When it comes to authentic Korean grill meat, bulgogi means Korean bbq sauce is the main key to enjoying the meat most.
But if you live outside Korea, it’s hard to find bulgogi and bring other alternatives to taste. But worry not, because I will give you the best solution to get Korean taste.
I tried and tasted which sauce can resemble bulgogi and sum up with these bulgogi sauce substitutes. Maybe you can’t believe this from regular bbq sauce to normal oyster sauce can replace Korean bbq sauce.
So, stay with me and read to continue to the surprise.
What is Bulgogi sauce? What ingredients are in bulgogi sauce?
Bulgogi sauce is a Korean BBQ sauce that is used to marinate and grill meat. The word Bulgogi literally means “fire meat,” referring to the traditional way of cooking this dish over an open fire.
This sweet and savory sauce is the perfect way to add flavor to your grilled meats.
Bulgogi sauce is traditionally used on beef, but it can also be used on chicken or pork. For the best flavor, be sure to marinate your meat for at least 4 hours before grilling.
You can also apply this sauce as a dipping sauce for your favorite Korean dishes.
- · Gochujang
- · Onion
- · Korean pears juice
- · Soy Sauce
- · Garlic
- · Spring Onion
- · Brown sugar
- · Sesame Oil
Read More- Ideal Korean Pear substitutes
What is the taste of bulgogi sauce?
There are many different types of bulgogi sauce, but most of them have a sweet and savory taste. Some common flavors include garlic, sesame, and soy sauce. Bulgogi sauce is often used as a marinade for meat.
It can also have a slightly spicy flavor, depending on the recipe.
Korean BBQ Sauce Or Bulgogi Sauce Substitutes
1. Kalbi Sauce- Budget-Friendly Bulgogi sauce alternative
When it comes to Korean BBQ, the kalbi sauce is key. It’s sweet, savory, and a little bit spicy, and it’s the perfect way to add flavor to your grilled meat. If you’re looking for a substitute for Korean bbq sauce, kalbi sauce is a great option.
It has all of the identical flavors, but it’s thinner and easier to work with. Plus, it’s a little bit cheaper than Korean bbq sauce, so you can save some money if you’re on a budget.
It is made from various ingredients, including soy sauce, rice Wine, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, onion, and gochujang (Korean chili paste). This sauce can be utilized as a marinade, dipping sauce, or stir-fry sauce.
Kalbi sauce is a Korean barbecue sauce that is used to marinate and flavor your Korean barbecue dishes like meat (beef, chicken, or pork), poultry, and seafood and also be utilized as a dipping sauce or stir-fry sauce.
2. Teriyaki Sauce- Best Substitute for Bulgogi sauce
If you’re searching for a delicious and easy way to add some Korean flavor to your favorite dish, try substituting teriyaki sauce for bulgogi or Korean bbq sauce.
Teriyaki sauce can add a sweet and savory flavor to meat, fish, or vegetables. It can also be used as a marinade or glaze.
In Japan, teriyaki sauce is a popular condiment that is used on a variety of dishes. It is made by simmering soy sauce, mirin, and sugar until the mixture becomes thick and syrupy.
The sauce is then brushed onto meat or vegetables before cooking or used as a dipping sauce. Teriyaki sauce is a multipurpose condiment that can be used in many different ways.
Give it an attempt next time you’re in the mood for something new and exciting. You won’t be disappointed!
Read More- Teriyaki Sauce VS Korean BBQ sauce
3. Plum Sauce – healthy option to replace bulgogi sauce
A delicious and easy way to add some Korean flavors to your meal, try substituting plum sauce for bulgogi or Korean bbq sauce.
Plum sauce is a great way to add a sweet and savory flavor to any dish, and it’s also a healthy option since it’s lower in sugar than most other sauces.
It is made from plums, sugar, vinegar, and spices. Plum sauce is a sweet and sour sauce that is often used in Chinese cuisine.
Plum sauce is a popular condiment from China that can be used as a dipping sauce for appetizers or as an ingredient in other dishes in stir-fries and other dishes.
Plum sauce is also a popular condiment in other Asian cuisines such as Thai and Vietnamese.
Try it next time you’re in the mood for some Korean food!
4. Unagi Sauce
For a Korean-inspired twist on BBQ sauce, try substituting unagi sauce for the traditional recipe.
Unagi sauce is a popular condiment from Osaka, Japan. It is made from a combination of soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and mirin.
Unagi sauce is a savory, slightly sweet eel sauce that pairs perfectly to the season with grilled meats or unagi kabayaki. The dish is often served with rice and pickled vegetables on the side.
If you can’t find unagi sauce at your local Asian market, you can also use hoisin sauce as a substitute.
