When it comes to making bulgogi, one of the most important steps is cutting the flank steak correctly. This Korean dish of marinated beef is known for its tender and juicy texture, which can only be achieved by using the right cut of meat and slicing it properly. In this article, we will go over the steps to cut a flank steak for bulgogi.

What is Flank Steak?

Flank steak is a lean and flavorful cut of beef that comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow. It is long and flat in shape, with visible lines of muscle fiber running across it. While it may not be as tender as other cuts like ribeye or filet mignon, its unique texture makes it perfect for marinating and grilling.

Tools You’ll Need

To cut a flank steak for bulgogi, you will need a few tools:

  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • Freezer

Having a sharp knife is crucial to make clean cuts and avoid tearing the meat fibers. Make sure your knife has a sharp edge before starting.

Step 1: Freezing the Flank Steak

Before you start cutting, it’s important to freeze your flank steak for about an hour or two. This will firm up the meat and make it easier to slice thinly without tearing apart its fibers. If you skip this step, you’ll end up with uneven slices that won’t cook evenly.

Step 2: Slicing Against The Grain

Once your flank steak is partially frozen, take it out of the freezer and place it on a cutting board. Identify which direction the muscle fibers are running (you can see them clearly on the surface of the steak). You want to slice against these fibers, so they break apart easily when cooked.

Using a sharp knife, make thin slices across the grain of the meat. Aim for slices that are about 1/8 inch thick. Try to keep them as uniform as possible, so they cook evenly.

Step 3: Cutting Into Bite-Size Pieces

After you’ve sliced the flank steak into thin strips, cut them into bite-size pieces. This will make it easier to eat and distribute evenly in your bulgogi dish.


Cutting a flank steak for bulgogi requires some practice, but it’s not difficult once you know what to do. Freezing the meat and slicing against the grain are key steps to get tender and juicy meat that’s perfect for marinating and grilling. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to make delicious bulgogi at home like a pro!