Korean Bulgogi Beef Salad

Korean Bulgogi Beef Salad ~ this is steak salad, Korean style! This Korean barbecue inspired salad is topped with richly marinated grilled beef and a variety of veggie 'sides' ~ kimchee optional!

Korean Bulgogi Beef Salad ~ this is steak salad Korean style and bulgogi beef is the most flavorful grilled meat you’ll ever taste, no contest.  My Korean barbecue inspired salad is topped with juicy marinated skewers and a variety of colorful veggie ‘sides’ ~ kimchee optional!

*Today’s post is in partnership with Lee Kum Kee, established in China way back in 1888, and still providing authentic and delicious Asian style sauces and condiments in the US and throughout the world.

 

Korean Bulgogi Beef Salad ~ this is steak salad, Korean style! This Korean barbecue inspired salad is topped with richly marinated grilled beef and a variety of veggie 'sides' ~ kimchee optional!

If you love to grill, but hot dogs and hamburgers aren’t your thing, I think you’re going to be glad you stopped by today.  I’m grilling up fabulous marinated beef and setting it right on top of a crisp, cool, and super healthy salad bowl.  You’re gonna love this Korean Beef Bulgogi Salad, trust me!

My beef salad takes its cue from traditional Korean barbecue, which, if you’ve never had it, is the way the Koreans love to eat ~ it’s a group affair, with meats grilled right in the center of the table, surrounded by a myriad of small side dishes, called banchan, to go with.  The diners will wrap their bits of cooked meat in lettuce, and eat it along with some combination of the sides.  My recipe incorporates those flavors into a main course salad perfect for summer entertaining.

The star of my Korean bulgogi beef salad is the beef, for sure.  Bulgogi beef is the classic beef of Korean barbecue fame…it’s thinly sliced and marinated/tenderized in a somewhat complicated blend of Asian sauces and spices, including soy, mirin, sesame oil, gochujang (a Korean chili sauce) garlic, ginger, and Asian pear.  Pear puree serves to tenderize the meat.

I simplified things by using Lee Kum Kee’s Panda Brand™ Sauce for Korean Barbecue Stir Fry as my marinade, it’s such a convenience to have all the flavors I need right in the packet, even the tenderizing pear puree!

My beef turned out succulent and delicious, with big, bold flavors.  Lee Kum Kee makes more than 200 authentic sauces and condiments, and that comes in so handy when you’re craving Asian food but don’t have the time to fuss with a complicated recipe.  All their ingredients are non-GMO, which is so nice to know.

TIP: I put my steak in the freezer for an hour to firm it up, and then sliced it thinly against the grain.  I add the sauce, toss it to coat, and let it sit in the fridge overnight.

There are lots of ways to cook your bulgogi beef  ~ you can do it in a wok or skillet, but since it’s summer I feel like grilling mine.  I thread the slices onto skewers and put them right on the grates of a charcoal grill, or on a smoking hot grill pan on the stove.  You’re not aiming for rare here,  you’re looking for nice char marks.  The marinade, which contains some sugar and molasses, helps to develop that gorgeous color quickly.

The convenience of using a Lee Kum Kee sauce frees me up to concentrate on other aspects of my Korean barbecue salad.  Koreans are known for their love of pickled veggies, so I’m making a couple of quick pickles that will brighten everything up.  If you follow the blog you might remember this easy concept from my TUNA POKE BOWLS ~  I’m basically following the same format here with fresh radishes, cukes, and spiralized carrots.  That adds color and crunch to my bowl, plus that pickle flavor Koreans are famous for.  And they’re just so darned pretty!

Radishes are quintessentially Korean, they appear in lots of their recipes.  Daikon radish, the big tubular white ones, are the most commonly used, but I substituted these pretty watermelon and French breakfast radishes.  You can use any kind you like, even the regular little red ones.

You can use the pickles right away, or leave them overnight in the refrigerator, it’s up to you.  The veggies will retain their crunch.  I did a basic rice wine vinegar brine for the radishes and cukes, and a spicy red pepper pickle for the carrots.  You can reuse the pickling liquids again and again, so don’t discard.

