Up until a few weeks ago, I had no idea what “bulgogi” was. It sounded strange and completely unfamiliar, so I was skeptical of even trying it. My daughter convinced me it was something I had to have so the last time we went for take out, beef bulgogi was on the menu. I went into the experience having no idea what the dish was made up of, but was pleasantly surprised to find out this was just a Korean style barbeque! Barbeque in any language? I’m in.
Essentially bulgogi is simply just thinly sliced beef that has been marinated in a slightly sweet, tangy, and spicy marinade. Then it is cooked on a barbeque or open grill. One of the greatest things about beef bulgogi is it’s almost completely keto friendly, minus the sugar that is typically added to the marinade. So while I may enjoy the dish occasionally for take out with the family, I knew it could easily be revamped a bit to suit a keto diet. One attempt at this recipe and the dish was already a success! It is everything you want in a dish: jam packed with flavor, tender meat, a sauce you want to pour on everything, and can be cooked in no time. It may contain quite a few ingredients, but it comes together very quickly and is fool proof. You are going to fall in love with this one!
Keto Beef Bulgogi Ingredients
- Beef – rib eye, sirloin, or flank steak
- Coconut Aminos – a suitable replacement for soy sauce
- Rice Wine Vinegar – or replace with white vinegar
- Garlic – freshly minced or pre minced garlic
- Ginger – grated or finely minced
- Monk Fruit – golden monk fruit adds a touch of sweetness
- Gochujang – a savory, sweet, and spicy fermented condiment in Korean cooking
- Pear – this is completely optional, but adds an extra layer of flavor and sweetness without adding substantial carbohydrates and sugar
Keto Bulgogi Variations
Keto Chicken Bulgogi
Easily swap chicken for the beef for a much lighter dish. Simply sliced thin strips of chicken breast and marinade it for 2 hours or overnight.
Keto Pork Bulgogi
Traditionally bulgogi is actually made with beef or pork. If using pork, use pork shoulder that is thinly sliced or cut into small cubes. This will help marinate the meat better and produce a quicker cooking time.
How to Make Keto Beef Bulgogi
For the best sliced meat, first wrap in plastic and then place it in the freezer for 30 minutes to 1 hour. This will help the meat firm up and allow for easier slicing.
Add all of the ingredients to a shallow dish or zip lock bag. Place meat in marinade and ensure it is completely submerged in the liquid. Refrigerate overnight preferable.
Using a piping hot wok or cast iron skillet, cook the meat in batches to avoid steaming. You want it to slightly char the meat for an even better flavor.
Keto Bulgogi Sauce
The sauce makes the dish! It is made up of sweet, spicy, tangy, and smokey ingredients. The spice comes from a traditional Korean condiment known as gochujang which is made with fermented chilis.
Keto Beef Bulgogi FAQs
How many carbs does this keto bulgogi sauce have?
If you choose to use the rice wine vinegar and the pear in this recipe, it will only have 4 grams of net carbs as written. However, if you replace the rice wine with white vinegar and omit the pear, it will have 2 grams of carbs per serving.
What cuts of beef can I use for keto bulgogi?
Boneless rib eye, flank, or sirloin steak. Just be sure to cut meat into very thin strips.Print
Spicy Korean Keto Beef Bulgogi
Get ready for one of the most flavorful Korean dishes of all time! This melt in your mouth beef bulgogi is everything you want in a weeknight meal and the best part? It cooks up in less than 15 minutes!
- Prep Time: 3 hours (marinade)
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours, 10 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- 1–1/2 pounds rib eye steak
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 4 cloves garlic (finely minced)
- 1 tablespoon ginger (finely grated)
- 1 tablespoons monk fruit
- 1/2 teaspoon gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) or chili paste
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- OPTIONAL: 1/2 Asian pear (mashed)
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
- 1 green onion (roughly chopped)
- Wrap meat in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Make Korean BBQ marinade by adding sesame oil, coconut aminos, vinegar, ginger, garlic, monk fruit, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and gochujang to a shallow dish or bowl or large zip lock bag. Stir well.
- Remove meat from the freezer and cut against the grain into ¼” slices. Add meat to marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or preferably overnight.
- When ready to cook, add avocado oil to a large wok or cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat. Working in batches, sear and cook meat until slightly charred. Try to leave space between each slice of meat to avoid steaming.
- Use the leftover marinade as extra sauce if desired by pouring it into a small saucepan until it begins to boil. Toss with meat.
- Serve over steamed vegetables or riced cauliflower. Garnish with sliced green onion and sesame seeds.
- Serving Size: 4 ounces
- Calories: 314
- Fat: 26g
- Carbohydrates: 5g
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 15g
Keywords: keto bulgogi