Try my savory beef bulgogi, a Korean special made from thinly sliced beef and a positively addictive marinade. Full of umami flavors, you'll want to make this keto recipe again and again!
Why you’ll love this beef bulgogi recipe
- My Korean beef bulgogi is tender, juicy, and perfectly seasoned.
- This recipe uses extra thinly sliced meat for a melt-in-your-mouth texture.
- You'll love the balanced flavor profile of this marinade, made with sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, and minced garlic.
- You can enjoy a scrumptious beef bulgogi bowl on a keto diet, with just 10-15 grams of total carbs per serving.
- Bulgogi beef is a Korean food staple, pairing well with savory Mayak eggs, yummy vegetables, and low-carb cauliflower rice to soak up all of the delicious flavors.
- You can amp up the flavors of this dish by serving it with fun sides like pickled vegetables, kimchi, and a ssamjang dipping sauce.
Looking for more Korean low-carb recipes? Try my keto Korean ground beef bowl.
The ingredients in my Bulgogi Korean BBQ beef are simple and delicious. Here's everything that goes into the dish:
The base of this recipe is thinly sliced beef, cut from tender beef like rib eye or sirloin.
These cuts will give your dish the best texture and flavor possible.
To make my beef bulgogi marinade, you'll need ample soy sauce. It has the perfect salty, umami flavor for this dish.
For a gluten-free version, use tamari or gluten-free soy sauce.
To give this recipe a bit of sweetness without any added sugars, I use erythritol.
You can use any keto-friendly sweetener of your choice; I like brown sugar from Swerve.
Sesame oil adds great fat content and a rich, nutty flavor to this dish.
You can cook the beef in any neutral oil, but sesame oil is the best option, in my opinion.
Fresh garlic and ginger
I add fresh minced garlic and ginger to this dish for fragrant and flavorful additions.
Red pepper flakes
To give your marinade an ample kick, some red pepper flakes are in order!
You can use as many or as few red pepper flakes as you'd like, depending on how spicy you'd like your dish.
Both yellow and green onions are needed for this recipe for a tangy, umami bite.
Yellow onions are gently caramelized, while green onions are used as a colorful topping.
I use sesame seeds to garnish my beef bulgogi for a subtle nuttiness to an already splendid dish!
Here are a few cooking tips to ensure the very best beef bulgogi:
- Depending on how spicy you like your food, adjust the amount of red pepper flakes accordingly.
- Use sesame oil for cooking for its high smoke point and delicious flavor.
- You can marinate the beef for 30 minutes, a few hours, or even overnight in the refrigerator.
- Slice your beef extra thin for an authentic dish.
How to make beef bulgogi
Ready to get cooking? Here's how I prepare my keto beef bulgogi recipe:
Step 1: Prepare the marinade
Your first step is to mix up your winning marinade!
Start by adding all marinade ingredients, including soy sauce, erythritol, toasted sesame oil, minced garlic, grated ginger, and red pepper flakes, to a small mixing bowl.
Whisk everything until the marinade is well combined.
Step 2: Marinate the beef
Next, place your pre-sliced beef into a container and pour your completed marinade over top. Make sure that each piece is fully coated in the marinade.
Then, set your sealed container in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes.
For the best flavor possible, extend this time to a few hours or even overnight; this is going to allow all the marinade to infuse the beef.
Step 3: Cook the beef
Time to get frying!
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat along with a bit of sesame oil. Add thinly sliced onion to the pan, sautéeing until the onion is translucent and a bit caramelized.
Now that your oil is sufficiently flavored, add your marinated beef to the skillet and cook until done - thin slices don't take long.
Step 4: Garnish and serve
After your beef is cooked to your desired doneness, add it to a bed of cauliflower rice and top with a handful of sesame seeds and chopped green onions.
How to serve beef bulgogi
This combination is the best way to complete an authentic dish while keeping it low-carb.
Other tasty additions to your plate include lettuce wraps, kimchi, pickled vegetables, and ssamjang dipping sauce.
- For a more traditional flavor, add a bit of Asian pear into your marinade; not too much, as it can only be enjoyed in small amounts on a keto diet.
- Use tamari or gluten-free soy sauce to keep this recipe gluten-free.
- For extra flavor and nutritious value, add vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, or bell peppers to the stir fry.
- Add extra red pepper flakes or gochujang to the marinade for ample heat.
These are the questions I hear the most about Korean beef bulgogi. If you have any more questions about this authentic Korean dish, please leave them for me in the comments below.
Beef bulgogi, also known as fire meat, is a popular Korean dish made from grilled or fried beef. Recipes vary, though they always contain thinly sliced beef.
This beef is marinated in ingredients like soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil before it is cooked. Asian pear is another common ingredient because it adds a subtle sweetness while tenderizing the meat.
The marinade recipe is also delicious on other protein sources, including chicken, tofu, and even mushrooms!
Truly, bulgogi can be made from any cut of beef, though ribeye and sirloin are the most common. These cuts provide the most tender, flavorful dish.
