Korean Beef Skewers

These Korean beef skewers are best when cooked on a grill, but they are also great cooked on the stovetop. Use a very hot cast iron skillet and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side.

If you can't find gochujang or you don’t like the ingredients in the store-bought stuff, use miso in the marinade instead or make your own. It’s an indispensable condiment in our house!

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 8 minutes
  • Marinating time time: Marinating time
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

For the steak:

  • ¼ cup tamari or soy sauce
  • ¼ cup mirin
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons gochujang or light miso
  • 1 1/2 pounds skirt steak (flap steak or flank steak works well here, too)
  • Canola or other neutral oil

To serve (optional):

  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • Cilantro or mint leaves
  • Kimchi
  • Extra gochujang
  • Cooked rice, optional
  • Nori (seaweed sheets), optional

Method

1 Whisk together the marinade: In a large bowl, combine the tamari (or soy sauce), mirin, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and gochujang (or miso) for the marinade. Whisk until the ingredients are well-combined.

2 Marinate the steak for 20 to 30 minutes: Cut the skirt steak into 2-inch wide strips. Add the strips to the bowl of marinade and stir until evenly coated. Marinate the strips of beef for 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature. If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 20 minutes.

Korean Beef Skewers

3 Preheat the grill for at least 20 minutes while the meat is marinating. The grill is hot enough when you can only hold your palm over the grill grates for a second or two.

4 Grill the beef skewers: Thread meat onto the skewers and brush with oil. Grill the skewers for 4 minutes. Flip and grill another 3 to 4 minutes on the second side, until the steak reaches your preferred doneness.

Korean Beef Skewers

5 Serve the skewers: Sprinkle the skewers with sesame seeds and cilantro or mint, if using. Serve with rice, kimchi, nori, and extra gochujang

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Comments

  • Sharon

    I’m sure these seasonings would be delicious with chicken or pork but I’m not sure how long I should marinate those proteins. I would also be baking these rather than using a grill if that matters.

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Sharon! Emma here, managing editor. I agree that chicken or pork would be really tasty! The marinating time would be the same. Enjoy!

  • Patricia

    I made these last summer, along with lemon chicken skewers, for a party for 40 people. I actually grilled them before people started to arrive, then put them in a warm oven covered in foil. They were a huge hit! I am making them again soon for a party of four, and will not marinate or cook them ahead of time – but I probably will speed things up by fixing the marinade ahead of time, so I can just start the marinating at the appropriate time. I think the meat would be fine marinated a little longer than 30 minutes but would worry about the texture of thin strips left too long, especially overnight or all day.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Aron

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was excellent! Easy, quick and versatile! My husband AND 3 children (ages 7, 4 and 2) all loved it which is a rarity. This will be added to my go-to recipe binder. Thanks for the yummy meal! I made a batch with strip steak and another with pork tenderloin. Both were delicious!

  • Marianne | Basil and Bubbly

    I seriously felt like I had gotten to the end of the internet looking for a korean beef recipes that actually had some flavor — all of the ones I’d found before fell flat. However, I made this last night and it was wonderful! I was too lazy to skewer, so I just cooked in my cast-iron like suggested. I’d never used ( or heard of ) the gochujang before — it was definitely that “secret ingredient” that our local restaurant uses that we could never reproduce until now. Thank you SO Much!

    • Sabrina Modelle

      Oh my goodness; I am so thrilled that this recipe has introduced you to gochujang! There is really nothing better than opening my email to see a comment like this. Thank YOU so much.

  • Alison

    I’m making these for a dinner party this weekend and trying to get a lot done in advance (as I have a newborn at home!) – is there any reason I shouldn’t/can’t marinate the meat for longer than 20-30 minutes? Like the morning of? Thanks!

    • James

      I would also like to know about Time? I matinated this morning and won’t be back until evening to finish?

      • Sabrina Modelle

        Hi James, I’m curious as to how the meat turned out for you after marinating all day. Hope it was great.

    • Sabrina Modelle

      Hi Alison, I prefer not to marinate my meat too long, especially when there are acids in the marinade which can denature the protein of meat. Sometimes that process results in mushy meat (ick). I hope your party turned out well!

  • Joy

    I made these but decided to just grill the skirt steak in pieces rather than put them on the skewers to save time. They were very tasty but I wonder if its worth the extra effort to skewer? Does it add more caramelization?

    • Sabrina Modelle

      Hi Joy,
      Skewers aren’t a necessity at all. They’re handy for making sure small pieces don’t fall through your grill grates. I also find the skewers are great for bbqs or parties where people might be walking around and eating. The metal skewers might give you a slight boost in cooking, but if anything it would be negligible.
      Glad you enjoyed them!
      Sabrina

  • Phil

    One thing I like to do (having fallen in love with Bulgogi while attending high school in Seoul) is to make a Bulgogi marinade and marinating a pork roast for a day or so in the fridge, then smoking it with hickory on a charcoal fire… Great mix of tastes, and you don’t have to cut it all up into bite-size pieces.

  • Christine Winters

    Sabrina, I have not tried Korean food yet. A friend and I are going to a Korean restaurant on Wednesday and today I received this recipe in my email. Excited to try this recipe. And there is a Korean grocery store in the same plaza as the Korean restaurant. Thanks for sharing it.

    • Sabrina Modelle

      Ah Christine! I am so excited for you to try Korean food. There is such a great balance of spicy, savory, sweet, and funk! Have fun at the Korean market too. There are untold wonders in those aisles. :)

  • Charles Parham

    Great recipe, had it tonight. I didn’t have the gochujang so I used light miso and red curry paste. Also added a touch of toasted sesame oil. I don’t measure anything so I will go lighter on the rice wine vinegar next time. Thank you!

    • Sabrina Modelle

      Wow, the red curry paste sounds like a terrific addition! Glad you enjoyed it.

  • Carol

    Cannot have gluten and soy. What could I sub for soy?

    • Sabrina Modelle

      Hi Carol,
      I often use Coconut Aminos in place of tamari.There are two brands I know of. One is Coconut Secrets and the other is Big Tree Naturals. Both are awesome. For miso, I use the certified GF chickpea miso. It’s fantastic as well.

  • Josh Dusick

    These look good! I’m going to have to try these soon. Looks like something kids will love alongside some rice or noodles.

    • Sabrina Modelle

      Thanks Josh! We love it with short grain rice. I also made it with cucumber “noodles” which was so delicious and refreshing. Can’t wait to hear what you think. Heads up: if you are buying gochujang, it comes in different levels of spiciness. If you’re shopping at a Korean market, the people there can help you find the right level of spicy for you and your kids.

  • Amy

    Hi Sabrina,

    These umami beef skewers look really delicious!
    Skewers are a must every summer when we have family BBQs.
    Thanks for the recipe, saving them for our next BBQ!! :D

    Amy

    • Sabrina Modelle

      Thanks so much Amy! You are right about the umami. These are deeply flavored. I hope you guys love them as much as we do!