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1¼ hours 35 minutes active, plus marinating
Salty, sweet and garlicky, with rich meatiness and an ultra-tender texture, beef bulgogi is a Korean standard. The name translates as “fire meat,” and though bulgogi sometimes is charred over flames or cooked on a dome-shaped tabletop grill, when prepared at home, it is simply sautéed or stir-fried on the stovetop. Ryan Phillips, a Korean American chef living in Seoul, taught us his recipe for home-style bulgogi. The soy-based marinade comes together easily and quickly in a blender. It includes Asian pear, which adds subtle sweetness and fruitiness as well as enzymes that help tenderize the meat. Asian pears are seasonal and can sometimes be pricey; if you prefer, a regular ripe pear of any variety is a good stand-in. As for the meat, we tried various cuts and favored rib-eye and strip steak; top sirloin also is a good, more economical cut. Whichever you use, the beef needs to be thinly sliced on the bias to help make the meat more tender. Serve with steamed rice and tangy, spicy kimchi.
pounds rib-eye, strip or top sirloin steak, preferably about 1 inch thick, trimmed of exterior fat and silver skin
ounces Asian pear (see headnote), peeled, cored and roughly chopped