Grocery Guide

Ingredient of the Week: Korean Barbecue Marinades

When you want Korean barbecue, and you want it fast, prepared meat marinades are the way to go. Now you can have a weekday dinner that's both quick and tasty.

What is it?

Bulgogi, which translates to "fire meat" in Korean, involves cooking marinated beef, pork, or chicken over a hot grill. In most restaurants, you have the option to cook it yourself on a grill located in the center of the table, or, if you don't want to smell like a barbecue pit, you can request your meats be grilled in the kitchen before serving. Beef is the most popular meat in Korean barbecue, and it either comes as finely sliced sirloin (bulgogi) or as short ribs cut thinly across the bone (galbi or kalbi). Whatever the meat, it needs to be marinated in a concoction of soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and garlic. And then everyone's got their own secret ingredient or additional touches to the marinade: sesame seeds, citrus juice, what have you.

Skip all the chopping and mixing -- you can just pop open a bottle of Korean barbecue marinade and essentially achieve the same result. Bibigo, the new line of Korean products for home cooks everywhere, makes three flavors: original, pineapple, and hot and spicy; and they're all pretty delicious and, wait, did I mention quick and easy?

How do I use it?

All you need to do is shake and add. It's as simple as that.

Where can I find it?

A 16.9-ounce bottle of Bibigo marinade (which claims no MSG and no trans fats) runs about $4.99. You can find it at ethnic food stores or even Kroger.

Recipe: Easy Korean Barbecue You can use whatever meat you'd like--chicken breast, pork loin, beef sirloin, etc. Cut the meat into thin slices, and place them into a plastic baggie. Then pour enough Korean barbecue marinade into the bag to liberally coat the meat. Seal and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Fire up the grill pan and cook over medium-high heat until done. Enjoy with a bowl of rice and kim chi.

A vegetarian option is to stir-fry broccoli or bok choy, and add the marinade during cooking for a touch of flavor.

What do you do with your Korean barbecue sauce?

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Christine Ha
Contact: Christine Ha