Bulgogi (literally ‘fire meat’) is the classic Korean marinated grilled beef wrapped in a lettuce leaf with shredded raw veg for garnish and the fiery Korean ssamjang (barbecue sauce); the parcel eaten in one bite.
Contrary to the name it is not too spicy - the marinade has sweet Asian pear, onion and the usual soy/mirin/sesame oil suspects in it. The ‘fire’ probably refers to the traditional way of cooking bulgogi on a barbecue.
For me, it was a revelation: the ultimate but wholesome and no-carb, no-salt fast food! Go away, pizzas! Burgers, begone! KFC sinks into oblivion – unless, that is, you mean Korean Fried Cauliflower. Kebabs, leave the scene – there’s a new kid in town!
Ah, but wait a second. We could be onto something here: seeing as there are already bulgogi sliders served in burger buns – why not serve them in pita bread?
Now that’s what I call a fusion. It works extremely well – instead of loading the grilled meat into lettuce leaves, pack them into pitas, top with lettuce and sauce and you can have an Asian/Middle Eastern experience. Kebab shop and Korean takeaway in one! What’s not to like?
And only a little step will lead to bulgogi tacos…