Bulgogi Sauce Recipe (2024)

Home » Recipes » Bulgogi Sauce

by Mike Hultquist · · 32 Comments · Jump to Recipe

With this easy-to-make bulgogi sauce recipe, you can quickly prep and marinate sliced steak for flavorful Korean BBQ anytime you'd like. Fire up the grill!

Bulgogi Sauce Recipe (1)

Bulgogi Sauce Recipe

We're cooking up some amazing Korean BBQ tonight, my friends. If you've never tried Korean beef BBQ, aka "bulgogi", you're definitely in for an experience of great flavor.

Bulgogi translates to "fire meat", and is a Korean-style recipe of marinated slices of meat, usually beef or pork, that are grilled or stir-fried. Bulgogi itself hails from northern Korea, though you'll find it all over Korea in higher end Korean restaurants to street food, and it's popularity has brought it all around the world.

It is particularly loved in the U.S., where I am seeing it more and more on menus. My focus today isn't on the bulgogi recipe itself, but instead on the Bulgogi Sauce, or Bulgogi Marinade.

You see, you can use different cuts of and types of meats to make your bulgogi however you'd like, but for huge flavor, the secret is in the bulgogi sauce.

A good bulgogi sauce not only builds flavor into your marinated beef or other chosen meat, but it also helps to tenderize the meat, making for a more pleasurable meal.

Bulgogi Sauce Recipe (2)

I've seen different versions of bulgogi sauce from other cooks and in several cookbooks, and this is my particular adaptation that I used in my own cookbook, "The Spicy Food Lovers' Cookbook".

My particular recipe includes KoreanGochujang, which is used in many Korean dishes. It's a fermented chili paste that ranges from mild to spicy, so you can easily choose your preference to control the heat.

No matter which level you choose, you're guaranteed to enjoy huge flavor. I love gochujang.

Let's talk about how to make bulgogi sauce or marinade, shall we?

Bulgogi Sauce Recipe (3)

Bulgogi Sauce Ingredients

  • Soy Sauce
  • Gochujang - Korean fermented chili paste
  • Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Sesame Oil
  • Honey - or use Brown Sugar
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Black Pepper
  • Spicy Fresh Red Pepper - This is optional, but I love the added flavor and heat of a spicy red pepper, such as a red fingerling or bird's eye pepper.
Bulgogi Sauce Recipe (4)

How to Make Bulgogi Sauce - the Recipe Method

Whisk the Bulgogi Sauce. Whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl - soy sauce, gochujang, vinegar, sesame oil, honey or brown sugar, ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, black pepper and optional minced fresh hot pepper.

Bulgogi Sauce Recipe (5)

Marinate the Meat. Marinate the meat (strips of steak, chicken, pork) for at least 30 minutes, or overnight for more flavor development.

Bulgogi Sauce Recipe (6)

Cook the Bulgogi. Grill or sauté the strips of steak or meat over medium-high heat 5-6 minutes, stirring or flipping often, until done to your liking.

I prefer grilling my bulgogi, but it's very easy to make inside with a cast iron grill pan for convenience.

Garnish and Serve. Garnish with green onions, peppers and toasted sesame seeds. Serve and enjoy!

Bulgogi Sauce Recipe (7)

Boom! Done! Easy to make, isn't it? Time for some Korean BBQ beef, my friends. Or chicken! Use it for whatever cut of meat you'd prefer, like chicken bulgogi or ground beef bulgogi, though beef bulgogi is the classic Korean preparation.

Serving Ideas for Bulgogi Sauce

Aside from making bulgogi, bulgogi sauce is ideal as a dipping sauce for lettuce wraps, or as a stir fry sauce for a variety of stir fries. Use it anywhere you'd use a stir fry sauce.

I love this recipe.

Bulgogi Sauce Recipe (8)

Recipe Tips & Notes

Best Meat for Bulgogi.I mostly see bulgogi made with beef, though pork is very popular. I've also seen recipes that use chicken or ground beef.

Popular cuts of beef include short rib, flank steak and skirt steak, though my personal favorite is ribeye. The sauce works best when you slice the meat into thin slices to get a good flavor base.

Recipe Variations. The cookbook listed below uses Asian or Bosc pear (or pear juice) in their bulgogi sauce as well as onion and scallion, which is great. Definitely give them a try.

I adjusted by including spicy gochujang for extra heat and flavor, as well as minced peppers, and emphasized other ingredients to my own preference.

Korean Gochujang. Gochujang is a Korean fermented red chili paste made from chili powder, glutinous rice, fermented soybean powder, barley malt powder, and salt.

It is thick and pungent in flavor, adding a zingy depth to your dishes. It is both sweet and savory, and spicy.

You can sometimes find it in typical American grocery stores in the Asian or International section, though selections can be limited. I find a big variety in an Asian grocery store near me.

Consider buying it online. See below.

Buy Gochujang Online

That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy this amazing bulgogi sauce recipe. Time to make the bulgogi! Let me know if you make it. I'd love to hear how it turned out for you. Keep it spicy!

Cookbook Recommendations

Bulgogi Sauce Recipe (9)

Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes

  • Ssamjang (Spicy Korean Soybean Paste)
  • Gochujang
  • Doubanjiang
  • General Tso Sauce
  • Korean BBQ Sauce
  • Sambal Oelek
  • Homemade Sriracha
  • Homemade Harissa
  • Sweet Chili-Garlic Hot Sauce
  • Easy Hoisin Sauce
  • Tonkatsu Sauce
  • Nuoc Cham
  • How to make Chili Paste from Fresh Peppers
  • Homemade Kimchi (How to Make Kimchi)

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Bulgogi Sauce Recipe (10)


Bulgogi Sauce Recipe

With this easy-to-make bulgogi sauce recipe, you can quickly prep and marinate sliced steak for flavorful Korean BBQ anytime you'd like. Fire up the grill!

Save Recipe

Course: Main Course, sauce

Cuisine: American, Korean

Keyword: gochujang, soy sauce, spicy

Prep Time: 5 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes minutes

Calories: 112kcal

Author: Mike Hultquist

Servings: 4

Tap or hover to scale

4.93 from 14 votes

Leave a Review


  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons gochujang Korean fermented chili paste
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey or use brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 spicy red pepper minced (optional, for hotter bulgogi sauce)


  • Whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl.

  • Marinate the meat (strips of steak, chicken, pork) for at least 30 minutes, or overnight for more flavor development.

  • Grill or sauté the strips of steak or meat over medium-high heat 5-6 minutes, stirring or flipping often, until done to your liking.

  • Garnish with green onions, peppers and toasted sesame seeds. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 112kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 3gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1042mgPotassium: 157mgFiber: 1gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 716IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 1mg

Bulgogi Sauce Recipe (11)

Did You Enjoy This Recipe?I love hearing how you like it and how you made it your own. Leave a comment below and tag @ChiliPepperMadness on social media.

Reader Interactions


    Leave a Reply

  1. FM says

    Bulgogi Sauce Recipe (12)
    Love it the shorts rubs were perfect


    • Mike Hultquist says

      Excellent! Glad you enjoyed them!


  2. Nelly R. says

    Bulgogi Sauce Recipe (13)
    I didn't want to buy the marinade from the store, as most of the brands contain MSG and other unhealthy elements. Your marinade is great, not overpowering and just right. I has all ingredients on hand, including gochujang Korean fermented chili paste (now also sold in Trade Joe's, in CA). I used the marinade overnight on baby back ribs cut to small chunks. Served with steamed rice and arugula salad. The family enjoyed the dinner. Thanks!


    • Mike H. says

      I am really glad, Nelly. I've got plenty of sauces, so I hope you will try them, too!


  3. Nicole S. says

    Bulgogi Sauce Recipe (14)
    Your recipes continue to amaze me. This is the best bulgogi recipe I've tried. I used it with ground beef for a quick, cheaper dinner. The whole family loved it. I served it with rice and pickled cucumbers, carrots and onions.


    • Mike Hultquist says

      Thanks, Nicole! Seriously happy you enjoyed it! And thanks for sharing this.


  4. Nicki says

    Bulgogi Sauce Recipe (15)
    So good!! I used it for beef with veg and rice, but also used the left over (none marinated part) as a dip/sauce for grilled chicken I had left from the other night! Love it!!


  5. Dan says

    Bulgogi Sauce Recipe (16)
    This is the best bulgogi I have ever had. It's better than at my favorite Korean restaurant. I made a double batch of the sauce the first time and used half for the beef and half for rice to make bulgogi fried rice. It was jaw dropping good!

    I'm making it again tonight, plated with white rice, kimche, sesame oil bean sprouts and those nummy cold potatoes (if I can find a recipe)

    Thanks for the "gift!"


    • Mike Hultquist says

      Awesome! Glad you enjoyed it, Dan!


  6. Sky says

    Bulgogi Sauce Recipe (17)
    This is more of a Korean spicy pork marinade as opposed to bulgogi since bulgogi is typically not spicy. it's a good sauce though. 🙂


    • Mike Hultquist says

      Everything I do is spicy. I love it.


      • Asterisk says

        Bulgogi Sauce Recipe (18)
        yeah it is!


  7. Mary says

    Bulgogi Sauce Recipe (19)
    Delicious sauce!!! I used it to make bulgogi mushrooms. I can't wait to make this for my daughter in law who is Korean and introduced me to bulgogi. I think she will approve.


    • Mike Hultquist says

      Awesome, Mary! Glad you enjoyed it, and I hope your daughter-in-law does as well!


  8. SteFanie says

    Bulgogi Sauce Recipe (20)
    I love this recipe!!! I've tried different recipes, but this is my go-to recipe for bulgogi. Can't wait to try more recipes.


    • Mike Hultquist says

      Great to hear! Thanks, SteFanie!


  9. Daniel says

    Bulgogi Sauce Recipe (21)
    This will be my go to sauce/marinade simply awesome.I added some to ground pork and made burgers. I then basted them with the sauce as I barbecued them. Garnished them with a quick pickle of jalapeños and some cilantro leaves. They turned really fine. Next time I’m marinating wings and smoking them.


    • Mike Hultquist says

      Dang, that sounds awesome! I'll take one of those! Thanks, Daniel.


  10. Julie says

    Bulgogi Sauce Recipe (22)
    I have been looking for a sauce with chili kick but not spicy hot. Your Bulgogi Sauce recipe nails it. Today, ground beef with broccoli over ancient grains & Bulgogi sauce for a late lunch. My roommate, who grew up in Korea, raved.


    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

      Awesome to here, Julie! Glad it was enjoyed! I appreciate it!


  11. Fred Nathan says

    Does this work with Salmon as well?


    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

      Absolutely, Fred. You can serve this sauce with salmon. Works for me! Enjoy!


  12. Shelly says

    Bulgogi Sauce Recipe (23)
    This is one of my family’s favorites. Great balance of flavor and effort!


    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

      Thanks, Shelly. I appreciate it.


  13. Lee Recca says

    Bulgogi Sauce Recipe (24)
    Thank you for developing this. Bulgogi sauce is hard to find in the stores so I'm making extra to keep on hand. Some recipes call for pear to be added. What do you think about that?


    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

      Thanks, Lee. Yes, easy to make at home. I have a different version of this with Asian pear that you might try. VERY GOOD. You can use pear in the bulgogi sauce as well. Here is the link - Korean BBQ Sauce Recipe: https://www.chilipeppermadness.com/recipes/korean-bbq-sauce/.


  14. Brandon says

    Bulgogi Sauce Recipe (25)
    Used this sauce on chicken and made Korean "cheese steaks". Phenomenal!


    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

      Nice! Glad you enjoyed it, Brandon!


  15. Bill says

    This stuff is KILLER! I made a double batch a few days ago (snuck a couple spoons full straight from the mixing bowl), then dumped it into a plastic zip bag along with some chicken thighs--yeah, I know, not traditional. It ended up marinating for two days cuz "life got in the way" the next day. Did 'em on the rotisserie--my go to for thighs almost always. I use a basket that clamps the thighs in place, so no "kebab-like" setup, no running the thighs through with the spit rod. Outstanding! This will be a go-to for sure. Mebbe some sliced ribeye or flank next time.



    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

      Excellent, Bill! I love it. Glad you enjoyed it!


  16. Jim Gray says

    We make something like this all the time with tofu definitely going to try this recipe
    Maybe with soy curls


    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

      Sounds great, Jim! Enjoy.


Bulgogi Sauce Recipe (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rev. Porsche Oberbrunner

Last Updated:

Views: 5596

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (73 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rev. Porsche Oberbrunner

Birthday: 1994-06-25

Address: Suite 153 582 Lubowitz Walks, Port Alfredoborough, IN 72879-2838

Phone: +128413562823324

Job: IT Strategist

Hobby: Video gaming, Basketball, Web surfing, Book restoration, Jogging, Shooting, Fishing

Introduction: My name is Rev. Porsche Oberbrunner, I am a zany, graceful, talented, witty, determined, shiny, enchanting person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.