Looking to recreate that savory, sweet, and slightly spicy flavor of Hello Fresh Bulgogi Sauce at home? You've come to the right place! This Korean bulgogi sauce recipe is a delightful combination of soy sauce, gochujang, ginger paste, and a variety of other ingredients. It's the perfect sauce to coat beef bulgogi or meatballs!
This homemade version of Hello Fresh's Bulgogi Sauce is surprisingly simple to make and packed full of authentic Korean flavors!
As soon as I tried the Bulgogi Meatballs in my last Hello Fresh meal, I knew I wanted to learn how to make my own Bulgogi sauce recipe because I need to have this at least once a week!
It's so versatile and can be used on a variety of meats and vegetables or even as a dipping sauce for dumplings. Another great sauce option is my smoky red pepper crema recipe (also from Hello Fresh)!
The soy sauce gives the sauce a salty and savory kick, while the gochujang adds just the right amount of spice and heat. And then you've got the rice wine vinegar, which adds a nice tanginess, and sesame oil that brings out those yummy nutty flavors.
Oh, and let's not forget the brown sugar that adds a touch of sweetness and helps bring all the flavors together.
You really get every single flavor profile in this sauce, which is why it's so delicious and addictive.
You have to try it!
Why you'll love this recipe
- The perfect copycat recipe for Hello Fresh bulgogi sauce.
- It has the perfect balance of sweet, savory, and spicy flavors.
- Easily use it as a marinade for protein AND veggies!
- Gochujang and ginger paste provide an authentic Korean flavor.
- Make it in 5 minutes!
This bulgogi sauce recipe is packed with flavor thanks to a delicious blend of carefully selected ingredients.
Let's take a look at some key ingredients and why they're important in making this dish:
- Soy Sauce: This traditional Korean ingredient adds a rich umami taste that's essential for authentic bulgogi sauce.
- Gochujang: A staple in Korean cuisine, gochujang is a spicy and savory red chili paste that gives this sauce its signature kick.
- Brown Sugar: This natural sweetener adds a touch of sweetness and helps balance out the spiciness from the gochujang.
- Rice Wine Vinegar: The tangy acidity of rice wine vinegar helps balance out the sweetness from the brown sugar.
- Ginger Puree: Using ginger puree instead of fresh ginger saves time and effort without sacrificing any of the flavor. It gives the sauce a warm, spicy undertone that perfectly complements the sweet, umami flavors.
Heather's helpful hints
- If you are planning to use fresh ginger instead of ginger paste, make sure to grate it ahead of time and set it aside.
- So, the original recipe doesn't actually have red pepper flakes. But, if you want to spice things up a bit, adding them is optional and will give the dish some extra heat. Your call!
Can't find gochujang at your local grocery store? Try looking for it at an Asian market or substitute with Sriracha sauce for a similar flavor.
Step 1) Add all of the bulgogi sauce ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
Step 2) Whisk all the ingredients together until well combined.
Step 3) You can either marinate the meat right away or keep it in an air-tight container in the fridge.
Variations and Substitutions
As amazing as this sauce is, I know that sometimes you may not have all the ingredients on hand. Here are some quick substitutions you can make with items you probably already have in your pantry:
- Soy sauce: You can use tamari, liquid aminos, or coconut aminos as substitutes for soy sauce if you're looking for a gluten-free option.
- Gochujang: Sriracha sauce, red pepper paste, or even hot chili oil can be used as substitutes for gochujang.
- Brown Sugar: You can use maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, or coconut sugar instead of brown sugar.
You'll need the following pieces of equipment to make this copycat version of Hello Fresh bulgogi sauce:
- Bowl: To mix all of the ingredients together, you'll need a medium-sized bowl.
- Whisk: A whisk is a must-have to make sure all the ingredients are mixed together evenly, without any lumps. You can use a spoon or spatula as an alternative if you don't have a whisk.
- Measuring Cups and Spoons: To achieve the perfect balance of flavors, it's important to use precise measurements. So, make sure you have measuring cups and spoons ready to go!
Make ahead and storage
You can make the bulgogi sauce up to 3 days in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Just give it a quick whisk before using it!
To freeze it, you can place the sauce in an ice cube tray or in small freezer-safe bags for easy portioning.
Once frozen, pop them out and store them in one big zip-top bag or container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just thaw before using.
Whenever I make this bulgogi sauce, I like to come up with at least 3 or 4 different ways to serve it throughout the month. That way, I can meal prep some of it and then use the rest fresh.
When I get it from Hello Fresh, they use the sauce in these meals:
So, I like to use that as inspiration for my recipes!
This bulgogi sauce recipe also works great as a marinade for beef, chicken, pork, or tofu to grill or stir-fry for a delicious main dish.
For a vegetarian dish, toss cooked noodles with the bulgogi sauce and add some vegetables for an easy and flavorful noodle bowl.
Frequently asked questions
Bulgogi has a savory, slightly sweet, and tangy flavor with a hint of spiciness from the gochujang.
No, bulgogi sauce is not the same as BBQ sauce. While both are used to add flavor and moisture to meats and veggies, they have different ingredients and flavors.
Bulgogi sauce has a base of soy sauce and gochujang, while BBQ sauce typically contains ketchup or tomato paste as its main ingredient.
To make your bulgogi sauce less spicy, you can reduce the amount of gochujang used or omit the red pepper flakes. Adding a bit more brown sugar can also help balance out the spice level.
If you're in the mood for more Hello Fresh recipes, check out these favorites from My Sweet Precision!
Not sure what to try? Check out our complete recipe index to search for recipes, baking tips, and more!
Hello Fresh Bulgogi Sauce
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons gochujang Korean fermented chili paste
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste or fresh grated
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes optional
- pepper to taste
- If using fresh ginger, grate and set aside.
- Add all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.
- Whisk until thoroughly combined.
- Marinate meat immediately, or store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.