Where to Buy Thin Sliced Beef for Korean BBQ: The Ultimate Guide

If you’re craving the delectable flavors of Korean BBQ and searching for the perfect thin sliced beef to recreate this culinary delight at home, look no further. Sourcing high-quality thin sliced beef can be a challenge, but fear not, for there are various options available that will satisfy your needs. Whether you prefer the convenience of online shopping or enjoy exploring your local neighborhood markets, a plethora of choices await to tantalize your taste buds. From specialty Asian grocery stores to butcher shops specializing in Korean cuisine, discovering the perfect cuts of thinly sliced beef has never been easier.

What Kind of Meat Do You Use for Korean BBQ?

Korean BBQ is known for it’s deliciously grilled meat, offering a unique dining experience cherished by many food enthusiasts. Traditionally, beef and pork cuts are favored, specifically belly cuts, short ribs, or brisket.

Beef belly, commonly referred to as “gyukatsu” in Korean, is another delightful option for Korean BBQ. This cut is known for it’s rich marbling, tender texture, and robust flavor. When grilled, it becomes a savory treat that tantalizes the taste buds.

Short ribs, known as “galbi,” are perhaps one of the most beloved and iconic choices for Korean BBQ. These succulent beef ribs offer a combination of tender meat and delectable fat, resulting in a mouthwatering experience. The thin strips of meat are grilled to perfection, allowing for a delightful barbecue flavor to infuse every bite.

Brisket, a cut of beef taken from the chest area, is also commonly used in Korean BBQ. It boasts a melt-in-your-mouth tenderness when cooked properly. Marinating the brisket beforehand can enhance it’s flavors and ensure an unforgettable dining experience.

Alongside the grilled meat, guests are often served a variety of side dishes such as kimchi, pickled radishes, and various vegetable preparations. The intention is to create a well-rounded meal, incorporating different flavors, textures, and nutritional elements.

Korean cuisine thrives on the diversity of it’s meat cuts, with bulgogi (Sirloin Beef Strips) reigning as the undisputed star of Korean BBQ. Renowned for it’s succulence and flavorsome qualities, this cut hasn’t only captivated palates in Korea but also cravings across borders, like in Australia. However, the tantalizing realm of Korean brisket is often overlooked, and it’s unique attributes deserve a spotlight of their own.

What Cut of Meat Is Korean Brisket?

Korean brisket, known as “Chadolbaegi,” is a highly sought-after cut of meat in Korean cuisine. It’s thinly sliced and typically used for grilling at Korean BBQ restaurants. This particular cut comes from the beef brisket, which is located in the chest of the cow. The meat is marbled with fat, which adds flavor and tenderness to the final dish.

In Korean cuisine, chadolbaegi isn’t only enjoyed at BBQ restaurants but is also used in various dishes. It can be stir-fried, added to stews, or even used in hot pots.

Korean brisket has gained popularity not only within Korea but also globally. It’s mouthwatering taste and versatility have made it a favorite among food enthusiasts worldwide.

How Is Korean Brisket Prepared for Grilling at BBQ Restaurants?

  • Trim excess fat from the brisket.
  • Marinate the brisket in a mixture of soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil.
  • Let the brisket marinate for several hours to overnight.
  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  • Place the brisket on the grill and cook for about 5-7 minutes per side.
  • Continue to grill the brisket until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F.
  • Remove the brisket from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes.
  • Slice the brisket thinly against the grain.
  • Serve the grilled brisket with your favorite side dishes and sauces.

Coming from the Korean culinary tradition, grilled meat is commonly referred to as 고기구이 (gogi-goo-ui) by locals, which simply translates to “grilled meat.” The term gogi, in isolation, means “meat” in Korean.

What Is Grilled Meat in Korean?

The second part of the phrase, 구이 (gui), refers to the grilling process. In Korean cuisine, grilling meat is a popular cooking method that brings out the natural flavors and textures of the meat.

Korean BBQ, or gogi-gui, is a dining experience that’s deeply ingrained in Korean culture. It’s often seen as a social activity, where friends and family gather around a grill table to cook and enjoy their meal together.

Beef, pork, and chicken are the most common choices for Korean BBQ. Each type of meat has it’s own unique marinade, ranging from spicy and tangy to sweet and savory. The meat is then grilled to perfection, resulting in tender and juicy cuts that are bursting with flavor.

Korean BBQ restaurants typically offer a wide selection of side dishes, known as banchan, to accompany the grilled meat. These side dishes can include various types of kimchi, pickled vegetables, and rice. The combination of the grilled meat and banchan creates a balanced and satisfying meal.

It’s a way for Koreans to celebrate special occasions and bond with loved ones. The act of grilling meat together creates a sense of camaraderie and communal enjoyment.

It embodies the spirit of togetherness and the joy of savoring grilled meat in the company of friends and family.

