Quick and easy sheet pan Korean beef bulgogi made in the oven using a broiler! A healthy and fuss-free version of the delicious KBBQ favorite.
If you’re like me, then you’re always looking for cooking shortcuts and efficiencies without compromising flavor. And this sheet pan beef bulgogi does just that! This recipe doesn’t require any special equipment and still turns out so delicious.
Here, we’ll use the broiler to achieve the crisped edges customary of this barbecued beef. The best part is that you only need a sheet pan and an oven!
What is Bulgogi?
Bulgogi is the name of marinated and thinly sliced meat that is cooked over high heat. It is a traditional Korean dish and is most commonly beef, although pork and chicken are also options. Bulgogi is one of the cuts of meat you can order at a Korean barbecue restaurant and is usually cooked on a barbecue or griddle. Home cooks usually use a cast-iron skillet or griddle to mimic that charred flavor.
The most common cuts of meat to use for bulgogi are rib eye, sirloin, and brisket.
What is in bulgogi marinade?
Bulgogi is so savory and delicious because the marinade infuses flavor and also tenderizes the meat. Marinating overnight provides the best results, but even marinating for a few hours creates excellent flavor.
Pear: use Asian pear if you can find it; if you can’t, any pear (Bosc, etc) or sweet apple works well. The sugar and acidity helps to tenderize the meat.
Onion, garlic, and ginger: your typical allium-like ingredients, very common in Korean foods. You don’t need to chop these too finely as they will be processed in the food processor.
Soy sauce: use light soy sauce here as it carries more flavor and less color. However, dark soy sauce can be substituted in.
Brown sugar: used for additional sweetness and tenderization.
Gochujang: this fermented red chili pepper paste adds umami and a slight kick to the bulgogi. Tailor to your spice preference.
Toasted sesame oil: essential Korean ingredient that adds a layer of nuttiness and mellows out all of the sharp flavors. Be careful, it can overpower very easily.
Rice wine or mirin: mirin is a subtly sweet Japanese rice wine that contributes a certain richness and tang to dishes. Rice wine is made of fermented glutinous rice which also adds a bit of sweetness and flavor to dishes. Use whatever you have on hand!
Black pepper: small quantity, but integral to the marinade. Black pepper adds a hint of numbing spice (similar to Szechuan pepper).
The marinade is extremely flexible and you can play with the quantities to get the flavors you desire.
How to Make Sheet Pan Beef Bulgogi
Now for the entire point of this recipe! How to make bulgogi much more efficiently with minimal elbow grease.
Slice the Beef
If you didn’t buy pre-sliced beef, you can easily slice them into thin strips. Thaw (if frozen) your beef completely. Then, place it in a plastic bag or wrap it in plastic and place in the freezer for 1 – 2 hours to firm up, depending on the thickness. You want the outside to be frozen but not the inside. Finally, cut across the grain as thinly as possible, approximately 1/8-inch thick slices.
Marinate the Beef
In a food processor, combine pear, onion garlic, and ginger and process until very smooth, about 1 minute. Add in the rest of the marinade ingredients and process until combined, about 15 seconds.
In a bowl or plastic bag, combine sliced beef and marinade. Let marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
Broil the Beef on a Sheet Pan
Position rack on the highest level in the oven. Add the meat to a large sheet pan in an even layer, letting excess juices drip off. Switch oven to BROIL and HIGH, if your oven has the option.
Broil beef for 5 minutes. Then, rotate the pan and check every 2 minutes. The beef should be almost cooked through and crispy on the edges, around 7-10 minutes altogether.
Remove from oven and transfer to a plate. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds and serve immediately.
How to Serve Beef Bulgogi
Bulgogi is delicious on its own – juicy and packed with flavor! My favorite way to serve bulgogi is with a variety of side dishes/ingredients so that people can assemble their meal themselves.
Common accompaniments include carrot and cucumber sticks (fresh or pickled), kimchi, lettuce leaves (for lettuce wraps), and steamed white rice.
Most importantly, serve bulgogi with a savory gochujang dipping sauce!
Gochujang Dipping Sauce
The flavor profile of this dipping sauce enhances the bulgogi, making it even more rich and delicious. Simply combine all ingredients – gochujang, rice vinegar, sesame oil, maple syrup, and sesame seeds – into a small bowl.
How to Store
This dipping sauce can be used for other grilled meat dishes, bibimbap, or even with my Korean Corn Cheese Egg Rolls! Store any leftover sauce in an airtight container. It can be refrigerated for up to a week.
Sheet Pan Beef Bulgogi
- 1½ lbs thinly sliced beef*
- ½ pear or apple, roughly chopped
- ½ onion, quartered
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 1-inch piece ginger, sliced
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp brown sugar or granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp gochujang optional
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp rice wine or mirin
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Gochujang Dipping Sauce
- 2 tbsp gochujang
- 1½ tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup or sweetener of choice
- toasted sesame seeds
- toasted sesame seeds and sliced scallions, for garnish
- lettuce leaves
- carrot and cucumber sticks
- In a food processor, combine pear, onion garlic, and ginger and process until very smooth, about 1 minute. Add in the rest of the marinade ingredients and process until combined, about 15 seconds.
- In a bowl or plastic bag, combine beef and marinade. Let marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
- Position rack on the highest level in the oven. Add the meat to a large sheet pan in an even layer, letting excess juices drip off. Switch oven to BROIL and HIGH, if your oven has the option.
- Broil beef for 5 minutes. Then, rotate the pan and check every 2 minutes. The beef should be almost cooked through and crispy on the edges, around 7-10 minutes altogether.
- Remove from oven and transfer to a plate. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds and serve immediately with lettuce, carrots and cucumbers, kimchi, and gochujang dipping sauce.
Gochujang Dipping Sauce
- Combine all ingredients into a small bowl and serve alongside bulgogi.
To cut beef at home, place wrapped beef in the freezer for about an hour to firm up. Cut across the grain as thinly as possible, approximately 1/8-inch thick slices.