Take a break from the burgers, brats & dogs. Ready-to-grill marinated beef from the freezer, plus a couple of fast & easy stove top sides, make for a quick and delicious summer meal.

Every now and then I’ll spot some super-thin (1/4 inch thick) sliced rib eye steak in the meat case of my local grocery. It’s a rare find here, so when I see it, I grab it. There are only a few ingredients – all of which I usually have on hand – needed to create a Korean Barbecue Beef (Bulgogi) for the freezer from these thin rib eye slices. Once thawed, the meat can be grilled and served in a flash. And if you follow this blog, you know how I feel about A Hunk, A Hunk of Freezin’ Love!

When we lived in Beaverton, Oregon in the early 1980s, I taught English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL.) My Korean student, Sonhi, spoke English very well, but really wanted to be able to read it. When we started working together, she had a young daughter. A couple of years later, just before we moved to North Carolina, Sonhi had a son. It was her son’s 100 Days Celebration where I first tasted the delicious Korean barbecue beef, bulgogi.

Back to the summer BBQ! Along with the bulgogi I served this week to friends, I included a Korean Cucumber Salad, Sauteed Snow Peas and Red Pepper Strips, and simple white rice. In addition to great flavors, another great thing about these recipes is that they are perfect for gluten free entertaining. Tamari Wheat Free Soy Sauce and no buns!

Of course if a gluten free menu is not a concern, and quick is the number one goal, take-out fried rice and a few spring rolls can really get the meal on the table in short order!

To make the Korean BBQ Beef to marinate in the freezer, just add the sliced beef and remaining prepped ingredients to a large freezer bag. Try to remove as much air as possible in the bag. Place the filled bag on a tray and freeze flat. When solid, remove the tray and store in the freezer. When you’re ready to enjoy the bulgogi, just thaw and grill! SO tender.

Korean Barbecue Beef (Bulgogi)

Bulgogi is a popular Korean marinated and grilled beef dish. In this recipe, the beef is frozen in the marinade, then thawed before grilling.

Course Main Course
Servings 4 people


  • 1-1.5 pounds thinly sliced rib eye steak
  • 1/3 cup Tamari Gluten Free soy Sauce
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 medium yellow onion halved & sliced into slivers
  • 2 green onions finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ginger finely minced


  • .Combine all ingredients in a large zip tip freezer bag and massage to blend.
  • Place sealed bag on a baking sheet and place in the freezer. After the meat is frozen, remove the bag from the tray and store in the freezer until needed.
  • In advance of preparation, thaw the bag of marinated meat in the refrigerator overnight.
  • When ready to serve, preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil the grate.

  • Quickly grill beef on hot grill until slightly charred and cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

  • Arrange cooked beef on a platter and serve.

Here are the recipes for the Korean Cucumber Salad and the Snow Peas with Red Pepper Strips.

Korean Cucumber Salad

This is a quick and simple salad featuring cucmbers, green onions and sesame seeds. Nice crunch, and the red pepper flakes give it a kick!
Course Salad


  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup black pepper freshly ground
  • 1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds (I use a mix of white & black seeds)
  • 1 English cucumber sliced thin
  • 1/2 green onion sliced
  • 1/2 carrot peeled & cut into thin match stick size pieces


  • Combine the first 3 ingredients in a medium size bowl.
  • In a small saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Stir in sesame seeds and cook until browned, stirring frequently (about 5 minutes.) Remove from pan and add to bowl with vinegar mixture.
  • Add remaining 4 ingredients. Stir to combine. Cover. Refrigerate at least 10 minutes.

Sauteed Snow Peas and Red Pepper Strips

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Asian


  • 2 tsp sesame oil divided, 1tsp & 1 tsp
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh snow peas
  • 1 cup red bell pepper seeded & thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper freshly ground


  • Add 1 teaspoon sesame oil to a large saute pan heated over medium-high heat. Swirl to coat.
  • Add snow peas and red pepper to pan and saute until vegetables are crisp-tender (approx 4-5 minutes.)
  • Remove pan from heat and drizzle with 1 teaspoon sesame oil.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss and serve.

Last but not least, I prepared the white rice in the crock pot. First time for me, and it worked great. Basically, rice to water, 2:1. Lightly oil a crock pot liner, add the rice, add the water, cook on high for 2 1/2 hours. Perfect rice!

Do yourself a favor and keep your eye out for the thin sliced rib eye. Pulling the ready-to-grill meal from the freezer, cooking rice on auto-pilot in the crock pot, and finishing with super quick sides will give you a hassle-free Korean summer barbecue! Nice change of pace. #lovemyfreezer

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One thing that makes my journey unique is that all of my interests are driven by a joyful and genuine curiosity. I delight in finding less expensive ways to make something or creative ways to enjoy something longer. Finding and creating joy - and sharing it - is core to who I am.