Thursday, July 12, 2012


I have loved bulgolgi for the last 25 years.  Ever since I lived at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque and the new neighbours moved in.  He had been stationed in Korea and his wife managed to get herself and their son there during his tour so they could be with him during his "remote" tour. When they moved to our close-knit neighbourhood, they learned we loved block parties!  She shared with us this traditional Korean dish and it became the featured menu item at all of our parties. 

Her version was lost in my divorce but I was able to find, and tweak, this one from World Food and Drink. Bulgolgi is a sweet dish but, if you are brave, you'll go for the burn and spread some bean paste on the chard before adding the meat.


2 pounds beef sirloin, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 

3 scallions, minced
1 onion, minced
1/3 cup, plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce

tablespoons sesame oil
tablespoons honey
Black pepper to taste

Paste Ingredients:

1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon bean paste
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1 head of chard

  1. Beat sirloin until tender
  2. Combine remaining ingredients.  The mixture should be thick.
  3. Pour the marinade onto the meat and coat by hand. Make sure the meat has all been coated with the marinade.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 1 hour.
  5. Cook the meat in one layer on the grill. The inside should be cooked thoroughly with the outside caramelized.

Paste mix:

  1. In a different bowl, combine the sugar and bean paste.
  2. Add sesame oil and mix well.
Spread paste on chard leaves and top with marinated meat, onions and bell peppers.

Note: I prefer to use chard leaves since they are more pliable.


If you can't find bean paste in your area, then you can substitute it with a Homemade Chili Paste.  It won't taste the same but will still work.


1 tablespoon soybean paste (can be omitted, but will alter the taste)
3 tablespoons finely ground red chili pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Korean rice wine or cooking wine
1 teaspoon sesame oil
water, as needed

  1. In a small bowl, mix all ingredients except sesame oil, adding just enough water to form a thick paste.
  2. Allow to sit at room temperature for at lest 1/2 hour.
  3. Add sesame oil (and more water, if needed), mix well and let sit another 10 minutes.
  4. Refrigerate until use.

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