Korean Shrimp Bulgogi Recipe

Blogger ate my photos! A pictureless post today.

I think this may be my first attempt at Korean cooking. I have to say, it came out very nicely. At our favorite Korean restaurant, one of the Bobby’s favorite dishes is beef Bulgogi. Tonight I decided to do it with shrimp and lots and lots of vegetables. I love vegetables.

The bulgogi sauce came out a little thinner than it does at the restaurant (Four Seasons in Ithaca, if you’re interested). But, I think I might be better this way – it’s too gooey at Four Seasons.

As for the shrimp, we bought a big bag of frozen ones at Wegmans – precooked and deveined – and they’re incredibly easy to work with. Before you start making the marinade, just take out however many you need and defrost them in cold water. Change the water every time it gets really cold – maybe 2-3 times – and the process will only take about 10 minutes. Just enough time to make your marinade!

As always, you can definitely sub the shrimp for something vegetarian – I like using chopped up seitan. Extra firm tofu would also be GREAT, but you might want to make more marinade because it really soaks up the juices.

Korean Shrimp Bulgogi Recipe

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 8 ounces of shrimp (or seitan, or extra firm tofu)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup of chopped pepper (I used red, but green is more common for bulgogi)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or oil), for sauteing
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • crushed pepper, to taste
  • steamed rice, for serving


  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil


  1. First make the marinade – mix all the ingredients well. (Defrost shrimp while you do this.)
  2. Soak the shrimp, mushrooms, pepper, and onion in the marinade for at least 30 minutes, covered, in the refrigerator. (I let it soak for 2 hours.)
  3. Toast the sesame seeds – I like to do this in the toaster oven, but it’s also easy to broil them in the oven. Just place them on a baking pan and roast for 7-8 minutes.
  4. Drain off the liquid of the marinade (there won’t be much). Heat the butter (oil) in a pan over high heat until it’s melted, then add the shrimp and veggies. Saute for 4-5 minutes, or until the marinade caramelizes.
  5. Arrange on lettuce leaves and serve with rice. Sprinkle with pepper and sesame seeds.

Enjoy 🙂 This recipe for Korean shrimp bulgogi was really easy, but it seems pretty exotic. It’d be great for parties because you can prepare everything beforehand and just toss it on the stove – then it’s ready in 5 minutes.