Read More- Hoisin Sauce VS Unagi sauce
To make your own unagi sauce:
- 1 cup dashi soup stock
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup mirin (rice Wine)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbs sake (rice wine)
- 1 tbs cornstarch combined with 2 tbs water
Mix all of the ingredients in a medium size saucepan except the cornstarch mixture. Carry the sauce to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the cornstarch mixture and simmer for an additional 2 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
Keep the sauce in a closed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
When grilling with unagi sauce, be sure to baste your food often to prevent it from drying out. This sauce is especially delicious on chicken or pork. Enjoy!
If you’re a spicy food lover, then sriracha is definitely a condiment you should try. Its unique flavor profile can add a lot of depth and interest to your dishes, and it’s also incredibly versatile.
sriracha is a popular condiment from Thailand. It is produced from a paste of chili peppers, garlic, sugar, salt, and vinegar. Sriracha is often used as a dipping sauce or as an ingredient in stir-fries, soups, and noodle dishes.
Spicy, savory, and just a little sweet, this popular sauce can be used in place of Korean BBQ sauce to give your food an extra zing.
Whether you’re grilling meat or veggies, adding a dollop of sriracha to your dish will give it an extra boost of flavor that you’re sure to love. So next time you’re in the mood for something new, reach for the sriracha.
6. Oyster Sauce- Suitable replacement for Bulgogi sauce
Oyster sauce is a multipurpose ingredient that can add depth of flavor to many different dishes. If you’re searching for another method to add flavor to your cooking, give the oyster sauce a try!
It is a famous condiment in Chinese cuisine. It is made from oysters and soy sauce and has a savory, umami flavor.
In addition to being utilized as a condiment, the oyster sauce can also be used as a marinade or dipping sauce. It is commonly used in stir-fries, noodles dishes, and soups.
If you want to substitute oyster sauce for Korean BBQ sauce, you will need to use a 1:1 ratio.
This indicates for each 1 cup of Korean BBQ sauce, you will need 1 cup of oyster sauce.
Keep in mind that oyster sauce is going to be much saltier than Korean BBQ sauce, so you may like to modify the amount of salt you use in your recipe accordingly.
7. Ssamjang- Similar to Bulgogi/ Korean BBQ
Ssamjang is a thick, spicy paste that is made from gochujang (red chili pepper paste), doenjang, garlic, green onions, sesame oil, and sugar.
Ssamjang can be used as a dipping sauce for grilled meats in Korean cuisine or vegetables or as a condiment for rice and noodles dishes. It is also a popular ingredient in bibimbap, a Korean rice dish topped with vegetables and meat.
If you are looking for a flavorful and spicy dipping sauce to add to your next meal, give ssamjang a try!
8. Henderson’s Relish- Vegan & Gluten-free Substitute for Korean BBQ sauce
Suppose you’re looking for a vegan and gluten-free substitute for traditional Korean BBQ sauce. In that case, Henderson’s Relish is a great option for a delicious and healthy way to add flavor to your meals.
This savory and slightly sweet sauce is perfect for marinating or grilling meats, vegetables, or tofu. It’s also fantastic as a dipping sauce or added to rice or noodles dishes.
Henderson’s Relish is made with a base of tamarind paste, which gives it its characteristic tangy flavor.
Other ingredients include date syrup, rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and chili flakes. This sauce is also relatively low in sugar, making it a healthier option than many other BBQ sauces on the market.
9. Ponzu Sauce
Ponzu sauce is a versatile and flavorful sauce that can be used as a substitute for Korean BBQ sauce.
Ponzu sauce is made from citrus juice, soy sauce, and rice vinegar, and it can add a bright tart and tangy flavor to any dish in Japanese cuisine.
Ponzu sauce can be used in a variety of dishes. It pairs well with fish, poultry, and vegetables. It can also be used as a marinade or dipping sauce.
Try ponzu sauce if you’re looking for a Korean BBQ sauce substitute that will add some zest to your meal.
Read More- Yuzu VS Ponzu sauce
Ponzu sauce is available in many Asian markets or online.
10. Bull’s-Eye Barbecue Sauce
Bull’s-Eye Barbecue Sauce is an excellent substitute for Korean BBQ sauce. It has a similar smoky flavor with a slightly sweet taste.
Bull’s-Eye Barbecue Sauce is a great all-purpose barbecue sauce that can be used on any kind of meat as a marinade. It’s thick and sticky, so it clings to the food well, and it has just the right amount of sweetness and spice.
It’s also great for dipping!
11. Hoisin Sauce
Hoisin sauce is a popular ingredient in Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine. It is made from various ingredients, including soybeans, chilies, garlic, and sugar. It has a sweet, salty flavor that pairs well with grilled meats.
It can be applied as a marinade and dipping sauce. Korean BBQ sauce is another popular option for grilling meats.
If you are looking for a Hoisin sauce substitute that will still give you the same flavors, then Korean BBQ sauce is a good option.
12. Coconut Amionos- Vegan Bulgogi Sauce substitute
Coconut aminos is a vegan bulgogi sauce substitute that is made from coconuts.
