Sous vide is one of the best ways to prepare beef, and that extends to things like barbacoa, boneless short ribs, and bulgogi! The slower cooking process of sous vide allows the beef to get tender without being overcooked in a way other cooking methods just can’t.
This recipe uses a classic marinade with ingredients like Asian pear, ginger, and soy sauce. I use this bulgogi to put together simple but delicious rice bowls with green onion, cucumbers, and kimchi. Throw a fried egg on top if you’ve got the time!
This cookbook outlines my entire method for keeping your freezer stocked with ready to sous vide meals (and some great recipes to boot!).
This recipe does take a little longer than other bulgogi recipes, but it’s worth it. In a perfect world, let the ribeye marinate for a couple of hours before taking a swim in a sous vide water bath for a couple hours, followed by a super fast sear. No other bulgogi is going to be this tender!
Ingredients and Equipment
Most of the ingredients for the marinade are pretty standard, except the Asian pear. This fruit is kind of like a cross between an apple and a pear. You should be able to find it at your usual grocery store, but if you can’t, your local Asian grocery store will have it.
Traditionally, bulgogi is made with a fattier beef cut vs. a lean one. Although expensive, I recommend going with ribeye. The well marbled beef makes this dish all the better!
You’ll also need an onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and black pepper. Likely pantry items for you! I used frozen ginger cubes.
I serve this in rice bowls with kimchi, thinly sliced cucumber, and sliced green onions.
In terms of equipment, if you’re already sous viding, you probably have exactly what you’ll need.
- An immersion circulator (I like the Breville Joule)
- A vacuum sealer
- Vacuum seal bags
- I like to use sous vide magnets to prevent bags from floating
This meat is in a marinade which means you’ll have to get strategic with the vacuum sealer, but don’t worry about going out and buying something like a chamber vacuum sealer, I’ll walk you through it.
How to Make Sous Vide Bulgogi
As with most things sous vide, this process is easier than you’d think! You’ll start by blending together all the ingredients for the marinade. I know getting the blender out is annoying, but it’s the only way to get a smooth marinade for this. Trust me!
Then you’ll prep the ribeye by trimming the outer fat and cutting it into thin slices, about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Make sure your knife is sharp!
Once it’s sliced, add it to a vacuum seal bag with the blended marinade. I know what you’re thinking: How will I seal this with all that liquid? Once you start seeing the liquid creep towards the seal line, heat the “Seal” button yourself. It won’t be as good of a vacuum but it’s good enough.
Throw the bag in the fridge to marinate for a couple of hours up to overnight to really let that flavor sink in.
Once you’re ready to cook, preheat a water bath using your immersion circulator to 130 degrees F. Add the bag and cook for 2-4 hours. Consider using sous vide magnets to hold the bag in place.
Once it’s done cooking, preheat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add sesame oil to the skillet and then use tongs to remove the sliced steak from the bag and add to the skillet. Cook fast, just until the meat is browned on the outside.
Turn off the heat and pour in the juices from the vacuum seal bag. Let the residual heat cook the liquid until it’s reduced a bit.
Now the fun part: assemble into rice bowls with your fav toppings, like kimchi, cucumbers, and sliced green onions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! I recommend freezing right after vacuum sealing, before cooking. When you’re ready to cook, you can go straight from the freezer to the sous vide bath. Cook for a minimum of 2.5 hours.
Since the steak is sliced thin before searing, it’s going to be more well cooked than a whole steak cooked at 130 degrees F and then seared. However, if you’d still prefer it to be very well done, increase the cooking temperature to 140 degrees F.
This meat is excellent in lettuce wraps or even nontraditionally in tacos! Keep the same toppings. The rice bowl is also delicious topped with a fried egg and hot sauce.
Get the Recipe:
Sous Vide Bulgogi
- 1 lb ribeye, trimmed and cut into thin slices
- 1 Asian pear, cored and diced
- 1/2 white onion, roughly diced
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 inch knob ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 tbsp sesame oil, divided
- Cooked white rice
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
- Thinly sliced cucumbers, optional
- Chopped cilantro, optional
- In a food processor or blender, combine the Asian pear, white onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, 1 tbsp of the sesame oil, and black pepper. Blend until smooth.1 Asian pear, 1/2 white onion, 4 garlic cloves, 1 inch knob ginger, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper, 2 tbsp sesame oil
- Place the thinly sliced ribeye in a chamber vacuum seal, zipper top, or vacuum seal bag. Pour the blended marinade over the ribeye, tossing to coat. Remove the air from the bag using your preferred method. Refrigerate for 2-24 hours to marinate.1 lb ribeye
- Once cooked, remove the ribeye from the water bath. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add the remaining 1 tbsp of sesame oil. Using tongs, transfer the ribeye slices from the bag to the skillet, reserving the juices in the bag. Sear the ribeye, tossing regularly, until browned and slightly charred on the outside. After removing the ribeye from the skillet, pour the reserved marinade juices into the skillet. Allow the juices to reduce slightly from the residual heat.
- Plate the bulgogi over cooked white rice. Add thinly sliced cucumbers, kimchi, and/or chopped cilantro if desired. Garnish with thinly sliced green onions.Cooked white rice, 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions, Kimchi, Thinly sliced cucumbers, Chopped cilantro