Bulgogi Jerky

By • June 13, 2013 • 78 Comments

838 Save

If you like it, save it!

Save and organize all of the stuff you love in one place.

Got it!

If you like something…

Click the heart, it's called favoriting. Favorite the stuff you like.

Got it!


Author Notes: Once upon a time ago, packing for a road trip without a jerky of some sort was unthinkable. So prevalent was the salty sweet snack on these adventures, I had an almost Pavlovian salivating for the stuff the minute we hit the open road. It was, in fact, pretty much the only time we indulged in a large package of the sodium bomb treat.

But in more recent years I grew tired of the way I felt on such trips where a healthy meal is rarely achieved and any attempts at something raw and pure result in tasteless salads piled with fried croutons, cheese and tomatoes that make me want to cry. We've since worked hard to pack our own eats and better plan our destinations around places with promising provisions.

That said, I still love a good jerky and had always wanted to make my own. A sucker for the salty AND sweet, otherwise known as a "complete" snack, I decided to try making a bulgogi version. I dusted it with ground sesame, salt, and a bit of kochukaru for heat, but that is optional. And now I'm itchin' to go somewhere...
savorthis

Food52 Review: WHO: The same cook who had us slurping the sauce off edamame has done it again and this time, she’s taken her talents to the road.
WHAT: A sweet, salty, and spicy jerky that’s better than anything you’ll find at a roadside rest stop.
HOW: Marinate sliced beef in the refrigerator overnight, sprinkle with ground salt, pepper, and sesame seeds, and bake slow and low for 4 hours.
WHY WE LOVE IT: What snack could better satisfy a carload of hungry travelers than a batch of chewy, peppery jerky? With a little help from the Korean dish Bulgogi and a few wildcard ingredients (pear nectar, sake), this jerky achieves the perfect blend of sugar, salt, and spice. Plus, no crumbs!
The Editors

Makes one road trip better

  • 2 pounds beef, top or bottom round
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup pear nectar
  • 1/2 cup sake
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped (seeded if you wish)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 tablespoons ginger, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • black pepper
  • kochukaru (optional)
  1. Place beef in freezer to firm up enough to slice very thinly (about 1/4"). Blend remaining ingredients except for salt, sesame seeds, black pepper, and kochukaru until smooth. Add beef to marinade stirring gently to make sure all is coated and marinate about 7 hours.
  2. Heat oven to 200º F. Drain beef, blot dry with paper towels and place on a rack on top of a baking sheet. Grind the salt and sesame seeds in a mortar and pestle (you can use a spice grinder, just be sure not to turn the mixture into a paste). Sprinkle over beef, then grind fresh black pepper and add chili if desired.
  3. Bake about four hours, rotating pans halfway through, until dried and jerky-like. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.
Jump to Comments (78)

Comments (78) Questions (0)

Default-small
Default-small
Stringio

about 1 month ago Kimberly Johnston

My Korean aunt uses kiwis and Asian pears in her bulgogi recipe. think it would would for this jerkey recipe. It's the acid that sweetens and tenderizes.

Blackberry_pie_how_to_-_version_2

3 months ago Laura415

I've never made jerky but do love it. Only thing is I do not love it too sweet. I like the idea of using fruit juice and then tasting for the balance of sweetness I will enjoy. Then I suppose it's alright to limit the honey to taste as well.

565101_1406091363_1702312332_n

3 months ago savorthis

My understanding is that the pear has an enzyme in it that helps tenderize the meat- so I would keep the juice which is only slightly sweet and omit the honey (or add to taste as you mentioned).

Default-small

3 months ago DJean

In step 2, are freshly ground black pepper and kochukaru also sprinkled over beef (after salt/sesame seeds) before going into oven? Thank you.

565101_1406091363_1702312332_n

3 months ago savorthis

Yes- but they are all optional.

Default-small

4 months ago Kristy Morrill

I saw a cooking show on TV's diners and drives where a chef made his beef jerky (which got raves) like this:
He used eye of round, partly frozen and then sliced very thin and mixed a dry rub of garlic powder, sea salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, celery salt or seed(?), mesquite powder, onion powder, brown sugar and Italian oregano powder. He dredged the slices, placed them on cookie sheets single layer, then put into fridge for 24 hours, then into dehydrator for 4-8 hours until dry. His customers gobble it up like candy. I always made jerky with a wet solution as above...but I am gonna try this one. It looked awesome.

