Bulgogi Jeongol: The Best Thing I Ate in Paris 😋

Our least expensive meal in Paris also turned out to be the best. Bulgogi jeongol is now one of our favorite things to make at home.


Korean bulgogi jeongol might be the last thing you might expect to enjoy during your European vacation but hear me out. A Paris itinerary loaded with Michelin-starred restaurants may sound like a dream come true, but the reality can be more than a little disappointing. Too rich, too saucy, and way overpriced are some of the reasons we avoid many of these ivory tower establishments. For our springtime trip to Paris, my husband and I decided to book as many under the radar, yet highly rated spots as possible.

But even with a well rounded variety of lighter, healthier and truly delicious meals, by day 5 of our trip, we were dying for some Korean food. We would have settled for some ramen to cook up in our Airbnb but we were delighted to find that there were quite a few ‘Coreen’ restaurants available right in the heart of Paris’ right bank.

The most promising options didn’t take reservations, so we took our chances on a restaurant called Jantchi, which had a long line of both locals and tourists waiting for a hearty Korean meal.

Devant le restaurant - Picture of Jantchi, Paris - Tripadvisor
Long but fast moving line in front of Jantchi Coreen Restaurant, Rue ThérÚse, Paris.

The bulgogi jeongol for two appeared to be a house special and at 39 euros, it turned out to be the cheapest and hands down the best meal of the trip. And now it is one of our favorite things to make at home, especially when we want a special yet simple one dish meal.

Bulgogi translates to ‘fire meat’, and it is usually grilled over high heat or charcoal. Jungeol is Korean hot pot in which the meat is cooked in a broth with vegetables and noodles.

At Jantchi, the broth was brought out in a wide shallow pot with the vegetables and noodles beautifully arranged. The pot was placed on a gas grill right on our table and the marinated meat was then added to the boiling broth.

Minutes later we were devouring serving after serving of the tasty mixture which we ate together with bowls of steaming white rice and kimchi. The entire meal was a perfect balance of vegetables, meat, and noodles, and we spooned up every last drop of broth.

We attempted the below recipe as soon as we returned home and found it to be surprisingly easy yet just as festive and delicious as our meal in Paris.

Many different kinds of veggies and cuts of beef can be substituted in this bulgogi jeongol recipe. If you don’t have Korean pear for the bulgogi, an apple or onion will substitute just fine but otherwise try to keep as close as possible to the marinade. And don’t skip the noodles! The piece de resistance in this delicious all-in-one dish.

Bon appetit and mashitgae dueseyo!


Bulgogi Jeongol

Recipe by Hyosun Ro of Korean Bapsang

DSC 1922 e1478489994186 - Bulgogi Jeongol (Hot Pot)
Photo courtesy of Hyosun Ro of Korean Bapsang

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound thinly sliced beef rib eye or top sirloin – see note below

For the Marinade

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey or use more sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine or mirin
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons grated Asian pear
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

For the Broth (see note)

  • 3 x 3 inches dried kelp dashima
  • 3 ounces Korean radish cut into big chunks
  • 1/4 onion
  • 1 tablespoon soup soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the vegetables

  • 1 small carrot
  • 2 large napa cabbage leaves or green cabbage or bok choy
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 4 ounces assorted mushrooms button, shiitake, oyster, crimini, enoki, etc.
  • 2 to 3 scallions
  • 2 to 3 ounces minari water dropwort or watercress
  • 1 red chili pepper – optional

For the noodles

Instructions

  1. Mix all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. If using packaged pre-sliced meat, run a knife through it to cut into smaller pieces. Add the meat to the marinade. Toss gently, with hands, to mix everything well. Marinate while preparing the other ingredients.

DSC 0428 e1478491533505 - Bulgogi Jeongol (Hot Pot)


2. Put 5 cups of water and the broth vegetables in a medium size pot. Bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to boil for about 15 minutes. Discard the vegetables. Season with the soup soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste.

DSC 0466 e1478491696103 - Bulgogi Jeongol (Hot Pot)


3. Cut the cabbage and carrot into thin, bite size pieces. Thinly slice the onion and mushrooms. Cut the scallions and minari in similar lengths.

DSC 1860 e1478491771760 - Bulgogi Jeongol (Hot Pot)


4. Using a wide, shallow pot, neatly arrange the bulgogi and vegetables in clusters. Add the noodles. Pour in 2 to 3 cups of broth and cook over high heat, separating the bulgogi pieces. Depending on the pot size, you can cook the bulgogi jeongol in two batches or add more broth and any remaining ingredients while eating if you’re cooking at the table.

DSC 0480 2 e1478491870148 - Bulgogi Jeongol (Hot Pot)


*Notes

If you buy pre-sliced bulgogi meat, pay a little more to get good quality meat. If cutting the beef at home, partially freeze for about an hour to firm it up for easier slicing. Cut across the grain into very thin slices.

You can use any type of broth (beef broth, anchovy broth, etc.) or simply use water.


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4 thoughts on “Bulgogi Jeongol: The Best Thing I Ate in Paris 😋”

  • July 5, 2020 at 5:43 pm
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    Thanks for confirming about Michelin! Hole in the wall spots seem to win all the time. Maybe the recipe is simple
 authenticity shows up in the food?

    This looks delicious though!!

    Reply
    • July 5, 2020 at 11:17 pm
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      Yup! Takes a bit more research but I’ll take an excellent hole in the wall anyday over overpriced Michelin!!

      Reply
  • July 4, 2020 at 1:55 pm
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    This looks so delish! Can’t wait to try it out at home-it’s kinda like the korean version of sukiyaki that my mom used to make all the time.

    I hear ya about craving korean food while traveling in Europe. I used to tote around canned kimchi and packets of ramen all over Italy.

    Reply
    • July 5, 2020 at 11:20 pm
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      You’re worse than me, Linda!! This is a great foolproof recipe that your family will love. Pls let me know how it goes!

      Reply

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