Strangely, I haven’t thought about bulgogi since I stopped eating meat 12+ years ago. It’s probably largely due to the fact that this is so much about the quality and the texture of the meat unlike something that still tempts me after all these years like KFC chicken which is all about the crust which is not even really the part of the chicken.
I recently decided to treat bulgogi like KFC- away from the meat. (But of course, with a bit more respect. Please don’t get mad Korean people) Because bulgogi sauce is too good to be forgotten. I had it with kimchi stew, and packed the rest for lunch the next day with leftover rice.
One big misconception about bulgogi is that it’s a type of barbecue dish. While I am sure it’s great grilled, traditionally, it should be more like a stew, with a lot of simmering. I made mine a little more dry than it should be which might explain whey it looks a bit dry. I didn’t know any better.
Aside from the whole no beef part, this recipe below is pretty authentic/ basic. Nothing crazy here.
Mushroom Bul-Seitan (a.k.a. Vegetarian Bulgogi)
1 pack (about 1 lb) of seitan- sliced
For the sauce
1/2 yellow onion-blended- blended
1/2 pear (preferably Korean)- blended
1 1/2 cup filtered water
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp chungju, soju, white wine, or mirin
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp crushed/chopped garlic
ground black pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients for the sauce, and marinate seitan for up to 6 hours in the fridge.
When it’s ready to cook, prepare the following vegetables:
1 lb mix of different kinds of mushrooms
2 scallions- julienned thin
1 onion- julienned thin
1 or less carrot- julienned thin
In a heated pan, start cooking the marinated seitan in medium-high heat. When about 1/2 of the liquid have simmer away, add the vegetables, and cook in high heat, for about 5 more minutes.