Bulgogi Stew

My first week of school was….draining.  It’s always difficult to get back in the swing of things, especially after having been one with the bed (darn you, flu) for almost 2 weeks.  When I’m feeling exhausted, I especially miss my mom’s Korean cooking.  Whether it’s slurping up her famous kimchi cold buckwheat noodles, downing a bowl of beef and radish soup, or engaging in brutal chopstick war with my siblings to get a piece of steamed short ribs with potatoes and eggs, my mom’s home cooking has the power to instantly renew my spirit and take me to that happy place ;).

Stress + frigid weather (by Texas standards anyways) = time for comfort food.  Since my mom’s not with me, it was time to take matters into my own hands.  Bulgogi (sliced, marinated and grilled beef) is an iconic Korean dish that can be eaten in endless ways.  It can be enjoyed over rice and kimchi (simple, yet amazing), in lettuce wraps…and as fusion cuisine has taken off, it can be included to make glorified sandwiches, pizza, hamburgers, pasta, tacos…or in this case, stew!

This dish is so simple to make and is sure to warm you up from the inside out.  So for those of you who are braving the cold, how about coming home and awakening your sense of umami with a hot bowl of bulgogi stew?  Any takers?

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Bulgogi Stew


  • 1 Ib ribeye, sliced thin
  • 50g Korean glass noodles (otherwise known as cellophane noodles or Chinese vermicelli)
  • 1 bunch of enoki mushrooms (or whatever kind you have on hand)
  • 2/3 cup water


  • 3 1/2 Tbs low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1 kiwi, pureed
  • 1/2 Tbs garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs green onion, minced
  • 1/2 Tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  1. Slice the beef very thin.  I like to freeze the meat before slicing, as it makes it easier to slice.  Also be sure to sharpen your knife before.
  2. Prepare the marinade and massage well into the beef.  Refrigerate for at least 30 min.
  3. In the meanwhile, soak the noodles in hot water for about 30 min.  Cut into shorter pieces with scissors.
  4. In a pot, preferably earthenware, add the marinated beef and water, and cook under med-high heat.  When the meat is halfway cooked, add the noodles and the mushrooms.  Turn off the heat when the beef is cooked all the way through and the noodles and mushrooms get well incorporated.  *
  5. Serve.  Top with red peppers for some extra heat if you wish.

* Be sure not to overcook as the liquid will evaporate.

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You can easily find this in any Asian grocery store.  These glass noodles are made from sweet potato starch and look transparent when cooked.  They need to be soaked in hot water before cooking.  Cut with scissors before adding to the stew.

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You can substitute kiwi with pear or apple.  Its addition really tenderizes the meat as well as enhances the flavor.  Give the beef lots of lovin’ by massaging it well.  Although I’d prefer to use a leaner cut of meat, it just isn’t the same.  Bulgogi needs that extra marbling, if you know what I mean.

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Once the beef is cooked halfway, add the noodles and mushrooms.  Stir and incorporate.

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A spoonful of this with rice and kimchi…..mmmm…..comfort at its finest.  In Korea, you call this kind of dish “밥 도둑,” which literally means rice thief.  Get it?  It’s so good that you don’t even realize what’s happened to all your rice.  When I first heard this phrase, I thought it was the cutest thing ;).  Hope you give this recipe a try, and I challenge you to keep your rice from getting “stolen.”

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20 Responses to Bulgogi Stew

  1. Ha ha ha I am gawking over this stew, I am barely getting over the flu and IS tart school next week I am not to excited about.. This weekend I am going to make black sesame Juk for comfort food but I am defiantly going to add this to my list to of yummy recipes to make 🙂

  2. Leah says:

    This sounds absolutely delicious. I’m blown away by how simple the ingredients are! I’m pinning this and making it asap! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  3. Min! I am officially in need of good korean food. There is a korean town in Buenos Aires but it’s a bit far away and it’s not the safest neighbourhood to be in (thus I’ve only been there once in my 3 years in BA).

    But I’ll try to get some good korean food when im holidaying back in Singapore!

    Anyway your recipe looks really quick and easy…maybe I might just make it one day! thanks for sharing dear!

    • Ellie says:

      omgshhh!! I’m from buenos Aires!!! That is sooo cool 😀 I know the town you’re talking about, do you mean Carabobo? That one is quite dangerous these days~so I suggest that you look around the Avellaneda area, more like the small streets like Campana and such. 🙂

  4. This looks yummy! Please share this in a new Linky Party –Weekend Kitchen Creations at http://www.weekendkitchencreations.blogspot.com. Please join us, share your delicious creation, build more traffic for your blog and get other scrumptious ideas.

  5. This looks AMAZING. I love bulgogi!

  6. Ellie says:

    Mmmmmm unniiiee this looks marvelous, delicious, and beautiful!!! It so reminds me of the amazing meal I had at a restaurant in Korea, when Greg and I had visited for 3 days. It was a short period of time, but all the food that I did get to eat was just heavenly. This looks just like it–and me too, when I’m feeling kinda off in one way or another, I miss my mom’s food and stuff.

  7. I’m sorry your week was so exhausting 😦 Hopefully this dish has you feeling better soon!

  8. Charlie says:


    This looks truly delicious and since I just bought some steak, I have an excuse to make it.

    Question: Do you only cook your meat halfway, or do you continue to cook it once the noodles are added.

    Have a Joyful Day :~D

  9. Min says:

    Hi Charlie! Yes, it’s a perfect excuse ;). The key is to slice the meat very thin! To answer your question, cook the meat halfway through, add the other two ingredients, and then proceed to cook until the meat is cooked all the way through. This should happen fairly quickly since the meat is thin. You’ll want to stir occasionally as you go along. As soon as the meat is cooked, turn off the heat so that you’re still left with some liquid. Hope this helps!! Let me know if you have any more questions!

  10. Charlie says:

    Thank you Min!
    I have subscribed to your blog

  11. CookingAcrossTheGlobe.com says:

    My husband and I LOVE Bulgogi! This stew sounds delicious, will definitely have to try this one 🙂

  12. I love comfort food, and this seems so perfect! Love!

  13. Sarah says:

    This looks so delicious! And I love those Korean noodles, so chewy and good! It’s making me hungry just thinking about it.

  14. This looks so comforting, Min! Don’t you wish you could transport your mom to your bedside every time you get sick? Sorry it’s been a bit of a hard transition back to school, praying that it is getting easier this week!!

  15. Pingback: Korean Sweet Potato Noodles with Beef [Japchae] | Foodie Baker

  16. Pingback: Korean Sweet Potato Noodles with Beef [Japchae] « Food Is My Life

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