4485913716_241e51e3bd_b

4 months ago DessertByCandy

Love it! The recipe makes over 4 cups of marinade, enough for 5.5lb of meat in my batch. I did a few ingredients substitutions including honey citron marmalade, jalapeno gochujang, kochukaru shichimi togarashi. Pan seared some of the meat for a simple bulgogi dinner served with sesame leaves, rice, grilled veg, and gochujang. Two-for-one bonus!!

What my finished dish looks like: https://flic.kr/p/ot2EnC

565101_1406091363_1702312332_n

3 months ago savorthis

jalapeno gochujang! That sounds (and looks) great.

2013-06-23_16.59.04

5 months ago walkie74

I used shabu shabu ( thinly sliced beef) and it worked beautifully. I dried it for an hour at 200 in my electric oven, stacking three cookie racks and separating them with balls of aluminum (to increase air flow). I soaked my meat for almost three days due to laziness, but hubby didnt seem to notice any overt saltiness. Great job!

Default-small

5 months ago Shawn

Shabu Shabu is a dish...not thinly sliced beef.

565101_1406091363_1702312332_n

3 months ago savorthis

Thanks!

Toronto

11 months ago Chris Van Houten

Oooh just made this for a road trip I'm taking tomorrow, and it is absolutely wonderful! Thanks so much for the recipe. I'm not at all surprised it won the best road trip snack contest!

Default-small

12 months ago Lori

If I can't find pear nectar is there a substitute I could use?

Default-small

about 1 year ago Mike Swanger

I am always looking for new and inventive ways to make venison jerky. Assuming I trimmed all tallow off, I would assume this would work great. Do you agree?

1928_1073747728078_9039_n

about 1 year ago Toni Kervina

Would mirin work in place of sake?

565101_1406091363_1702312332_n

about 1 year ago savorthis

I might choose a dry sherry instead since mirin is so sweet though you could start with a little less honey and try the marinade and see if it seems way too sweet. There is just something in booziness of sake or sherry that is a little different.

Default-small

over 1 year ago CARLYN

HOW LONG CAN I MARINADE THE BEEF PRIOR TO COOKING I KNOW THE RECIPE SAYS 7 HRS ....

565101_1406091363_1702312332_n

over 1 year ago savorthis

You can probably go a little longer, but I would not marinate it for too long because it might get too salty.

Default-small

over 1 year ago spanky

I Love Jerky but if it's tough and hard to chew , because of dentures I can't eat it , what do I need to do different to make this to where I can eat it?

565101_1406091363_1702312332_n

over 1 year ago savorthis

I trimmed the beef of any sinewy bits and cut it across the grain and it was quite tender.

Default-small

over 1 year ago Adam P.

This looks great! Question. How long will it keep when it's refrigerated? Thanks!

565101_1406091363_1702312332_n

over 1 year ago savorthis

Thank you! I have read all sorts of varying times for how long it will last, but according to stilltasty it will be fine in the refrigerator for 1-2 months.

Default-small

over 1 year ago livebythem

could a lazy and broke person just go to a korean mart and get bulgogi marinade and alter this recipe to avoid getting some of these ingredients? :D

565101_1406091363_1702312332_n

over 1 year ago savorthis

I'm sure that would work, though I'd look at the ingredient list as so many of those sauces have a lot of extra phooey in them. That said, I have purchased the actual raw and marinated bulgogi many times for a super fast and tasty dinner...

Stringio

over 1 year ago Bear Simmons

Kristy I looked over vegan Primal strips recipe and I am intrigued will give this mushroom jerky a try soon thanks

Default-small

over 1 year ago Kristy Morrill

http://www.thewickedgoodvegan...
All you vegans: YOU TOO can eat jerky! This is an awesome recipe. Try it!

Stringio

over 1 year ago Bear Simmons

Kristy that's what making your own jerky you can tweak it to your own personal tastes and will definitely try cherry juice in near future on wild turkey or venison thanks

Default-small

over 1 year ago Kristy Morrill

I have always made jerky from top round beef and from turkey breast. I have used blueberry juice and or cherry juice, which is probably every bit as good as your pear juice! I don't make it hot/spicy cause I am allergic to hot pepper :( but bet it is tasty.

565101_1406091363_1702312332_n

over 1 year ago savorthis

Blueberry! How interesting. I bet that is good on game meats as well.

Stringio

over 1 year ago Bear Simmons

made this recipe last weekend with a few of my own twists was awesome love the pear flavor and terryaki hint thanks savorthis

565101_1406091363_1702312332_n

over 1 year ago savorthis

So glad to hear it! And from a true professional!

Stringio

over 1 year ago blanka.n

I kind of love this. I really will try it soon.