Allison Day


Son and I love Korean food. He is sure to get the hot tofu soup (extra spicy!), and I never fail to get the bulgogi (BBQ beef). When the waiter comes out with a burning hot plate, the beef is smoking and onions are still sizzling. You can see the sugars in the onions caramelizing, and smell the smoky-sweetness of the beef. The silky sweet onions are the perfect contrast to the flavorful, chewy beef.

Since I love bulgogi so much, the natural choice (for me at least) would be to put it in a sushi roll. The rice cuts through the richness of the bulgogi and the onions, and balances it wonderfully. Sure, it takes a bit of time to make, but even without rolling it in sushi, the bulgogi is well worth the time spent.

This bulgogi recipe is adapted from Discovering Korean Cuisine: Recipes from the Best Korean Restaurants in Los Angeles, by Allisa Park.

  • 6 sheets nori
  • 3 cups sumeshi
  • 3/4 lb prime rib eye, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp shoyu
  • 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
Cooking Directions
  1. Cook sushi rice.
  2. Combine thinly sliced rib eye, shoyu, garlic, mirin, sugar, sesame oil, and water.
  3. Let sit for one hour.
  4. Stir fry bulgogi (with the sauce) over high heat, until cooked through.
  5. Slice the onion into 2cm strips.
  6. Saute onions in butter until translucent and browned.
  7. Roll the sushi, using several pieces of bulgogi and onion as your fillings.

Serving Size: 1 roll Bulgogi Roll

  • Calories: 295
  • Fat: 11g, 17% DV
  • Saturated Fat: 4g, 22% DV
  • Cholesterol: 73mg, 24% DV
  • Sodium: 739mg, 31% DV
  • Total Carbohydrates: 30g, 10% DV
  • Dietary Fiber: 1g, 5% DV
  • Sugars: 18g
  • Protein: 17g, 34% DV
  • Vitamin A: 7%
  • Vitamin C: 8%
  • Calcium: 3%
  • Iron: 9%
  • Magnesium: 6%
  • Potassium: 8%

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. These values are only estimates based on the individual ingredients, and not meant to replace the advice of a medical professional.

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  1. Bamboo Forest says:

    Going to your blog, so gets me in the mood for sushi, and food in general.

  2. Allison says:

    Thank you. 🙂

  3. Yvo says:

    I am a kalbi kind of girl, but I can see bulgogi working better in the sushi… since it’s less chewy. Actually at my favorite gimbap place, they have gimbap with bulgogi in it 🙂 or thinly sliced beef, not sure if it’s exactly bulgogi,I generally get the regular kind!

  4. Marie says:

    A bulgogi roll sounds like an excellent idea! I almost never order bulgogi at restaurants, but I think this post is going to start a craving for one.

  5. Lara says:

    I’m curious why you wouldn’t sear the onions at high heat in the same pan you cooked the beef in. After removing the beef if that was an issue. Looks quite tasty. 🙂

  6. Allison says:

    Lara – You could, if you wanted. However, I usually make a quadruple batch of the bulgogi for family functions, then pour the cooked-down marinade over the meat to keep it moist and juicy. Then I use the same pan for the onions, but I still add the butter. I like my onions soft and buttery. 🙂

  7. Mike says:

    Did you try adding asian pear to bulgogi marinade? Korean variety works best and gives most flavor. But you can substitute Bosc or even Anjou pears if asian is not available – not ideal, but as long as it is juicy, it’ll work.

  8. Allison says:

    No, but that sounds delicious! I’ve never heard of adding pear to the bulgogi marinade, but I’ll bet it makes it even juicier and adds a great sweetness to it – yum!

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