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Bulgogi, which translates to "fire meat" named for the tradition of grilling marinated meat, is a classic Korean dish. This dish, however, is designed to pan-fried on the stove. When choosing meat for bulgogi, it is crucial to select the appropriate cut of beef. Trimmed hanger steak or boneless short rib are excellent choices, although other tender and well-marbled cuts such as top sirloin, rib eye, or skirt steak can also yield excellent results. The key to bulgogi lies in slicing the meat thinly to facilitate rapid absorption of the marinade ingredients. To achieve the desired crispy brown edges, it is recommended to stir fry the meat in batches using a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
¼ pear, grated
1 garlic clove, grated
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbsn gochugaru, or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tbs grated peeled ginger
1 tbs light brown sugar
1 tbs toasted sesame oil
1 trimmed hanger steak, boneless short rib, or skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs
2 tbs vegetable oil, divided
Sliced scallions (for serving)
Combine pear, garlic, soy sauce, gochugaru (if using), ginger, sugar, and sesame oil in a large resealable plastic bag or medium bowl with lid. Using a sharp knife, slice meat into very thin strips. Add the meat to the marinade and lighlty toss until the meat is coated. Let sit at room temperature 30 minutes, or in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours.
Heat 1 tbs. vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high until oil is shimmering. Remove half of the meat from the marinade, letting the excess drip back into the bowl or bag. Place in the pan and cook in a single layer without moving until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Season with salt while cooking. Turn the meat and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until cooked through and the edges are cripsy, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate to rest. Repeat with remaining 1 tbs. vegetable oil, remaining meat, and more salt. Serve topped with scallions.