Thursday, December 20, 2012

Paleo Crock Pot Bulgogi

There are those who fool themselves into thinking that all of the prepared food at Trader Joe's is healthy. My offspring, for example...

The thing is, though, it's often quite tasty and convenient. I still have fond memories of their Korean Beef Bulgoli (marinated beef ribs). I haven't had it even before going paleo, as it's loaded with gluten (thanks to the soy sauce). Other than that the ingredients list isn't *that* awful, but sugar is high up on the list, and it also includes caramel coloring.

I wanted to try my hand at making the dish from scratch, inspired by some boneless beef ribs I got on special. After scouring the internet for ideas, I came upon a few crock pot variations. Since this is a very busy week trying to tie up holiday loose ends, the appeal of dinner cooking itself was quite high.

This one couldn't easier and more tasty. I made some pad thai with kelp noodles and everyone happily slurped it down. I'm not sharing the noodle recipe, as I'm still trying to create an authentic one using tamarind concentrate. Tonight's was close, but still no cigar...
Paleo Crock Pot Bulgogi

3 lbs. boneless beef ribs, sliced thin
1/2 cup palm sugar
1/4 cup coconut aminos
1/4 cup fish sauce
4 tbs. sesame oil
4 minced garlic cloves
1 cup green onions, sliced thin
1/2 cup water or beef broth
2 tbs. arrowroot starch

Combine all marinade ingredients (palm sugar through green onions) in a gallon ziploc bag. Place beef in bag, seal, and knead to ensure marinade gets worked into meat. Allow to sit in refrigerator for as long as possible, ideally overnight.

When ready to cook, add mixture to crock pot. Pour water or broth in and stir to combine. Mix in starch and cook either 2 hours on high or 4 hours on low (if you beef is thin, it will cook quickly...)


  1. To make it more paleo and less sugary, you could use Asian pear puree and gluten free soy sauce instead (in Korean grocery stores, it's called guk gan jang, which is soy sauce made for use in soups) and throw out the arrowroot starch, bulgogi marinades are not thickened, that's a Chinese thing.

  2. This was a huge hit last night with my whole family. I served it over steamed cabbage. I learned a few things from this experience. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Karen! Now any chance you can come over and convince my family to eat cabbage? ;)

  3. Pictures has bean sprouts? Carrots? Do you add those at the end?

    1. hi! the recipe is just for the beef… I noted in the post that I served it with a kelp noodle pad thai that I was still tweaking (so that is the carrot you're seeing, and what looks like sprouts is the kelp noodles). Hope that helps and sorry for any confusion!