Bulgogi is a luxurious and scrumptious South Korean dish that is quite popular among tourists. It is a red meat-based dish but tastes unlike any other meat dish ever. Its unique taste makes the experience even better for people who try it for the first time.
Recently, more and more authentic Korean stores have started selling this delicacy across multiple states and cities. So if you want to know how this dish tastes, you can read below the flavor profile and try it out for yourself later.
What does Bulgogi refer to?
If you have only remotely heard of it and are still unsure what it refers to, worry not. Bulgogi is a meat dish enjoyed in South Korea, created from marinated red meat. While there is absolutely no comparison between the tastes, it is almost like barbequed meat.
It can be described as Korean BBQ to someone who isn’t aware of it. But do not be fooled, while regular barbeque itself is delicious, Bulgogi is on a whole other level. Bulgogi has a luxurious and well-rounded flavor that makes it taste a thousand times better than your average barbeque.
The word itself consists of two separate words, ‘bul’ and ‘gogi’. ‘Bul’ means fire in Korean, while ‘Gogi’ refers to any meat. So if you combine the two, it translates to meat cooked over fire.
The meat is marinated in the sauce for a long time before grilling it. After grilling it develops even richer flavors and absorbs the smoky aroma, making it very delicious. It is a must-try meal for any meat lover out there.
What are the flavors you can get while having It?
It truly holds an array of flavors. These tiny strips of meat might deceive you with their shape, but they are so rich and full of flavor. Since various ingredients make up the Bulgogi sauce, all these flavors hit your tongue in stages.
There are sweet, savory, salty, and sour flavors present in the Bulgogi sauce that seep into the meat while marinating. After the meat gets grilled in the fire, it also picks up a smoky aroma and deepens the existing flavors.
So it’s a medley of flavors in your mouth when you eat a bite of meat. Since the meat is also a perfect size, it is easy to have in bites and yet each slice is just as flavorful as the last one.
What is Bulgogi Sauce?
While it could be any sort of meat barbecue, what makes it unique in its flavor profile is the Bulgogi Sauce. The sauce is the real MVP of the dish, which makes plain red meat so scrumptious.
The sauce consists of ingredients you can easily find in Korean households. The sauce usually consists of soy sauce, Asiatic pear, garlic, ginger, black pepper, brown sugar, and sesame oil. Every restaurant or house might make changes in its recipes, but the basic recipe has these ingredients.
It is the same sauce in which the meat gets dunked and marinated for a long time. The sauce gives the meat a lot of flavor and depth, and it also tenderizes the meat a lot more. So the sauce is what gives the meat its flavor and aroma.
Is Bulgogi Expensive?
It depends on which meat you have and its quality, but generally, Bulgogi is on the expensive side. If you eat Hanwoo (Premium Korean Beef) Bulgogi, then it will be an expensive meal.
But its price is not surprising if you consider the overall quality and experience of the beef. Koreans love to eat their beef a lot differently than Americans do. Americans usually enjoy their red meats with more flesh than fat.
On the other hand, Koreans love a lot of marbling on their meat. It means that there is a good amount of fat marbled with the flesh of the meat. While most Americans would cringe at the description, such marbling makes the meat disintegrate in your mouth as soon as you eat it. It is one of the most enjoyable meats.
How Is Bulgogi Made?
As mentioned above, Bulgogi usually gets made with high-quality marbled beef alongside the signature Bulgogi sauce. The thinly sliced strips of red meat get marinated in the sauce for a couple of hours or even overnight.
Then, the meat gets grilled over a grill setup. Korean restaurants have the setup on the table itself, and you can watch your meat get cooked. So it is fresh and flavorful when it hits your plate.
Since the slices of meat are thin and small, the meat gets cooked relatively quickly, and you can begin dining. It is best to look for a restaurant that cooks the meat for you on the spot since it is the original way to have Bulgogi.
Bulgogi is one of the best dishes that represent the diverse nature of Korean cuisine. It is different from your ordinary red meat meal and will give you a roller-coaster ride of flavors. The flavors in the meat will surprise and please you to the fullest.
Once you try out this Korean delicacy, you won’t help but ask for more and more. Its flavors are luxurious and yet comforting. We are sure our explanation of the flavor profile and details of Bulgogi has made you hungry, so you can hit the restaurant near you to try this delicacy right now.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Does Bulgogi taste like BBQ?
Well, there is no comparison, even though Bulgogi is called Korean BBQ. Bulgogi has multiple flavors that create harmony in your mouth. It is like the most premium version of regular BBQ.
- Is Bulgogi spicy?
No, Bulgogi sauce usually contains only salty, sweet, savory, and sour flavor profiles, so Bulgogi by itself is not at all spicy. But other side dishes that come with the Bulgogi may contain some spices in them.
- Can Bulgogi be made from other meats?
Yes, if you apply the Bulgogi sauce on other meats with similar cuts, you can make Bulgogi. But the best kind of Bulgogi is always the red meat version.