My family loves Korean BBQ-style bulgogi. The combination of sweet and spicy flavors is the perfect complement to wild game meat. We make it often with whitetail, mule deer, and elk.
The thin strips of meat cook quickly, so it’s a perfect meal on a busy weeknight. We like to serve it over buckwheat soba or udon noodles for a meal that will stick with you for hours.
For this version, we cook the meat on our Traeger Grill for an extra layer of smoky flavor. If your meat strips are large enough, you can cook them directly on the grill grates. If they are small enough to fall through, simply use a grill basket or a disposable aluminum pan.
Whether you are cooking on the grill or stovetop, the secret to keeping your bulgogi nice and tender is to cook it hot and fast. Don’t overcook your game meat. A minute or two per side is plenty. Serve the cooked bulgogi like we do, over noodles, or on rice or even a nice salad.
2 pounds elk round, cut into thin strips
16 ounces buckwheat soba or udon noodles
1 tablespoon sesame seeds for garnish
1 pear, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, sliced, reserve some for garnish
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup rice wine
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes
Start by slicing the elk into thin strips. We used elk eye of round for this one, but any roast will work. A handy tip for easily cutting uniform thin strips is to partially freeze the meat beforehand. Always slice across the grain for tenderness.
Prep the pear, garlic, onions, and ginger for the marinade.
Mix the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add the sliced meat and cover. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 24.
Heat your Traeger Grill to 350 degrees. If your slices are large, you can place them directly on the grill grates. If you have several small bits that might fall through the grates, cook in a grill basket or a disposable aluminum pan. Cook time for the thin strips isn’t long. If you are cooking directly on the grates, 1 to 2 minutes per side should be sufficient. With a pan, 10 to 15 minutes should do it. Stir often and keep the meat spread evenly for even cooking.
Serve the bulgogi over cooked noodles, rice, or a salad. Garnish with reserved green onion slices and sesame seeds.
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