Bulgogi for You, Bulgogi for Me!

Bulgogi (불고기) is a classic Korean dish known in every household and deeply ingrained in Korean culture. It's made up of thinly sliced marinated beef which is paired with rice or wrapped in lettuce.

Between 37 B.C. and 668 A.D., bulgogi came to exist! It developed from many different people altering a dish and creating something new, and continued to change and be adapted over time. First, a skewered meat, then beef soaked in water. When the 20th Century came around, more evolutions took place, and it became a dish of charbroiled thinly-sliced meat that was favored by royalty.

Beef wasn’t always an easy meat to find back in the day, and didn’t become commercialized until the 1920s, which gave this delicious food a chance to become more popular. In fact, it became the most popular food in Korea in the 1990s.

High quality meats are an essential part of any dish, and that also applies to bulgogi. It comes in two different forms: one with a broth or one that is grilled. Sirloin is a prime example of the meat you should use when you make this dish, but tenderloin or ribeye is also acceptable. The sauce for bulgogi doesn’t consist of too many ingredients--a combination of soy sauce, sugar and pear juice provides its unique taste. For ultimate flavor, I suggest marinating the beef, for a few hours or overnight.

Immigration not only brought history and people to the United States, but it also brought food and different versions of dishes. In the 21st century, you don’t see bulgogi in its brothy form, but the grilled has taken over and made many people smile. Spring rolls, pizza, chicken, kimbap, and more can be transformed when you use them with bulgogi!

Bulgogi is forever changing since people put their own spin on the dish and create new and different variations every day. There are easy-to-find recipes online to help you create and make your own version, or you can find it in your local Korean or Asian restaurant.

Maangchi makes Korean dishes and easy to follow videos on YouTube, guiding you through each step with very good instructions! The video below shows two dishes: bulgogi and bulgogi stew.  It's definitely worth checking out.

Written by Maegs

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