Source: How to Order Korean BBQ in Korean Dining Vocabulary

Thinly sliced beef is a versatile and popular ingredient that’s used in a variety of dishes. It’s commonly made from cuts such as flank steak, sirloin steak, ribeye, top round, and bottom round. These cuts are lean and have a uniform texture, making them perfect for slicing thinly. Whether you’re making stir-fries, sandwiches, or hot pot, thinly sliced beef adds delicious flavor and tenderness to your meals.

What Cut of Beef Is Thinly Sliced Beef?

Frequently Asked Questions About Thin Sliced Beef

If youve ever wondered what type of beef is used for those delicious, thinly sliced cuts in your favorite dishes, youre not alone.

What cuts of beef are typically used for thin slicing? These cuts are often lean and have a uniform texture, making them ideal for slicing thinly.

How can I make sure the beef is thinly sliced? However, if you’re slicing the beef at home, make sure to freeze it for a short while before slicing. This will firm up the meat and make it easier to cut thin, uniform slices.


Thin sliced beef is a staple in many Asian cuisines, such as Korean bulgogi, Japanese sukiyaki, and Chinese stir-fry dishes. It’s also commonly used in Italian dishes like carpaccio and in deli-style sandwiches.

Flank steak, also known as Chimasal, stands out as the leanest choice among Korean BBQ meats. With minimal fat marbling, this cut of beef is perfect for those watching their fat intake. Despite it’s leanness, flank steak is served unmarinated and cooks up swiftly, offering a delicious option for a protein-packed meal. It’s worth noting that this lean delicacy is slightly pricier than other Korean BBQ meat selections.

What Is the Leanest Korean BBQ Meat?

Flank steak, also known as Chimasal in Korean, is considered one of the leanest options for Korean BBQ. This particular cut of beef is prized for it’s minimal amount of fat marbling, making it a healthier choice for those conscious about their diet. Unlike other cuts of meat that may have a higher fat content, flank steak offers a lean and satisfying protein option.

One of the advantages of flank steak is that it’s served unmarinated. This means that the meat maintains it’s natural flavors without any additional sauces or seasonings. The simplicity of the preparation allows for the natural taste of the beef to shine through, giving it a clean and savory profile. Additionally, this lean meat cooks quickly, making it a convenient option for those who prefer a faster grilling experience.

It’s reputation as a premium cut of beef often results in a higher price tag, making it a splurge for some diners. Nevertheless, the quality and tenderness of the meat, coupled with it’s lean attributes, make it a popular choice among Korean BBQ enthusiasts.

It’s minimal fat marbling and unmarinated serving style make it an excellent option for those striving for a healthier meal.

Bulgogi, also known as Korean barbecue, is a mouthwatering dish that tantalizes the taste buds with it’s sweet and savory flavors. Originating from South Korea, this popular dish features thin slices of marinated beef or pork that are perfectly grilled to achieve a juicy and flavorful result. But what’s the secret behind this delectable creation? Let’s delve into the world of bulgogi and uncover it’s delicious mysteries.

What Is the Thin Korean Meat Called?

This traditional Korean dish is beloved for it’s tender texture and bold flavors. The marinade typically consists of soy sauce, garlic, sugar, sesame oil, and other ingredients that give it a unique umami taste. The meat is marinated for several hours or overnight to allow the flavors to infuse deeply into the meat.

Bulgogi is commonly served with a variety of accompaniments, such as lettuce leaves for wrapping the meat, kimchi (fermented vegetables), and rice. These accompaniments create a balance of flavors and textures, adding freshness and crunch to the rich and savory meat. It’s often enjoyed as a main course during family gatherings and celebrations, where it’s cooked at the center of the table on a grill, allowing everyone to participate in the cooking process.

The thinly sliced meat used in bulgogi is usually obtained from high-quality cuts like sirloin or ribeye. The thinness of the slices ensures that they cook quickly and evenly, resulting in tender and juicy meat. The grilling process caramelizes the marinade, creating a slightly charred and smoky taste that further enhances the overall flavor profile of the dish.

Traditional Korean Cooking Techniques and Flavors

Traditional Korean cooking techniques and flavors embody the rich culinary heritage of Korea. These methods involve various cooking styles such as grilling, steaming, stewing, and fermenting. Korean cuisine is known for it’s vibrant and complex flavors, often achieved through the use of ingredients like soy sauce, doenjang (fermented soybean paste), gochujang (fermented red chili paste), ginger, garlic, and sesame oil. These traditional flavors are integral to Korean dishes, enhancing their taste and creating a delightful culinary experience.


Diverse options await, whether you seek out local Asian markets, specialty butcher shops, or even trusted online sources. Embrace the experience of exploring vibrant food communities and connecting with passionate culinary experts who can guide you in procuring the finest cuts of meat. As you embark on this culinary journey, savor not only the tantalizing flavors but also the cultural significance and tradition behind this beloved Korean BBQ delicacy.

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