Trader Joe’s Korean Beefless Bulgogi Review

Trader Joe's Korean Beefless Bulgogi

We have tried Trader Joe’s Korean bulgogi in the past, and we found it to be pretty alright. Back then, though, we were in it for the rice, but we found the beef portion to be decent. Of course, that’s a dish for the meat-eating folks among us.

Today, we’re going to try a vegan-friendly version of this, the Trader Joe’s Beefless Bulgogi. After reading a particularly glowing reddit review, we knew we needed to try this, so we’re pretty excited to have a box of this sitting in the Freezer Meal Frenzy freezer.

All of this comes sealed in a plastic bag, which you’ll need to remove before cooking. It kind of looks like a brown blob before you heat it up, but don’t worry; it gets better.

Trader Joe's Korean Beefless Bulgogi

There are a bunch of different ways to cook this, from a microwave to a stovetop to an air fryer, but we took the easy way out on this and nuked ours. It’s super easy, taking just three to four minutes. (If you want to read the cooking instructions for all of these different methods, check out the package scans at the bottom of this review.)

This comes out of the microwave looking somewhat authentic, but maybe a little weird still. It looks like a batch of real beef that maybe got flattened somehow, or maybe a video-game version of a beef bowl or something.

Trader Joe's Korean Beefless Bulgogi

Once you have this in your mouth, though, it’s certainly not going to fool you into thinking it’s real beef. It lacks that stringiness that real beef has, and it feels kind of rubbery. It’s honestly chewier than we were expecting it to be.

The flavor is pretty good. This doesn’t have as much sauce as we were expected, but the sauce is quite good. It has a subtle bit of brown sugary sweetness, though the primary flavor is a charred fake smoke flavor. It does create the illusion of real charred beef, though this illusion is very fragile, and it’s mitigated by the rubbery consistency.

The box recommends 1/3 of its contents as a serving size, which we think is probably a decent serving if you eat this with some rice and maybe an appetizer. If you eat just 1/3 of the box, you’ll be at 230 calories and 580 mg of sodium.

The Trader Joe’s Beefless Bulgogi is a pretty good batch of fake beef. No, it won’t fool carnivores into thinking they’re eating real meat, but the flavor is pretty good, and we can see this going super well with a batch of fried rice.

To learn more about the nutrition content, ingredients, or cooking instructions for this vegan-friendly bulgogi, check out the package scans below.

Trader Joe's Korean Beefless Bulgogi
Trader Joe's Korean Beefless Bulgogi
Trader Joe's Korean Beefless Bulgogi
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8 months ago

Just tried this for the first time. I made the mistake of following the microwave instructions. I put the frozen strips onto a microwave safe plate and placed it into a 1000 watt microwave oven for 3 minutes. Alas, I ended up with charcoal and a smoky house. I then cooked a second batch in the microwave. It only took about 20 seconds for the ‘meat’ to get steaming hot. From now on, I will saute. I did enjoy this product and will buy it again.

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