TIP: I admit my spiralizer has sat unused since my ZOODLE PAD THAI SALAD recipe.  But I’m so glad I got it out again for the carrots, the spirals are crisp yet delicate and the perfect texture for this salad.

When you’re ready to assemble your salad, you can leave your meat on the skewers or slide it off onto your greens.   I accent the meat with some snipped chives or green onion, and a scattering of toasted sesame seeds.  With so much going on here you don’t really need dressing for the lettuce, there’s plenty of trickle down flavor for this salad.  I added a good dollop of chili mayo because it’s sooooo good with the meat.

To kimchee, or not to kimchee?

That’s a question you’ll have to answer for yourself…kimchee, or fermented, pickled cabbage, has its lovers and its heaters, but it’s always present at a Korean barbecue, so I put a dollop right in the center of my salad.  Depending on where you live, you can buy it ready made, look for it at specialty, gourmet, or Whole Foods stores.  If you’re ambitious you can make it yourself, here’s a recipe.  Plan on making it at least a week before you want to eat it to allow it time to ferment.

Korean Barbecue Salad

Category: main course, salad

Cuisine: Korean

Yield: serves 4

Korean Barbecue Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 lb top sirloin steak
  • 1 9-ounce packet Lee Kum Kee Panda Brand Sauce for Korean BBQ Stir Fry
  • 1 head red leaf lettuce, washed, dried, and torn or cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup prepared kimchee
  • 1 cup radish and cucumber pickle (recipe below)
  • 1 cup spicy carrot pickle (recipe below)
  • large handful fresh bean sprouts, any variety you like
  • 2 -4 eggs, boiled, peeled, and halved
    radish cucumber pickle
  • 1 watermelon radish, cut into thin matchsticks
  • 2 small Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced but not peeled
  • 1 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
    spicy carrot pickle
  • 1 large carrot, spiralized (or cut into fine matchsticks)
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
    chili mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2-3 Tbsp chili paste or Sriracha sauce, to taste
    garnish
  • 1-2 hot red peppers, thinly sliced
  • snipped chives or green onions
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • fresh cilantro leaves

Instructions

  1. Slice the steak into thin slices, cutting against the grain. If you like you can put the whole steak in the freezer for an hour to firm it up so it will slice easier. Put the steak slices in a bowl and toss with the Lee Kum Kee Korean Barbecue Sauce to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight.
  2. To make the radish/cucumber pickle heat the water, vinegar, sugar, peppercorns and bayleaf in a small saucepan until it comes to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Put the veggies in a small bowl or jar and pour the hot pickling mixture over them. Make sure they are completely submerged...if not, add a bit more hot water. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate.
  3. Make the carrot pickle in the same manner.
  4. Thread the marinated beef slices onto skewers. Grill the skewers over high heat, either on a charcoal grill or a grill pan on the stove. Flip once you see nice char marks on the meat.
  5. Arrange the lettuce in a large shallow salad bowl. Put a pile of kimchee in the center. Place the eggs, pickled vegetables, and sprouts around the kimchee. Note: allow some of the pickling liquid to trickle down to 'dress' the lettuce. Lay the beef skewers across the bowl. Garnish with the red pepper slices, snipped chives or green onions, toasted sesame seeds, and cilantro leaves. Serve with the chili mayonnaise.
  6. To make the mayonnaise, whisk the chili sauce into the mayo, adjusting the amount to your taste.
https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/korean-bulgogi-beef-salad/

Make it your own ~

  • Put the bulgogi beef skewers over a bowl of hot rice instead of the salad.
  • Make easy lettuce wraps ~ cut the beef in small bites and serve with lettuce leaves for wrapping.
  • The Lee Kum Kee Panda Brand™ Sauce was so good, I will use it as my go-to marinade for skewers this summer, regardless of the rest of the menu!

 

Don’t forget to pin this Korean Bulgogi Beef Salad

Korean Bulgogi Beef Salad ~ this is steak salad, Korean style! This Korean barbecue inspired salad is topped with richly marinated grilled beef and a variety of veggie 'sides' ~ kimchee optional! | main course salad | steak salad | beef skewers | grilling | Asian |

26 Comments

  • Reply
    Jenny | The Baking Skillet
    July 17, 2017 at 7:54 am

    This looks delicious and packed with flavor. We love to eat Asian stir frys and salads at home so I need to try this. Especially like that you have addition of homemade pickles!

