I have no idea why this dish is named Beef Bulgogi, and I have even less of a clue as to what bulgogi means, but I do know that this dish is de-licious. I first found the recipe in my all-time favorite cookbook, Everyday Food: Great Food Fast, a few years ago, and I have been making it ever since.
It's basically a Korean beef stir fry. I serve it the traditional way, with lettuce wraps, but I'm sure it would also be great with rice on the side. The recipe calls for hot chile sesame oil, but if you can only find plain sesame oil, that works too. Just add about 1 tsp. of red pepper flakes to the oil to give it a kick. Since I'm cooking for two, I only use 1 lb. of steak, but the original recipe calls for 1-1/2 lbs. and is supposed to feed four. Although, you might want to add another green pepper as well if you're cooking for more than 2. No need to increase the marinade though, it will go a long way.
1 lb. sirloin or rib-eye steak,
trimmed & cut into into slices about 1/8-in thick
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp. hot chile sesame oil
2 tbsp. brown sugar
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. peeled, fresh ginger, minced or grated
2 red onions, cut into 1-in. wedges
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
4 tsp. vegetable oil
1 small head butter lettuce
Start by making your marinade. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, hot chile sesame oil, brown sugar, garlic and ginger. Stir to combine. Set aside.
Cut up your vegetables and your steak. Put the vegetables in one bowl with half of the marinade and the steak in another bowl with the remaining marinade. Allow the meat to marinate in the sauce for 15 minutes.
While the meat is marinating, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tsp. of the vegetable oil. Add the vegetables. Saute for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the heat and set aside.
Add the remaining 2 tsp. of the vegetable oil to the skillet. Toss the meat into the skillet and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the beef is just cooked through.
Once the beef is cooked, add the vegetables back into the skillet. Toss everything together to combine, and cook for another 2 minutes or so.
Serve with butter lettuce leaves or rice.