BEEF BULGOGI NOODLE STIR-FRY

I’ve been thinking about the idea of re-writing my previous bulgogi recipe that I posted up here for a little while now. The one thing I was looking to improve was about how much char that I could get onto the meat with doing a pan-fry technique.

All this just happened to coincide with me trying to figure out uses for a tub of gochujang that I bought to use in another recipe I had tried out. Looking around online, I saw a technique to use a gochujang mixture added into the leftover marinade to make a sauce. That got me thinking about what the best pairing would be to soak up that sauce mixture, and noodles instantly came to mind. Thus, the beef bulgogi noodle stir-fry was born.

Thin slices of marinated beef, pan-fried to get that nice char on the outside, are tossed with flat rice noodles, scallions, baby corn, along with a sauce made from the marinade and gochujang to tie everything together.

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Beef Bulgogi Noodle Stir-Fry
Makes 5 – 6 servings

2 lbs. beef tenderloin or top sirloin, thinly sliced
28 oz. flat rice noodles, cooked to package directions
14 oz. can of baby corn, cut to 1/2″ pieces
3/4 cup scallions, cut to 1″ pieces
Sesame oil, as needed for pan-frying

Marinade:
2/3 cup soy sauce
5 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup scallions, cut to 1/8″ pieces
4 tbsp minced garlic
4 tbsp sesame seeds
4 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp ginger

Gochujang Mixture:
2-1/2 tbsp gochujang
3 tbsp water
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp mirin

Prep Work:

  • To begin starting on your marinade mixture, chop up scallions into 1/8″ pieces and place them into a large bowl. Mince up your garlic and also drop into the bowl as well.
  • Add in your soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame seeds, sesame oil, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and ginger into the large bowl as well before using a fork or a whisk to mix everything up.
  • (The intent would be to use the bowl to store the beef strips while they are marinating. If the bowl isn’t large enough, a Ziploc gallon bag should do the trick as well.)
  • While you’re still cutting up the vegetables, go ahead and also cut additional scallions into 1″ pieces for the final dish.
  • If you got a can of whole baby corn, drain the can and take them out, cutting into 1/2″ pieces. Place both your scallions as well as the baby corn into the fridge.
  • Now, take your beef and slice it into strips no more than 1/8″ thick and about 2″ long. As you finish cutting each strip, place into the marinade bowl. (The reason to keep the beef slices so thin is that they can cook fast in the pan while still getting the char on the outside.)
  • Using either a spoon or your hand, work the beef strips around with the marinade to make sure it can get evenly distributed amongst the pieces.
  • Place into the fridge overnight for allow for marinade to soak into the beef. I cooked the beef after 24 hours of marinating.
  • On the day of the cook, prior to starting the stovetop process, make your gochujang mixture in a small bowl by adding the water, gochujang, brown sugar, and mirin together, stirring to combine. Set aside.

Cooking:

  • Using a large non-stick pan, add in about 2 tbsp of sesame oil and heat on medium-high heat. Once the pan is at temperature, begin taking out individual slices of the marinated beef and place it into the pan. Spread them out so they are not too bunched up.
  • (The trick is that you’ll want to cook the beef in batches to make sure there isn’t as much liquid within the pan. This will help to get that char texture on the outside of the beef.)
  • With the thin slices of the meat, it will cook pretty fast on the hot pan. Turn each piece after about 30 – 45 seconds, looking for that nice char. After about another 30 seconds, the beef should be done, so place the cooked pieces onto a plate.
  • Repeat this process until you’ve worked your way through all the marinated beef pieces. There may be times where the leftover marinade blackens the bottom of the pan; I’d recommend using a paper towel to “clear out” the pan and then reset it by adding back in some sesame oil before starting the next batch.

  • Once all the beef has been cooked, clear out the pan using the paper towel technique described above and set aside.
  • If you’re using dry rice noodles, this would be a good time to cook them per the packaging directions. I used these KA-ME brand fresh rice noodles, which helped cut down a bit on the cooking time. Set aside in a bowl.
  • After the noodles are finished cooking, using the same pan you cooked the beef in, add in your leftover beef marinade along with the gochujang mixture and stir everything up.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil before reducing it down for 3 – 5 minutes, until it’s slightly more of a thicker sauce consistency.
  • Once the sauce has thickened, add in your cooked rice noodles, the beef, scallion pieces, and baby corn. Bring the heat back up to medium-high and stir fry everything for about 4 – 5 minutes. When that’s complete, turn the heat off and it’s time to serve.

Serving:

  • Plate it up directly on a dish or a bowl, with a light garnish of sesame seeds if desired.

The noodles are the perfect vehicle to help soak up all of that sweet, spicy, and umami flavor from the marinade combined with the gochujang mixture. The overnight marinating helps the beef to capture some of that sweet and umami flavors from the marinade as well.

When I initially thought up the idea, I didn’t really have any expectations for how it would turn out. But from the very first bite, I knew that the dish was ready for the blog as-is. It’s definitely going into my recipe rotation, and I hope that you enjoy the dynamic flavor combinations as much as I did.

Categories: Recipes

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