Other possible choices include:
- Flank steak – Sliced thinly against the grain
- Skirt steak – Sliced thinly and thoroughly marinated
- Filet mignon – Requires a longer marination
Korean bulgogi sauce ingredients will differ from recipe to recipe.
The ingredients in my keto bulgogi sauce include:
- Soy sauce
- Keto sweetener
- Sesame oil
- Fresh ginger
- Minced garlic
- Red pepper flakes
Other variations will include ingredients such as:
- Asian pear
- Rice wine vinegar
- Ground pepper
- Fish sauce
- Grated onion
Slicing your meat thinly can be a tricky task. At your grocery store, you can always ask your butcher for extra thin slices. This way, you won't have to worry about it at home!
Otherwise, a good trick is to freeze your beef ahead of time for about 45 minutes. This will firm your meat, making it easier to cut. Then, cut against the grain, slicing on an angle for ⅛" slices.
Remember: Cut using a sawing motion, trying not to press too hard so you don't crush the meat.
While both are classic Korean dishes, beef bulgogi and Korean BBQ have definite differences:
1. Marinade. One of the main differences between the two is the marination. Bulgogi is pre-marinated and served cooked. Korean BBQ, however, is served raw and often un-marinated. From there, diners can dip their meat into provided marinades before cooking them at the table.
2. Protein choices. Another difference includes protein options, as bulgogi is traditionally just beef and Korean BBQ includes beef, pork, chicken, and seafood.
3. Where the meat is cooked. Finally, Korean BBQ is an interactive dining experience, cooking right at the table with your friends and family. Folks eat Bulgogi as a complete dish, ready to devour their meal the second it hits their table!
One of the most exciting things about trying a new recipe is dreaming up all the delicious ways you can serve it!
For a traditional approach, serve beef bulgogi with Korean sides like kimchi, pickled vegetables, and blanched bean sprouts.
For a greener option, serve this dish with spinach or seaweed salad marinated in umami soy sauce and sesame oil.
Finally, Korean radish salad (Mu Salad) and spicy cucumber salad (Oi Muchim) make refreshing and tangy side dishes.
Like this beef bulgogi recipe? Try these!
If you love protein-rich recipes like this one, I have plenty more where that came from! Start with any of these delicious, low-carb recipes:
- Keto Chimichurri Flank Steak is made with red wine vinegar, olive oil, and a whole lot of fresh herbs.
- Keto Air Fryer Bone-In Pork Chops are breaded with pork rinds for a low-carb, majorly delicious recipe.
- Malaysian Chicken Curry is incredibly flavorful, made with ginger, lemongrass, and full-fat coconut milk.
- Keto Sesame Chicken tastes just like Chinese takeout without the high carb count, made with sticky sesame sauce and fresh garnishes.
- Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin is quick to make, filled with extra fat content, and comes together in under 35 minutes!
Korean Beef Bulgogi
For the Marinade:
- ¼ cup soy sauce tamari for a gluten-free option
- 2 tablespoons erythritol or your preferred keto-friendly sweetener
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes adjust to your spice preference
For Beef Bulgogi:
- 1.5 pounds thinly sliced beef such as ribeye or sirloin
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil such as sesame oil or olive oil
- 1 small onion thinly sliced
- 1 green onion chopped (for garnish)
- sesame seeds for garnish, optional
Prepare the Marinade:
- In a mixing bowl, combine the soy sauce (or tamari), erythritol, toasted sesame oil, minced garlic, grated ginger, and red pepper flakes. Mix well to create the marinade.
Marinate the Beef:
- Place the thinly sliced beef in a container or a resealable plastic bag. Pour the marinade over the beef, making sure it's fully coated. Seal the container or bag and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse. For even better flavor, marinate the beef for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
Cook the Beef:
- Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the thinly sliced onion and sauté until it becomes translucent and slightly caramelized.
- Add the marinated beef to the skillet and stir-fry until it's cooked to your desired level of doneness, typically 5 minutes for thin slices.
Garnish and Serve:
- Once the beef is cooked, garnish it with chopped green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.
- For a gluten-free option, use tamari instead of soy sauce.
- Adjust the amount of red pepper flakes according to your spice preference.
- You can use either sesame oil or olive oil for cooking.
- Feel free to customize the garnish with chopped green onions and sesame seeds according to your preference.
- This beef stir-fry is versatile, and you can add vegetables such as broccoli, or carrots for extra flavor and nutrients.
Array ( [calories] => 501 [carbohydrates] => 10 [protein] => 36 [fat] => 38 [saturated_fat] => 12 [polyunsaturated_fat] => 6 [monounsaturated_fat] => 19 [trans_fat] => 0.03 [cholesterol] => 104 [sodium] => 902 [potassium] => 546 [fiber] => 1 [sugar] => 2 [vitamin_a] => 93 [vitamin_c] => 3 [calcium] => 27 [iron] => 3 )
Notes on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
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