korean bulgogi sauce

Korean bulgogi sauce is a great marinade for grilled beef. It’s also absolutely awesome brushed on burgers, on chops or as a stir fry sauce. Or even just drizzled on rice.

Beef bulgogi is probably the most famous Korean meal. Before you say it –  bibimbap is arguably the other. But bibimbap just means stuff on rice. Bulgogi counts as stuff so bulgogi on rice is bibimbap as far as I can tell.

Bulgogi sauce is easy to make

Best thing about this recipe is you can get all the at the grocery store. That’s unusual for this blog. I know. I am a pain. But for once that’s true.

There is really nothing to this recipe. Mix some soy, apple juice and sugar in a sauce pan. Heat until the sugar melts. Mix in some ginger, garlic, green onions and sesame oil. Literally that’s it.

Slice some beef, toss it with bulgogi sauce and grill. Or stir fry the beef and stir the sauce in at the end. Either way, it makes a great topping for bibimbap.

Easy Korean beef bulgogi on a black skillet

Use it in burgers too

Burgers is another place this bulgogi sauce shines. Bulgogi burgers – what could possibly be better than that. Mix 2/3 ground beef, 1/3 ground pork. Mix in a bit of gochujang for the ultimate umami bomb. Grill, brushing with bulgogi sauce. Toss that on a brioche bun with some gochu mayo and maybe some pickled onions.

Or how about a Korean cheesesteak. Move over Philly. Here comes Seoul. Stir fry your beef bulgogi with some sliced onions. Load it up on a hoagie. Top with some grated mozzarella and broil quickly. How good would that be?

Or maybe go in another direction. Bulgogi sauce with a little bit of gochujang. Add a bit of kick. Use sliced pork shoulder instead of beef. Korean spicy pork bulgogi. If that doesn’t exist it really should.

I’m drooling into my keyboard here…

Korean bulgogi sauce in a white bowl on black background.
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4.42 from 72 votes

Korean bulgogi sauce

Korean bulgogi sauce is a great way to give your dinner some Korean flair!
Course condiment
Cuisine Korean
Keyword beef bugogi, bibimbap, bulgogi sauce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 976kcal
Author romain | glebekitchen


simple bulgogi style sauce

  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 5 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger grated on a microplane
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 3/4 cup apple juice or pear juice
  • 2 green onions finely chopped


  • Mix the soy, brown sugar and apple or pear juice in a small sauce pan. Warm over low heat until the sugar melts. Allow to cool and stir in the remaining ingredients.


This recipe adapted is from KFood by Da-Hae and Gareth West. It’s a very funky Korean cookbook worth seeking out.


Serving: 2cups | Calories: 976kcal | Carbohydrates: 200g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 9780mg | Potassium: 902mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 181g | Vitamin A: 240IU | Vitamin C: 10.9mg | Calcium: 231mg | Iron: 6.2mg

43 thoughts on “korean bulgogi sauce”

  1. 5 stars
    Made this and loved it!!! Subbed 1TB of maple syrup and 1/4 water since I had no juice. Added some sesame seeds as well. Marinated about 2 lbs of beef steak strips and quickly pan seared in cast iron. It was SO good!!

  2. 5 stars
    This is so great, thank you for sharing!

    My take – I didn’t have apple/pear juice or sesame oil, but – I substituted about a tbsp of strawberry preserves and 1/2 cup of water for the juice, and subbed rice vinegar with a splash of evoo in place of the sesame oil.
    Once the strawberries stewed with the soy sauce and sugar, I made sure to siphon out any strawberry pieces with fork tongs before cooling the main sauce, and then followed yours with my oil sub – it was super flavorful and exactly what I was craving.
    I might consider adding a few red pepper flakes or a little chili sauce next time if I’m feeling spicy.

    Thanks again!

  3. Just made this and it is too die for!!! My husband was skeptical because he doesn’t like to try new things but even he was impressed!! 👏🏼🙌🏼❤️ Thank you for this recipe, it’s amazing!

  4. 4 stars
    Really tasty! Thanks for sharing
    I didn’t have the apple juice so I added a half cup of water and a splash of apple cider vinegar plus a splash of rice wine vinegar and wow it was amazing and my family loved it

  5. I’m wondering how this would work with a ham. I thinking about marinating it for a day and then basting it in the oven. I use this a lot on beef and have tried it with chicken drumsticks and it’s great.

  6. Hi Romain
    I bought a bottle of Bulgogi sauce from a Korean shop and it’s fiery hot but your version doesn’t have any chilli in it at all?
    I am confused as to why both are called Bulgogi sauce?
    Thank you

    • Think of it as Korean BBQ marinade. There are different types. I’ve never bumped into a fiery hot one in my Korean shop but I will look harder next time I am there.

  7. 5 stars
    I made this sauce in smaller amount 1/3 cup and added shredded apple and pear plus ginger 3x the amount. We add green onions and sesamy seeds on beef after it’s cooked. It was tangy and sweet, well balanced. Just delicious.

  8. 5 stars
    That’s why I’m on this website. I had a meal plan that served it with pork tenderloin. My whole family loved it and I really wanted to try the sauce. I cook most things from scratch since I can’t have gluten/wheat and most bottled sauces (especially ones with soy) contain wheat. I used my Gluten-Free soy sauce and this sauce was terrific. Now I know what they were raving about. The best thing about this recipe is this was so easy to make AND very good.

    • I’m super glad you’re on this website! And delighted you liked the sauce. Glebekitchen is all about scratch cooking so with a gluten free soy sauce you should find lots of dishes that would work for you.

    • I can’t say for the coconut aminos as I have no experience with it. Rolling down on the sugar will change things but if your friend is diabetic then better close than none at all I would think. The sugar is a big part of the taste though, so you are going to wind up somewhere different. Still tasty but different.

    • I’m not sure about the sugar, but I’ve had coconut aminos before and I could see using those in this mix! They’re salty enough and about the same consistency. Great idea for boosting macros too since the rest of this is a big cheat 🙂

  9. 5 stars
    This is delicious. One of the meal delivery services got me addicted to beef bulgogi bowls with rice, pickled cucumbers and shredded carrots. Now I can make my own!

    • Glad you like it and great that you can now make your own. That’s my whole mission. To get people into the kitchen making good food!

    • Thank you for this review. We have the same food service and I get the small size and then add more to make it fit my family. I was hoping this recipe was a match.

  10. There’s a restaurant in town that serves tacos with some good beef, lettuce and bulgogi sauce and they’re wonderful! I’m so glad to have a good recipe for the sauce!

  11. 5 stars
    I’ve been buying bulgogi sauce in stores. It always tasted like the restaurants, so I was happy. Never again! This sauce was so good!

    To be fair, I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, I didn’t have any apple or pear juice, so I just skipped that. And I added more ginger and garlic. A lot more ginger. Oh this is soooo much better than sauce from a bottle. I add a large amount of vietnamese chili garlic sauce to my bulgogi as well, more or less as much as the soy sauce to taste.

    • You will be cooking the remaining ingredients a bit if you don’t wait for it to cool. I would think the ginger and green onion would suffer the most.

    • It has garlic, ginger and sugar in it. I wouldn’t go more than a few days. Outside of any safety consideration the flavours will degrade pretty quickly.

    • I would think with the amount of sugar, vinegar, and soy sauce(sodium) which are all preservatives that it would last quite a long time with refrigeration.
      He said a couple days? I would think it would last like a month!

4.42 from 72 votes (63 ratings without comment)

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