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Bulgogi Beef Skewers With Pickled Veggies

Savory and sweet marinated beef is topped with crunchy pickled vegetables. Serve in a lettuce wrap for a fresh, flavorful meal.
Korean beef kabob recipe
  • Makes 4 servings
  • Prep Time 45 minutes, plus one to four hours’ marinating time
  • Cook Time 6 to 8 minutes



  • ¼ cup reduced-sodium tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tbs. rice vinegar
  • 2 tbs. muscovado sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 tbs. sesame oil
  • ½ medium pear, finely grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • ½ tbs. finely grated ginger
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅛ tsp. sea salt

Pickled Veggies

  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbs. water
  • 1 tbs. muscovado sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1 tsp. finely grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. toasted white sesame seeds
  • ½ tsp. red-pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 2 cups thinly sliced English cucumber
  • 2 large carrots, cut into matchsticks (about 2 cups)
  • 8 large radishes, cut into matchsticks (about 2 cups)

Beef Skewers

  • 1 ½ lb. rib eye steak (three 8-oz. steaks)
  • 20 presoaked wooden skewers1 tsp. toasted white sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1 head of Boston Bibb or romaine lettuce


Prepare the beef:
Wrap the steaks individually in beeswax or plastic wrap and freeze for 45 minutes to an hour for easier slicing.
Prepare the marinade:
Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and stir to combine. Reserve ¼ cup of the marinade for brushing during grilling.
Add the beef slices and allow to marinate for at least one hour (or up to four hours) in the refrigerator.
Prepare the pickled veggies:
Place all ingredients except the vegetables in a small saucepan over low heat. Simmer for four to six minutes, until the sugar is dissolved.
Place the vegetables in a large glass container with a tight-sealing lid and add the hot pickling liquid.
Seal the container and shake to incorporate.
Refrigerate for 30 to 45 minutes.
Prepare the skewers:
Slice the steaks across the grain, ¼ inch thick, and thread onto the skewers so that each piece folds like an accordion.
Grill the skewers for three to four minutes on both sides until golden brown. Lightly brush skewers with reserved marinade and cook briefly on both sides to seal.
Sprinkle the skewers with toasted sesame seeds and scallions, and serve inside lettuce cups, if desired.
Top with the pickled vegetables.

Photography: Terry Brennan; Styling: Betsy Nelson

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Jose Guzman, RDN

Jose Guzman, RDN, is a New Mexico-based dietitian and chef.


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