Korean Bulgogi Steak with Miso Mayonnaise

, from Issue #63. November, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Korean Bulgogi Steak with Miso Mayonnaise

In Korean, ‘bulgogi’ means ‘fire meat’ and refers traditionally to marinated meat that is grilled. This family favourite is perfect for cooking on the barbecue. It’s a delicious put-together of crisp lettuce, tangy pickles and juicy steak topped off with a dollop of miso mayonnaise. 

Serves: 4


4 x 200 gram sirloin steaks
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon chilli sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
To serve
quick pickles (recipe below)
miso mayonnaise (recipe below)
crisp lettuce leaves

Miso Mayonnaise
½ cup mayonnaise  
2 tablespoons white miso paste
2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce or other chilli sauce

Quick Pickles
½ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 medium carrot, peeled
2 radishes, very thinly sliced
1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1 teaspoon black or white sesame seeds


Marinade: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Lightly score both sides of the steaks in a criss-cross and place in a shallow dish. Spoon over a quarter of the marinade and turn to coat. Set aside for 1 hour if time permits.

To cook: Heat a sauté pan until very hot then rub lightly with oil. Lift the steaks out of the marinade and pat off most of the liquid with kitchen towels. 

Cook for about 2 minutes each side until lightly charred and still rare in the centre.

Transfer to a large plate and spoon 1 teaspoon of the reserved marinade over each steak. Do not use the leftover marinade from the raw steak. 

Rest for a few minutes then transfer the steak to a board and slice thinly against the grain. Return the meat to the plate with the resting juices.  

To serve: Top the lettuce leaves with steak, quick pickles, mayonnaise and a spoonful of the remaining marinade.

Miso Mayonnaise

Whisk ingredients together in a bowl.

Quick Pickles

Put the vinegar, water and caster sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Using a vegetable peeler, shave the carrot into long strips and place in a shallow dish.

Pour over half of the hot pickling liquid and turn to coat. 

Put the radishes and red onion in a separate dish and pour over the remaining liquid. 

Turn the vegetables every few minutes over the next half hour until softened but still with a little bite. 

Lift out of the liquid and place in bowls to serve. Scatter the sesame seeds over the carrots.