.

Time to make the meats!

bulgogi bao with homemade steamed buns on fmitk.com

Whatever you’re using to cook the meat, get it smokin’ hot! You want to get a good sear and crispy edges on the beef. Since it’s thin, it cook up pretty quickly – about a minute on each side.

 

bulgogi bao with homemade steamed buns on fmitk.com

mmm, tho!

bulgogi bao with homemade steamed buns on fmitk.com

Because I’m a self-confessed #eggslut, I made a few overeasy quail eggs to throw on top. Totally optional.

Let’s put it all together!

bulgogi bao with homemade steamed buns on fmitk.com

Place half a shiso leaf (or lettuce) in the bun, followed by a few slices of the spicy cucumber.

bulgogi bao with homemade steamed buns on fmitk.com

Add some bulgogi and a bit of the Asian pear and kimchi slaw.

bulgogi bao with homemade steamed buns on fmitk.com

Add some chopped green onion, and if you’re feeling fancy, throw an overeasy quail egg on top. Because, eggs.

bulgogi bao with homemade steamed buns on fmitk.com

You know how I feel about runny eggs.

 

Bulgogi Bao with Spicy Cucumbers and Kimchi Slaw
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Adapted from my Aunt Tracie's recipe.
Author:
Serves: 12 bao
Ingredients
  • 1 Asian pear, roughly chopped
  • 1 small white onion, roughly chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1" fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (Kikkoman)
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp rice wine (note: *not rice vinegar, can substitute red wine)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2lbs ribeye or sirloin, thinly sliced (Asian grocers will carry this sliced, or ask your butcher)

  • to serve
  • 12 bao buns / steamed buns (store-bought or homemade)
  • sesame leaves (sometimes called perilla or shiso, can substitute lettuce)
  • spicy cucumbers (recipe below)
  • Asian pear and kimchi slaw (recipe below)
  • quail egg (optional)
  • chopped green onion
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, combine pear, onion, garlic and ginger and puree until smooth. Alternately, you can grate the onion and the pear, reserving juices. In a medium bowl, stir to combine the pureed mixture with soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, rice or red wine, green onion and sesame oil. Add in meat and let marinate for at least 30 minutes, up to 4 hours. Any longer than that and it may get too salty.
  2. To cook on a grill: Line grill grate with foil and grill meat until the edges brown and meat is no longer pink. Since the cut is thin, it takes about 30-60 seconds per side.
  3. To cook in a grill pan: Let marinade drop off of meat before adding to a very very hot grill pan. You want the meat to sizzle and for it to brown when it hits the pan. Cook in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan or it will steam instead of brown.  The meat is thin, so it'll take about 1 minute on each side, until no longer pink. Clean out grill pan between batches as needed.
  4. to assemble the bao
  5. Gently open the bao, taking care not to rip it in half. Place a sesame leave in the bun, followed by a few slices of spicy cucumber and bulgogi. Top with Asian pear and kimchi slaw, a quail egg if using, and a sprinkle of chopped green onion.

 
Spicy Cucumbers
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onion
  • good pinch of sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 2 Kirby or Persian cucumbers, sliced ~1/8" thick
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients except the cucumbers in a bowl. Dip in a slice of cucumber to taste, and adjust salt and sugar as needed. Serve cold or room temperature.

 
Asian Pear and Kimchi Slaw
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 small carrot, cut into matchsticks (julienned)
  • 1/2 Asian pear, cored and julienned
  • 1/2 cup kimchi, sliced
  • drizzle of toasted sesame oil
  • splash of rice vinegar
  • pinch of gochugaru (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine carrot, pear and kimchi in a bowl, along with a tablespoon or so of kimchi juice from the jar. Add a drizzle of sesame oil, a little splash of rice vinegar and a pinch of gochugaru, if using. Adjust seasonings to taste. Trust your palate! I'm not eating this, after all... you are.

Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest5Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someonePrint this page
7 replies
  1. sundiegoeats
    sundiegoeats says:

    I always cheat whenever I make my Korean BBQ beef and just use applesauce instead of Asian pear as I don’t always have that on hand. I want to try your recipe though and I must procure a shiso leaf too, forgot how perfect those would be for Korean BBQ beef buns!

    Reply
    • holly
      holly says:

      applesauce!!! I didn’t even think of that! Such a good idea. I LOVE the herby-ness (so not a word) that the shiso adds.

      Reply
    • holly
      holly says:

      If you like the flavors of sesame, ginger and garlic you’re gonna looooove bulgogi!! please let me know if you try it!

      Reply
  2. Do to
    Do to says:

    Just want to say thank you for this recipe. I stumbled on this website somehow today and decided to make everything on here. It was exceptional. Really very good.

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] all of your heart’s desires. My heart’s desires usually consist of marinated meat like bulgogi or crispy pork belly. Or leftover chicken adobo. Or eggs and bacon […]

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply