This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Beef Bulgogi is a classic Korean dish featuring thinly sliced beef marinated in a flavorful sauce. It’s known for its rich taste and tender texture. This single serving version is perfect for when you’re craving Korean BBQ but don’t want to make a large batch. With simple ingredients and easy steps, you’ll have a delicious meal ready in no time. Enjoy it with rice or as a lettuce wrap for a quick and satisfying dinner.

Enjoy your Beef Bulgogi with a variety of delicious single serving side dishes. Pair it with fluffy white rice, flavorful baked brown rice, refreshing cucumber salad, or tender sautéed green beans.

Why You’ll Love This Beef Bulgogi Recipe

  • Quick and Easy: After marinating, the beef cooks quickly on the stove, making this a fast and easy meal.
  • Flavorful Marinade: The marinade infuses the beef with deep, rich flavors that are truly mouth-watering.
  • Versatile: Enjoy as-is or serve with rice, in a lettuce wrap, or add your favorite vegetables.
  • Single Serving: Perfectly portioned for one, so you don’t have to worry about leftovers. Want to make Beef Bulgogi for two? Just double the ingredient amounts.
  • Customizable: Easily swap out ingredients to suit your dietary needs or preferences.

Bulgogi, also known as Korean BBQ beef, is a popular Korean dish featuring thinly sliced, marinated beef. Our bulgogi recipe is unique because it offers a single serving portion, making it perfect for those who want to enjoy a delicious Korean meal without making a large batch. The marinade’s rich and savory flavors are easily achievable with common ingredients, and the dish is versatile enough to be customized to your taste.

beef bulgogi over rice on a white plate.

Ingredients And Substitutions

beef bulgogi ingredients on a kitchen counter.

If you have any ingredients leftover from this single serving Beef Bulgogi recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

  • Ribeye Steak: Bulgogi can be made with many cuts of meat. I prefer to use ribeye because it is well-marbled which makes it tender and flavorful. You can also make bulgogi with sirloin or tenderloin. If you’ve got leftover steak, consider using it to make Sheet Pan Steak and Potatoes, Beef Stroganoff, or a Philly Cheesesteak.
  • Soy Sauce: Flavors the marinade with umami. Use coconut aminos for a gluten-free option.
  • Brown Sugar: Sweetens the marinade, balancing the salty flavors of the soy sauce and helps caramelize the meat. Out of brown sugar? Use our brown sugar recipe to make a small batch to use.
  • Sesame Oil: Adds a nutty flavor to the marinade.
  • Kiwi Fruit: It tenderizes the beef and adds a subtle sweetness to the marinade. You can use a few slices of pear as an alternative, but I prefer kiwi. Both kiwi and pear contain enzymes that break down protein fibers, making the meat tender for Bulgogi.
  • Garlic: Adds depth to the marinade. Fresh is best, but 1/8 of a teaspoon of powdered works in a pinch.
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: Adds a hint of spice. Adjust to your taste or omit if you prefer mild.
  • Ground Ginger: Adds warmth. About 1/2 tablespoon of fresh grated ginger can be used instead.
  • Oyster Sauce: Enhances the savory flavor. Hoisin sauce can be a vegetarian alternative. Leftover oyster sauce can be used in our Beef and Broccoli or Lo Mein recipes.
  • Oil: For cooking the beef. Any neutral oil like avocado, vegetable or canola works.
  • Sesame Seeds and Green Onions: For garnish, adding a nice crunch and freshness.

Recipe Variations

Feel free to get creative with your Beef Bulgogi. Here are a few ideas:

  • Vegetarian Bulgogi: Replace the beef with tofu or mushrooms for a delicious vegetarian option. Marinate and cook the tofu or mushrooms the same way you would with the beef.
  • Seafood Version: Use shrimp instead of beef for a lighter, seafood twist. Marinate the shrimp for a shorter time (about 15 minutes) and cook until they are just pink and firm, about 3 minutes per side.
  • Extra Vegetables: Add a variety of vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, and zucchini. Cook the vegetables along with the beef for a more colorful and nutritious meal.
  • Spicy Bulgogi: Add extra crushed red pepper flakes or a spoonful of gochujang (Korean red chili paste) to the marinade for a spicier version.
  • Gluten-Free Bulgogi: Substitute soy sauce with coconut aminos to make the dish gluten-free without sacrificing flavor.
Save This Recipe!
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get weekly recipes from us – all for free.

How To Make Beef Bulgogi For One

These step-by-step photos and instructions will help you visualize how to make Korean Beef Bulgogi. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full instructions.

slices of steak on a plate.
  1. Wrap the steak in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer for 30 minutes. This will make it easier to slice. After 30 minutes, unwrap the steak and slice it across the grain into 1/4 inch slices.
beef bulgogi marinade in a small bowl.
  1. In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, mashed kiwi, garlic, red pepper flakes, ground ginger, and oyster sauce.
slices of steak marinating in bulgogi marinade in a bowl.
  1. Add the steak slices to the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
beef bulgogi cooking in a skillet.
  1. After marinating, heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the steak slices and cook until fully cooked, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  1. Transfer the cooked steak to a bowl or plate and top with toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions. Enjoy with your choice of rice—white, brown, red, or stir-fried—or spoon onto a lettuce leaf for a tasty lettuce wrap.
beef bulgogi in a brown bowl served with red rice on the side.

Expert Tips

  • Thinly Slice the Beef: Freeze the steak for about 30 minutes before slicing to make it easier.
  • Slice Against the Grain: When cutting the beef, look for the direction of the fibers, which usually run in one direction. Place the beef so the fibers run left to right in front of you. Cut perpendicular to the fibers (across the grain) to make the beef more tender.
  • Marinate Well: Ensure the beef is well-coated and marinate for about 1 hour for best flavor.
  • Don’t Overcrowd the Pan: Cook in batches if necessary to avoid steaming the meat.
  • Consider Using Pre-Sliced Beef: Many grocery stores sell very thinly sliced beef. This can save you cutting time and is convenient to keep in your freezer for quick stir-fries.

How To Toast Sesame Seeds

Toasting sesame seeds adds a nutty flavor and enhances their crunch. Spread the sesame seeds in a thin layer on a skillet. Cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently until they turn golden brown. Keep an eye on them to prevent burning.

sesame seeds toasting in a skillet.

Frequently Asked Questions

What cut of beef is best for Bulgogi?

Ribeye is ideal due to its tenderness and flavor, but any good quality, tender cut of beef will work.

How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Can I make Beef Bulgogi for two?

Absolutely! Simply double the ingredient amounts to make more.

How can I make Beef Bulgogi spicier?

Add more crushed red pepper flakes or a spoonful of gochujang (Korean red chili paste) to the marinade for extra heat.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

If you’ve tried this single serving Beef Bulgogi recipe or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

Also, if you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see it!


Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Beef Bulgogi For One

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Make this easy, no-fuss single serving Beef Bulgogi with a rich, flavorful marinade. Perfect for a quick, delicious meal without leftovers. Cooks in minutes!

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 (4 to 6-ounce) boneless ribeye steak
  • 1 ½ tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 small kiwi fruit -peeled and mashed with a fork
  • 1 clove garlic -minced
  • teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon oyster sauce
  • ½ tablespoon avocado oil , vegetable, or canola oil
  • ¼ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 small green onion -sliced
Save this Recipe!
Get this recipe sent to your inbox, plus get weekly recipes from us – all for free.

Instructions 

  • Wrap the steak in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer for 30 minutes. This will make it easier to slice. After 30 minutes, unwrap the steak and slice it across the grain into 1/4 inch slices.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, mashed kiwi, garlic, red pepper flakes, ground ginger, and oyster sauce.
  • Add the steak slices to the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • After marinating, heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the steak slices and cook until fully cooked, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  • Transfer the cooked steak to a bowl or plate and top with toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions. Enjoy with your choice of rice—whitebrown, red, or stir-fried—or spoon onto a lettuce leaf for a tasty lettuce wrap.

Notes

  • Thinly Slice the Beef: Freeze the steak for about 30 minutes before slicing to make it easier.
  • Slice Against the Grain: When cutting the beef, look for the direction of the fibers, which usually run in one direction. Place the beef so the fibers run left to right in front of you. Cut perpendicular to the fibers (across the grain) to make the beef more tender.
  • Marinate Well: Ensure the beef is well-coated and marinate for about 1 hour for best flavor.
  • Don’t Overcrowd the Pan: Cook in batches if necessary to avoid steaming the meat.
  • Consider Using Pre-Sliced Beef: Many grocery stores sell very thinly sliced beef. This can save you cutting time and is convenient to keep in your freezer for quick stir-fries.
 
How To Toast Sesame Seeds
Toasting sesame seeds adds a nutty flavor and enhances their crunch. Spread the sesame seeds in a thin layer on a skillet. Cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently until they turn golden brown. Keep an eye on them to prevent burning.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 473kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 30g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Cholesterol: 91mg, Sodium: 547mg, Potassium: 777mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 18g, Vitamin A: 129IU, Vitamin C: 70mg, Calcium: 59mg, Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Receive Our Latest Single Serving Recipes!
Sign Up for the weekly One Dish Kitchen Newsletter!!
Red 5-inch square baking dish with One Dish Kitchen branded paper sleeve around it.

Make 80+ Recipes With This Dish!

Ideal for home chefs, this individual square ceramic baking dish is safe for oven, microwave, freezer, and dishwasher. Simple to use & easy to clean!

Welcome!

I’m Joanie and I’m incredibly happy you’re here! Our aim is to inspire individuals with access to single serving recipes, education, and a supportive community that will enable them to enjoy the preparation of a meal that will nourish both body and soul.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




1 Comment

  1. J.Hegyi says:

    Good recipe.