Hi everyone! We wanted to start the week with a recipe that might just be one of our favourites: Korean Bulgogi Grilled Cheese! *pause to contain self* If you’re not familiar with what a bulgogi is, it’s a Korean-style grilled slices of marinated beef. The marinade is usually sweet and savoury and it’s one of the staple dishes of Korea. We’ve seen so many variations of grilled cheese online, but have yet to see an Asian-fusion grilled cheese! Being Asian-Canadians ourselves, we’re definitely obsessed with Asian inspired dishes. And this one is the perfect mixture of two very popular dishes from different cultures. It’s kinda like a Philly cheesesteak but with an Asian-style marinated beef.
Just a disclaimer, this is by no means an authentic recipe for bulgogi. We made the recipe for the marinade a little bit easier and we tried to use simpler ingredients while still trying to keep the taste similar. Some recipes call for a Korean sweet pear for the marinade too, but since it’s pretty hard to find we opted to make a recipe that doesn’t require it.
We loved cooking this dish since not only was it delicious, it was so easy to make too! It only required some simple steps to follow. First, you have to cut the beef into thin slices. This might be easier to if your beef is not completely defrosted, giving it a certain resistance making it easier for you to cut it. Once that’s done, you have to marinate the beef slices in a marinade (ingredients given below) for at least one hour, but preferably overnight. You want the meat to soak up all the flavours from the marinade and that’s what’s gonna give your grilled cheese different flavour profiles.
Next steps is cooking the meat. It’s pretty straightforward process, except you don’t want to cook it all the way through. The beef is going to be cooked again later together with the grilled cheese, so if you cook it all the way through, the beef might be a little bit overcooked once you’re done with the grilled cheese. Nobody wants tough, overdone beef!
The final step is putting together the grilled cheese, browning the bread, and melting the cheese. You’ll notice the bread will already be golden brown while the cheese is still not completely melted. At this point, you can put the grilled cheese sandwich in the oven to let the cheese melt without having to burn your bread.
And there you have it! Your Korean Bulgogi Grilled Cheese! The sweet and savoury flavours from the beef, the ooey gooey texture from the cheese, and the crispiness from the bread, a match made in heaven! Let us know in the comments if you have any questions regarding the recipe and share with us your own creations of you do decide to make it! If you like Asian-fusion dishes, you can check out our Chicken Taquitos with Spring Roll Wrappers recipe and Sushi Pizza recipe! I hope you enjoy this recipe and happy eating!
INGREDIENTS (yields 1 grilled cheese sandwich)
Prep time: 15 minutes (excluding 1 hour of marinating the beef)
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
- 0.5 pounds of flank steak, thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp of soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp of sugar
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 tbsp of green onions, chopped
- 1 tsp of ginger, chopped
- 1/2 tsp of black pepper
- 1 tbsp of sesame oil
- 2 tsp of sesame seeds
- 1/4 of an onion, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp of canola oil
- 1 cup of soft cheese, roughly grated (we used mozzarella)
- 2 slices of white bread
- 2 tsp of butter
- In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, sugar, garlic, green onions, ginger, black pepper, sesame oil, and sesame seeds and mix well to make the marinade. Mix in the thin beef slices and let marinate for at least one hour.
- In a pan, heat canola oil on medium high heat. Once heated, cook the marinated beef and the onions until the beef is almost cooked all they way, about 3 minutes. Once done, remove from heat and drain off liquid.
- Place a slice of bread on a plate and put the grated cheese on top. Place the cooked bulgogi beef on top of the layer of cheese and close the sandwich with another slice of bread.
- In a pan, melt 1 teaspoon of butter at medium high heat. Once heated, grill one side of the sandwich until the bottom is golden brown and crispy, about 1-2 minutes. Add another teaspoon of butter and flip the sandwich and grill the other side. We suggest you use two spatulas to flip the sandwich to keep it intact. If the cheese is fully melted, remove sandwich from heat and serve. If the cheese is not fully melted, put sandwich in oven and bake at 35o degrees Fahrenheit until cheese is fully melted.