It is gluten-free, soy-free, and has a slightly sweeter taste than soy sauce. This sauce is perfect for marinating or stir-frying meats and vegetables.
13. Soy sauce
If you are looking for a substitute for Korean bbq sauce, then soy sauce is a good option. Soy sauce has a similar flavor to Korean bbq sauce, so it can be used as a replacement in many recipes.
Nevertheless, remember that soy sauce is saltier than Korean bbq sauce, so you may require to modify the quantity of salt in your recipe accordingly.
14. Barbecue sauce
substitute regular Barbeque sauce for Korean bbq sauce. Just like with the Korean BBQ sauce, the barbecue sauce will add a delicious sweetness and smokiness to your grilled meat or veggies.
So if you’re in a pinch, reach for the barbecue sauce instead of Korean bbq sauce – your taste buds will thank you!
15. Worcestershire sauce
If you’re looking for a substitute for Korean bbq sauce, Worcestershire sauce is a suitable choice. It has an equal flavor profile and can be used in many of the same dishes.
Just keep in mind that it is slightly more salty than Korean bbq sauce, so you may want to adjust the amount you use accordingly.
Worcestershire sauce is a fermented liquid condiment created using various ingredients, including tamarind, molasses, vinegar, and spices. It has a sharp, tangy flavor with a hint of sweetness.
Worcestershire sauce is generally utilized as a seasoning for meats, fish, and vegetables. It can also be used as a marinade or added to soups and stews for flavor.
Worcestershire sauce has a prolonged shelf life and does not need to be refrigerated.
It is a popular ingredient in many dishes, including steak tartare, Caesar salad, and Bloody Marys. As a dipping sauce for chicken, fish can also be utilized.
Moreover, Worcestershire sauce is an important ingredient in many Worcestershire County dishes, such as the traditional English dish of Worcestershire sauce chicken.
Hellofresh bulgogi sauce
HelloFresh Bulgogi Sauce is a quick and easy way to make this delicious dish at home. The sauce is produced with a mixture of soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and gochujang (Korean chili paste).
Just add the sauce to your pan when cooking the beef, and you’ll have a delicious meal in no time!
Whether you’re searching for a delicious way to spice up your dinner routine, give HelloFresh Bulgogi Sauce a try. You won’t be disappointed!
Make Your own
Making Korean bbq sauce, aka bulgogi sauce, at home is an easy and simple process; you just need a few ingredients.
- 1/2 cup gochujang (Korean chili paste)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar or its alternative
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together gochujang, brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, sesame oil, and garlic.
2. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
3. Stock in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
4. Serve with grilled meats or vegetables. Enjoy!
FAQs on bulgogi sauce substitute
Q1. What is the difference between BBQ sauce and Korean BBQ sauce?
BBQ sauce is typically made with vinegar, ketchup, and other spices, while Korean BBQ sauce is made with a base of gochujang (red chili paste).
Korean BBQ sauce is typically sweeter and thicker than BBQ sauce. It can also have a spicier flavor due to the addition of chili peppers. Korean BBQ sauce is used as a marinade, basting sauce, and dipping sauce for grilled meats.
These sauces can be used interchangeably in recipes, but the flavors will be slightly different.
Q2. What sauce is similar to bulgogi?
There are many sauces that are similar to bulgogi, depending on what you are looking for. If you like a sauce that is sweet and savory, try using a plum sauce or hoisin sauce.
If you want a spicier option, go for a chili garlic sauce or Sriracha.
For something more traditional, you can always use the Korean BBQ sauce that is used in Bulgogi. Whichever sauce you choose, make sure to adjust the amount used according to your personal taste.
Q3. Is bulgogi sauce the same as Korean BBQ sauce?
Definitely Yes. Bulgogi sauce is made of soy sauce, sugar, green onion, garlic, sesame oil, ground black pepper, and red pepper flakes. These ingredients are also used in making Korean BBQ sauce.
The only difference is that bulgogi sauce has a thicker consistency because of the sugar content. In contrast, Korean BBQ sauce is more watery. However, both sauces can be used interchangeably.
So if you’re searching for a fast and easy Korean BBQ sauce recipe, try using bulgogi sauce!
Q4. Is bulgogi sauce spicy?
It can be, depending on the recipe. Some versions of bulgogi sauce are made with gochujang, a Korean chili paste, which can give it some heat.
However, other recipes don’t call for chili peppers, so it depends on how it’s made. You can always question the person who prepared it or try a small amount before adding it to your dish to see if it’s spicy.
Q5. Where to buy bulgogi sauce?
There’re numerous places where you can buy bulgogi sauce. You can find it at most Asian markets, or you can order it online.
Q6. Which is better, galbi or bulgogi?
Some people prefer galbi for its bold flavors, while others enjoy bulgogi for its more subtle taste. Both galbi and bulgogi are used for grilling meat.
Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. Test both and see which you enjoy better!