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Beef Bulgogi Udon Noodles

Honestly, I don’t eat much meat or beef, and most of the time I substitute meat for vegan alternatives because I believe in sustainability and love animals a lot. However, this bulgogi udon noodles (쇠고기 불고기 국수) is one of the dishes that make me really want to eat beef.  Anyone who tasted bulgogi can recognize the dish’s smell from miles away. Beef bulgogi noodles are so tasty that it makes your mouth water.


Beef Bulgogi
Prep Time: 10 mins Total: 40 mins Yields: 4 portions

What are bulgogi noodles?

Beef bulgogi  (불고기) noodles, pronounced “bool-goh-gee”, are a special dish combining two popular Korean dishes: bulgogi and stir-fried noodles. Obtaining tender and flavorful beef bulgogi is the main secret behind this dish. Marinating the beef with this simple, unique marinade is so important, I cannot believe that just soy sauce, sugar, garlic, and sesame oil can do the trick. The marinade also gives the dish a rich umami flavor.

Onions, carrots, and mushrooms are the veggies we use in beef bulgogi which tend to enhance the flavor and juices of the beef. Besides adding nutritional value and colors to the dish, the vegetables also create a pleasing texture contrasting the soft noodles and the tender beef.

Overall, beef bulgogi noodles are a very fulfilling and nutritious meal that represents perfectly the flavors of Korean cuisine making it a beloved dish both in Korea and around the world.

Why you’ll love it

  • If you love beef and Asian cuisine, you’ll certainly adore this recipe.
  • I bet you can fall in love with this dish even if you don’t tolerate spicy food or you are not crazy about Asian food.
  • Despite beef giving the most distinctive taste to bulgogi, you can swap the beef for chicken, pork, or tofu without problems.
  • It’s a perfect dish for guests who never tasted Korean food since it’s probably the best dish to start with if you’re open to trying a different cuisine.
  • You can make a healthier choice by accompanying bulgogi with glass noodles made up of mung beans, sweet potato, or peas. Because these noodles have more complex carbs, they have a lower glycemic index and are a good option to control your blood sugar.

Bulgogi udon noodles recipe

Ingredients for 4 servings

Udon Noodles

  • Udon noodles: (2 packs or 17oz) Look for dried udon noodles for a perfect plump chewy texture that perfectly pairs with the taste and texture of Bulgogi meat.
    • If you can find frozen udon noodles, they hold much better, especially for this kind of stirfry. So if you’re near an Asian grocery store I suggest filling up your freezer with them to make sure you’ll never run without them. Cook the udon al dente, avoiding overcooking as when they’re mushy they lose all the appeal.

Bulgogi Marinade

  • Brown sugar – 3 tbsp brown sugar (or honey or white sugar)
  • Mirin – 4 tbsp mirin
  • Soy sauce – 8 tbsp soy sauce
  • Sesame seeds – 1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • Garlic – 2 cloves chopped
  • Spring onions – 2 spring onion cut in round rings
  • Onion – 1 large onion diced

Bulgogi Stir Fry

  • Thinly sliced beef. 1 lb pre-sliced beef, slanted slices or use popular cuts like ribeye, entrecote or sirloin, slanted slices, and thinly cut into strips. If you are on a budget you can also try cuts like skirt and flank.
  • Carrot – 1 carrot cut into slanted slices
  • Sesame oil. – 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • Oyster sauce. – 1 tbsp oyster sauce is added as a final touch and is added just before serving taking the dish to the next level.

How to make bulgogi noodles

For the Bulgogi Marinade

  1. Wash and dry the meat and cut it into very thin strips against the grain.
  2. Cut half a spring onion (green part) into fine diagonal rings and set aside for garnish. Cut the rest of the spring onions into fine round rings.
  3. Peel and finely chop the garlic and set aside. 
  4. Halve the onion. Cut one half into fine cubes, cut the other half into strips, and set aside.
  5. Place the sugar, rice wine/mirin, soy sauce, and sesame seeds in a large bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar. 
  6. Add the spring onions (fine round rings), the garlic, and the diced onions, and stir everything together.
  7. Add the meat to the marinade and mix well with your hands so that each piece of meat is well-marinated.
  8. Place the meat in the fridge for two hours to marinate.

For cooking the noodles:

  1. Use a large saucepan to boil the noodles in salted water following the directions on the packet of noodles. You can do this while the sauce is simmering.
  2. Make sure to leave the noodles al dente as we still need to fry them with the sauce.
  3. Remove the udon noodles from the water.

For the Bulgogi Stirfry

  1. After two hours, take the meat out of the fridge.
  2. Peel the carrot, cut it in half lengthwise, and cut the halves into thin, slanted slices.
  3. Heat the sesame oil in a pan, sauté the onion strips, and add the carrots. After about a minute, add the meat and the marinade to the pan and sauté.
  4. After about three minutes, remove the udon noodles from the water and add them to the pan.

For serving the bulgogi noodles:

  1. Add the noodles to the pan together with the oyster sauce.
  2. Fry everything together until the meat is done and the noodles are soft, but still al dente.
  3. Divide into 4 portions.
  4. Arrange on a platter and garnish with the spring onions (oblique rings).
  5. Enjoy!

