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Beef Bulgogi, Steamed Rice, Cucumbers + Pineapple Slaw

Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Dairy Free
  • Gluten Free
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Why we love it:

Bulgogi is rich and a little sweet, spicy and sour. It’s a dish to use the concept “meat as a condiment,” or serving less beef per person in a still very delicious and fulfilling meal. This version is simplified for a weeknight and is a quite americanized adaptation. Gochujang is a Korean chili paste that’s fairly available in grocery stores. See substitutions list if you can find it or don’t want to buy it just for this dish.


  • 1 cup Basmati Rice (Brown)
  • 2 cups Water
  • 212 teaspoons Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 1 Pineapple
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Gochujang Sauce (divided)
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 1 pound Hanger Steak
  • 1 Carrot
  • 3 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
  • 12 bunch Cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons Canola Oil (divided)
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1 cup Romaine Lettuce (optional, or arugula, iceberg or butter lettuce for serving)

Cooking Instructions

  • 1. RICE

    Combine the rice, water and 1 teaspoon of salt (per cup of rice) in a pot. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Stir well, then turn to low heat and cover. Steam, untouched, for about 35-45 minutes (check the instructions of your rice variety, it can vary).


    Start with the pineapple. Trim the top off, then slice the skin off the sides. Slice straight down on all 4 sides of the core. (If you have a pineapple lover in your house, you can set aside ¼ of the fruit, just sliced up for snacking. Or freeze it in chunks for smoothies).

    Place ¼ of the pineapple in a blender or food processor. Dice and add the core too. Add the garlic, soy sauce, ½ of the gochujang, sugar, sesame oil, and ½ teaspoon of salt.

    Blend until smooth. If it’s too thick to blend you can add a few teaspoons of water.

    Finely dice the remainder of the pineapple and add it to a bowl, then set aside.

  • 3. BEEF

    Thinly slice the beef, against the grain. Place in the marinade and turn to coat. Set aside for as long as you can and up to 48 hours. If leaving for more than 2 hours, use an airtight container and place in the fridge, otherwise leave on the counter.


    Shred or finely dice the carrot and add to the bowl with the diced pineapple. Add the vinegar, a pinch of salt and chopped cilantro. Drizzle a ½ teaspoon or so of oil in the mixture and toss to combine. Set aside.

    Thinly slice the cucumber into rounds or half moons.

  • 5. COOK BEEF

    Heat ½ of the remaining oil in a large heavy skillet over high until oil is shimmering. Remove half of meat from marinade, letting excess drip back into bag and place in the pan, in a single layer. Don’t move it once it touches the heat or it will tear. After about 2 minutes, it should be browned and you can toss the meat and continue to cook. Stir again, cooking for about 3-4 minutes total or until golden brown and crispy at the edges. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining oil and meat.

    Add all of the meat back to the pan and add the remaining marinade. Bring to a boil, then stir often for 1 minute so it thickens and glazes the meat.

    Turn off heat.

  • 6. SERVING

    Serve mounds of rice topped with beef, cucumbers, and pineapple slaw. If you have some on hand, you can add some crunchy lettuce underneath or even serve with lettuce leaves for wrapping.

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    if you’re sure to use Tamari instead of regular soy sauce
  • PALEO:
    omit the rice and serve over lettuces or cauliflower rice. Instead of soy sauce use Braggs amino
    use flank, skirt, or bavette instead
  • BEEF:
    chicken breast or thighs, pork loin or shoulder, mushrooms. Marinade would also be great on salmon or tuna, just don’t marinate longer than 30 minutes
    pear or in a pinch, apple or apple juice
    brown rice, noodles, quinoa, lettuces
    cut meat amount by 1/3 and add some sliced portobellos or diced eggplant to the meat while its marinating
    hoisin sauce, sambal chili garlic sauce, equal parts ketchup and soy sauce

Kid Friendly Version

How to Tweak This Recipe for Kids:

  • This dish is a slam dunk for kids, with the main concern being the spiciness of the gochujang. Different brands vary in spiciness so taste test it first. You can cut it with ketchup or hoisin sauce in the marinade, then add extra gochujang or a dash or sriracha at the end for those who prefer it

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. Marinate the beef overnight 
  2. Make the pineapple slaw up to 1 day ahead
  3. Cook the rice; reheat in the microwave with a slightly damp linen or paper towel over it
Rate this recipe:
7 votes, average: 3.86 out of 57 votes, average: 3.86 out of 57 votes, average: 3.86 out of 57 votes, average: 3.86 out of 57 votes, average: 3.86 out of 5 (7 votes, average: 3.86 out of 5)
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