Trader Joe’s Beef Bulgogi Review

One of my absolute favorite products at Trader Joe’s is their Beef Bulgogi! It’s super flavorful and could not be easier to make! I’ll show you a few ways to “dress it up,” too!

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Trader Joe's Beef Bulgogi in the packaging.

This beef bulgogi is on repeat every week!

At our house, whenever we can find a quick and easy “ready-made, heat and eat” meal that actually TASTES good, it becomes a staple…obsession? They are few and far between but this beef bulgogi hits the mark. The kids love the sweetness of the meat and love how versatile it is! I’ve made everything from tacos to rice bowls drizzled with addictive sriracha mayo with this incredible frozen beef bulgogi!

It’s perfect for those “hard days” when you just want a bowl of warm comfort, but you don’t want to really cook-cook. And pssst–Trader Joe’s microwave Jasmine rice will also save your life…just thought you should know. šŸ™‚

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

Trader Joe’s Beef Bulgogi is super thinly sliced beef that comes in a sweet sauce made with soy, mirin, sesame oil, sugar, pear juice, apple puree, and pineapple juice.

{You can read all of the nitty-gritty details, along with the nutrition information on the Trader Joe’s product detail page here.}

Other beef bulgogi dishes I have tried that are more “traditional,” are a bit more savory than the Trader Joe’s version. The TJ’s version runs on the sweeter side…Which is 100% A-OK with me!

HOW TO COOK TRADER JOE’S BEEF BULGOGI

Here’s the thing–the package directions recommend cooking this two ways: from frozen on the stovetop OR in the microwave.

Given that it’s wrapped in plastic and you’re supposed to cook it in the plastic wrap, I pass on the microwave method. Just no.

Cooking it from frozen on the stovetop, I feel is the BEST way, although it takes a little more time than cooking after you’ve thawed it. When you cook it from frozen, the meat doesn’t release as much moisture so you get a nice dark, caramelly “sear” on the meat.

See what I mean?

Trader Joe's Beef Bulgogi bowl with carrots and cucumber.
Cooked from frozen
Featured image for Trader Joe' s Beef Bulgogi.
Cooked after being thawed

Both ways taste amazing, so don’t stress. But if you have a little extra time, cook it from frozen.

Cook time from frozen: About 9-12 minutes

Cook time from thawed: About 5-6 minutes

TRADER JOE’S BEEF BULGOGI: PROS

  1. Easy: This is a heat-and-eat dish that just needs to be warmed through. 5-6 minutes when thawed and 9-12 minutes from frozen.
  2. Sweet = kid-friendly. Kids love this meat because it has a rich, sweet flavor and the thin slices make it super easy to eat.
  3. Versatile: SOOO many uses for this meat! These beef bulgogi tacos and these rice bowls are two of my favorites!

TRADER JOE’S BEEF BULGOGI: CONS

  1. Not super authentic: Authentic beef bulgogi is a good balance of sweet and savory/umami. In the Trader Joe’s version, the sweetness takes over a bit in my opinion.
  2. Probably won’t feed 4 people: One 16oz. package of beef bulgogi most likely will not feed a hungry family of 4. The package says there are 3 servings per container and I think that’s accurate.

HOW TO MAKE THIS DISH BETTER

  1. Add an egg: A runny egg on top of this beef bulgogi is nothing short of amazingggg! It’s the perfect pairing!
  2. Make a rice bowl: Add some rice, lots of crunchy veggies, and a little sriracha mayo, and enjoy these beef bulgogi bowls.
  3. Add crunchy chili onion: This is one of my FAVORITE THINGS at Trader Joe’s! You could literally put it on a piece of wood and it would make it taste good! It’s PERFECT spooned over beef bulgogi for a little spice and savory flavor.
  4. Add some freshness: Chopped green onions and/or cilantro freshen this dish up and make even more flavorful.
  5. Add Trader Joe’s Furikake Seasoning: Even though this is a Japanese seasoning, it goes well with beef bulgogi and gives it that savory/umami flavor that cuts the sweetness a bit.
  6. Make tacos! You haven’t lived until you’ve had a beef bulgogi “taco!”
Trader Joe's Bef Bulgogi with a fried egg.

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Where can I find this in the store?

This beef bulgogi is in the freezer case–usually around the fried rice, orange chicken, etc.

Can you make this dish vegan?

Funny you ask! TJ’s is genius and actually makes a “beefless bulgogi, too! You can also find it in the freezer case, but it’s it’s not near the regular beef bulgogi. It’s over by the Beyond Burgers and other frozen meatless options.

What do you serve with TJ’s beef bulgogi?

White rice or fried rice are are most obvious options, but it’s also AMAZING over noodles with a little of TJs garlicky cabbage! You can also serve it with a side of sauteed spinach, roasted broccoli, a green salad, or more traditionally with a side of kimchi.

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I hope you enjoyed this Trader Joe’s Beef Bulgogi Review and hope it gives you some good ideas of how to jazz up this rice and make it less bland. If you make this rice, be sure to leave a comment and let us know how you liked it! Enjoy, xo!

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