  • Reply
    Vicky
    July 17, 2017 at 1:47 am

    This looks so fresh and flavorful. T Y

  • Reply
    Alyssa | EverydayMaven
    July 9, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    Bulgogi is one of my favorites ever! This looks amazing and I love the colors!

  • Reply
    Rose
    July 6, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    I love adding grilled meat to a colorful salad. This sauce sounds perfect for getting big flavor with little fuss.

  • Reply
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness
    July 6, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    YES! Bulgogi beef is my FAV…so i can’t wait to try this!!

  • Reply
    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl
    July 6, 2017 at 9:30 am

    I wish I had this salad for lunch!

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    July 5, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    I love all the colors and textures of this killer salad! This is the perfect meal for a warm summer night! :)

  • Reply
    Joyce
    July 4, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Holy Moly these look DELISH! I am loving your pickling especially with the watermelon radishes! This looks like everything that I NEED right to put in my belleh right now haha :) Awesome tip of freezing the meat before slicing! :)

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    July 4, 2017 at 5:29 am

    Love Korean bulgogi, so I’m all in on this one :) Beautiful and such great flavours! Happy 4th!

  • Reply
    Shashi at Savory Spin
    July 3, 2017 at 9:47 am

    Oh wow – I so love how there’s so much going on here on this platter – I don’t think my tastebuds would ever get bored! Delicious sounding salad!

  • Reply
    Gerlinde@ Sunnycovechef
    July 3, 2017 at 9:41 am

    I am always interested in new sauces and flavors. Your salad looks great. Happy 4th!

  • Reply
    Monique
    July 3, 2017 at 9:29 am

    It looks delicious and beautiful!Those watermelon radishes kill me..I may try again..you just cannot find them here..

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 3, 2017 at 9:32 am

      I’ve been using them a lot lately because I can’t resist the pop of color…I know they are going to be more widely available soon, I would ask your produce manager to order some!

  • Reply
    Vicki Bensinger
    July 3, 2017 at 9:20 am

    This sounds so tasty Sue and your presentation is beautiful. I’ll be sure to seek out some of the Korean sauce when I’m at the store. Great recipe!

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 3, 2017 at 9:26 am

      Thanks Vicki, hope you enjoy it!

  • Reply
    Dannii
    July 3, 2017 at 8:30 am

    There is a whole lot going on in this salad, and I love that. I have never had Korean food, but this looks like a great place to start.

  • Reply
    Ayngelina Brogan
    July 3, 2017 at 8:25 am

    I really hope we have this sauce in Canada because I want to make that salad today! It’s the perfect combination of heartiness and something cool to eat in warm weather.

  • Reply
    Patty
    July 3, 2017 at 8:15 am

    Such a gorgeous recipe! I love beautifully colored food, makes it even more tempting, will try your recipe!

  • Reply
    Elaine @ Dishes Delish
    July 3, 2017 at 7:58 am

    This looks so delicious! All the flavors together must make for tasty beef. I’ve never had Korean bbq, but I sure want to try your recipe. I’ll have to keep my eyes out for the brand you are recommending! Great photos and presentation!!

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 3, 2017 at 8:06 am

      We were blown away by the flavor of the packaged sauce, I’m going to keep it around for regular skewers, too! Thanks for stopping by Elaine :)

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    July 3, 2017 at 4:08 am

    I could eat like this everyday! So fresh, delicious and beautiful! That sauce sounds so good and makes a dish like this so easy!

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 3, 2017 at 7:10 am

      The sauce is seriously delish, and so convenient!

  • Reply
    Angie@Angie's Recipes
    July 3, 2017 at 4:05 am

    That’s a spectacular salad! Love esp. those watermelon radishes.

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 3, 2017 at 7:11 am

      Gotta love those radishes!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving Room for Dessert
    July 3, 2017 at 4:03 am

    Wow these flavors, and colors and textures must be a wonderful combination! I need to give this a try so thanks for introducing us to this lovely sauce :) Happy 4th of July Sue!

  • Leave a Reply

    Share
    Pin
    Tweet
    Stumble
    +1