Bulgogi is a popular Korean dish that now can be found in homes and restaurants around the world.
It is traditionally made with thinly sliced beef, but what cut of beef is perfect for this recipe? Let’s accompany us and find the answer in this article.
How to choose beef for bulgogi?
Bulgogi is a dish that is favored throughout Korea as well as many Asian countries.
It can be cooked using beef, pork, chicken, or any kind of meat.
Beef is one of the most common kinds of meat for delicious bulgogi, but it is essential to know how to choose this ingredient for the best bulgogi.
The following tips will definitely help:
1. A tough cut doesn’t work in this case, but a tender cut of beef
Since bulgogi refers to a dish in which beef is barbecued or grilled in the griddle or a home pan, the cooking process typically lasts for minutes instead of hours.
Therefore, you will need a tender cut or at least a cut that is not chewy and doesn’t require hours of cooking like a chuck roast or short ribs.
2. Fresh beef makes better bulgogi
Another tip to choose beef for bulgogi is to purchase fresh beef.
Fresh beef will result in a better flavor and texture of the meat.
A fresh cut of beef can be found in most local butcher shops or in the meat section of a grocery store or supermarket throughout the country.
Only buy frozen beef if it is your last resort.
When choosing a frozen package of beef, look for the one without ice crystals or any weird identification.
3. Beef should be thinly sliced and marinated well before being grilled
To have the best bulgogi, you should have your beef cut thinly sliced and marinated well before cooking.
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This also helps reduce the cooking time and make your beef more tender and flavorful because all the flavors from the marinade or spices have penetrated into the meat.
Best beef for bulgogi
Are you wondering what cut of beef is perfect for bulgogi? Here are our suggestions:
1. Ribeye steak
Ribeye steak is the top choice for making bulgogi.
This cut is prized for its flavorful taste and tender texture.
Since it comes from the rib section of the cow, the flavor is intensely beefy.
However, ribeye steak is relatively expensive so not everyone can afford it.
2. Top sirloin steak
You can opt for another economical option like top sirloin steak for a bulgogi dish.
Top sirloin steak is a lean cut that can become very tender if properly cooked.
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It has a milder taste due to its low-fat content.
3. Flank steak
Flank steak is a classic cut for a Mongolian beef dish from Taiwan.
It is often served thinly sliced, making it also perfect for bulgogi.
Flank steak is affordable, tender, and very flavorful.
Another option of beef cut that is great for bulgogi is brisket.
This common cut is more commonly used to make corned beef or pastrami, but when thinly slicing beef brisket, it can become tender if properly cooked.
Brisket is sold at a moderate price, not too high like ribeye so it is suitable to be added to your family’s weekly menu.
5. Beef tenderloin
Last but not least, beef tenderloin is another amazing cut to make the best bulgogi.
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It is the leanest and most tender cut of beef, but also comes with the highest price.
Beef tenderloin can melt in your mouth when properly cooked, often medium-rare.
If you overcook this cut, you might end up with a tougher and chewy dish and waste your money.
Therefore, keep your eyes while cooking a beef tenderloin to have the best bulgogi dish that can melt in your mouth.
The bottom line
In the end, the best cut of beef for bulgogi is a moderately tender to tender cut.
The reason is that it won’t take too long to cook these cuts on the barbecue grill and the resulting dish is tender but still satisfyingly chewy.
We hope this article has helped you know more about this favorite Asian dish and know what to buy the next time you are planning to have a bulgogi party.
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