Tips & Variations

Here are some tips and variations to enhance your Beef Bulgogi Udon Noodles:

  1. Marinate the Beef: For a more intense flavor, marinate the beef for a longer period. Ideally, marinate it for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat. You can even marinate it overnight for maximum flavor infusion.
  2. Tenderize the Beef: If you prefer a more tender texture, consider using a meat tenderizer or slicing the beef thinly against the grain. This will help break down the muscle fibers and result in a more tender and juicy meat.
  3. Add Vegetables: Enhance the nutritional value and texture of the dish by adding vegetables. Sliced bell peppers, mushrooms, carrots, or spinach work well with Beef Bulgogi Udon Noodles. Stir-fry the vegetables separately or add them to the dish while cooking the beef for a delightful combination.
  4. Spicy Variation: If you enjoy a spicy kick, add a tablespoon of Korean gochujang (chili paste) to the bulgogi marinade. It will add a fiery flavor that pairs wonderfully with the savory beef and udon noodles. Adjust the amount according to your heat preference.
  5. Experiment with Sauces: While traditional bulgogi marinade is delicious, feel free to experiment with different sauces or combinations. You can try adding soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and even a splash of rice vinegar to create your own unique flavor profile. Don’t be afraid to get creative and tailor the marinade to your taste preferences.
  6. Noodle Variations: If you can’t find udon noodles, you can substitute them with other types of noodles like soba noodles or even spaghetti. However, udon noodles provide a unique chewy texture that pairs exceptionally well with beef bulgogi. If using dried udon noodles, make sure to cook them according to the package instructions before incorporating them into the dish.

How to serve Beef Bulgogi Udon Noodles

  • Sesame Seeds and Green Onions: Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and finely chopped green onions as garnish before serving. They will add a nutty aroma and a fresh, vibrant touch to the dish.
  • Garnish with Nori or Kimchi: For an added layer of flavor, consider garnishing your Beef Bulgogi Udon Noodles with some crumbled nori (seaweed) or a side of kimchi. These accompaniments provide a delightful umami and tangy element that complements the dish.

You might like more…

Noodle recipes:

Korean meat dishes:

bulgogi udon

Beef Bulgogi Udon Noodles

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Korean
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

Udon Noodles

  • 2 packs 17 oz udon noodles

Bulgogi Marinade

  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp rice wine / mirin
  • 8 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 spring onions round rings
  • 1 large onion diced

Bulgogi Stirfry

  • 1 pound entrecote thinly cut into strips
  • 1 carrot slanted slices
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce

Instructions
 

Marinade the meat:

  • Cut the meat in strips Dry the meat and cut into very thin strips against the grain.
  • Cut the spring onions Cut half a spring onion (green part) into fine diagonal rings and set aside for garnish. Cut the rest of the spring onions into fine round rings.
  • Chop onion and garlic Peel and finely chop the garlic. Halve the onion. Cut one half into fine cubes, cut the other half into strips and set aside.
  • Prepare beef marinade Place the sugar, rice wine/mirin, soy sauce, and sesame seeds in a large bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the spring onions (fine round rings), the garlic and the diced onions and stir everything together.
  • Add the marinade Add the marinade to the meat and mix well with your hands so that each piece of meat is well marinated.
  • Refrigerate the meat Place the meat in the fridge for two hours to marinate.

Cook the noodles:

  • Boil the noodles Use a large saucepan to boil the noodles in salted water following the directions on the packet of noodles. You can do this while the sauce is simmering.
  • Cook al dente Make sure to leave the noodles al dente as we still need to fry them with the sauce.
  • Udon noodles ready Remove the udon noodles from the water.

Prepare the bulgogi stirfry:

  • Take the meat out After two hours, take the meat out of the fridge.
  • Peel the carrot, cut in half lengthwise and cut the halves into thin, slanted slices.
  • Stirfry meat and veggies Heat the sesame oil in a pan, sauté the onion strips and add the carrots. After about a minute, add the meat and the marinade to the pan and sauté.

Assemble the bulgogi noodles:

  • Mix noodles with the stirfy Add the noodles in the pan mixing with the stirfry.
  • Add oyster sauce Add oyster sauce.
  • Continue to stir fry. Fry everything together until the meat is done and the noodles are soft, but still al dente.
  • Divide into portions Divide into 4 portions.
  • Serve and garnish Arrange on a platter and garnish with the spring onions (oblique rings).
  • Enjoy Enjoy!

Notes

  • Marinate the Beef: For a more intense flavor, marinate the beef for a longer period. Ideally, marinate it for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat. You can even marinate it overnight for maximum flavor infusion.
  • Tenderize the Beef: If you prefer a more tender texture, consider using a meat tenderizer or slicing the beef thinly against the grain. This will help break down the muscle fibers and result in a more tender and juicy meat.
  • Add Vegetables: Enhance the nutritional value and texture of the dish by adding vegetables. Sliced bell peppers, mushrooms, carrots, or spinach work well with Beef Bulgogi Udon Noodles. Stir-fry the vegetables separately or add them to the dish while cooking the beef for a delightful combination.
  • Spicy Variation: If you enjoy a spicy kick, add a tablespoon of Korean gochujang (chili paste) to the bulgogi marinade. It will add a fiery flavor that pairs wonderfully with the savory beef and udon noodles. Adjust the amount according to your heat preference.
  • Experiment with Sauces: While traditional bulgogi marinade is delicious, feel free to experiment with different sauces or combinations. You can try adding soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and even a splash of rice vinegar to create your own unique flavor profile. Don't be afraid to get creative and tailor the marinade to your taste preferences.
  • Noodle Variations: If you can't find udon noodles, you can substitute them with other types of noodles like soba noodles or even spaghetti. However, udon noodles provide a unique chewy texture that pairs exceptionally well with beef bulgogi. If using dried udon noodles, make sure to cook them according to the package instructions before incorporating them into the dish.
Keyword bulgogi, korean noodles, udon

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