These Korean Ground Beef Bowls are as easy-to-make as they are delicious. This recipe is the best way to get a simple family dinner on the table on busy weeknights in under 30 minutes. Take your stir fry game up a notch with a secret ingredient, too!

An overhead shot of Korean beef in a bowl with rice and pickled veggies.

Korean Beef Bowl Recipe

The first time I had Korean beef was at this incredible restaurant right down the street.

It was slightly sweet, a bit spicy, and had this umami flavor to it that was unmatched. (I’ll share the secret ingredient below. Here’s more info on the question, What is umami?)

While I love authentic Korean beef, also known as bulgogi, I often want to make something that’s faster, easier, and doesn’t require many ingredients on busy weeknights.

That’s where this Korean Ground Beef Bowl comes in to save the day.

You get almost all of the classic Korean cuisine flavor without the extra effort. In just 30 minutes you can have your rice, ground beef, and toppings prepped, cooked, and ready to enjoy!

The best part: it’s easily customizable by adding as much or as little of the vegetables. The whole family will look forward to this meal!

And don’t forget a heaping scoop of white rice or jasmine rice to finish it off. 

Beef, soy sauce, ginger, vinegar, sesame oil, and veggies are the ingredients for this dish.

Ingredients

The simple ingredients you need to make these Korean beef rice bowls include:

  • Ground beef. Choose a leaner option; 90/10 is ideal since it’s the perfect balance of fat and meat. You can even go with ground turkey or ground chicken, but it won’t taste quite the same as lean ground beef.
  • Sesame oil. Go with a toasted variety. This is the secret ingredient that gives the dish an extra umami flavor. Don’t leave it out.
  • Oil. You’ll also need either avocado oil or olive oil to cook the beef.
  • Garlic. Minced garlic is so important. If absolutely necessary, you can use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic.
  • Green onions. Be sure to separate the whites from the greens.
  • Soy sauce. Regular or low sodium are fine. If needed, go with Tamari or coconut aminos. (Here’s more on Tamari vs. Soy Sauce.)
  • Ginger. A bottle of ginger paste from the grocery store works perfectly. Fresh ginger works well, too.
  • Sugar. Either brown sugar or white sugar is fine. If you prefer, go with coconut sugar.
  • Rice vinegar. This gives the dish the most authentic flavor. You can choose apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar if that’s what you have.
  • Red pepper flakes. You can add these in or leave them out, depending on how spicy you like the dish. A little bit goes a long way.
  • Rice. Either white rice or jasmine rice are the best options.
  • Toppings. Pickled carrotspickled cucumbers, and toasted sesame seeds are delicious with this beef. But you can choose whatever you like best! If you like spice, don’t forget the Gochujang (a chili paste).

How to Make Korean Beef Bowls

Below are the steps to make this easy Korean beef bowl recipe at home.

Cook the Beef and Veggies

Warm a skillet over medium heat, then add a tablespoon of oil and the ground beef. Cook until it is almost completely browned. Push the meat to the side of the pan with a spatula or wooden spoon.

Add another tablespoon of oil along with the white parts of the green onions, garlic, and ginger. Continue cooking for another 30 to 60 seconds.

Make the Sauce

In a medium or small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes.

Pour the savory sauce over the beef and veggies and stir it in. Let the sauce ingredients simmer over medium-low heat for another 1 to 2 minutes.

Then, stir in the green parts of the green onions and cook for one more minute.

Serve It Up

When you’re ready to enjoy the dish, add a scoop of rice to a bowl then top with some of the cooked beef.

Sprinkle some pickled cucumber and carrots along with toasted sesame seeds and gochujang if desired.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep ahead of time: Make the pickled carrots and cucumbers a few days early. You can also make the sauce and leave it in the fridge.
  • How to store: Keep the leftover Korean beef, rice, and toppings each in a separate airtight container for the best results. The beef and rice will last 3 to 4 days in the fridge.
  • How to freeze: You can freeze completely cooled beef in a freezer-safe bag for 3 to 4 months.
  • How to reheat: Warm Korean beef back up in the microwave or in a skillet over medium heat.
Korean beef is served in a white bowl with rice and pickled veggies.

What is Korean beef? 

Korean beef is beef seasoned with a variety of Asian spices and sauces. It is often called Korean beef bulgogi. Usually, this beef is cooked on an open fire, but you can make it in a skillet or in the oven, as well.

What do you eat Korean beef with?

You can eat just about any side with Korean beef, though rice is the most common dish. It’s delicious when you include healthy veggies and spicy sauces, as well.

A spatula stirs the seasoned beef in a pan.

Dietary Modifications

The recipe you’ll find below is already low-carb as written.  Here are some adjustments and substitutions you can make to help it fit your other dietary requirements:

  • Gluten-free: Be sure the soy sauce is free of gluten, or stick with Tamari.
  • Sugar-free: Skip the sugar.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Lean, please. Choose a beef blend with less fat for the best results.
  • DIY. It’s so easy to make your own pickled veggies for a topping.
  • Some like it hot. You can make this dish as spicy or mild as you like based on what you add.
  • Plus it up. You can completely customize this dish with the veggies and toppings you like. Try bell pepper or broccoli.
  • Go low. Stick with cauliflower rice for a low-carb option. Or, serve the flavorful ground beef in lettuce wraps.
Two bowls of Korean beef are served for a quick dinner.

What to Serve with Korean Beef

Korean beef, just like many Asian dishes, is delicious on a pile of rice. But there are so many other tasty sides you can pair it with, as well.

Try a rice recipe like Instant Pot White RiceSushi RiceInstant Pot Basmati Rice, or Jasmine Rice. Change things up with Coconut Rice or Cauliflower Rice, too.

Don’t forget the veggies, like Steamed BroccoliBlanched Green Beans, and Boiled Carrots.

More Asian Recipes

If you love Asian food, then you have to give these recipes a try next.

General Tso’s ChickenKorean Glass Noodles, and Pineapple Chicken will have you skipping take out.

Both Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry and Beef Stir Fry are so easy to make at home.

Impress your guests with some Miso Glazed Salmon.

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 3 votes

Korean Ground Beef Bowl

These Korean Ground Beef Bowls are as simple as they are delicious. This recipe is the best way to get a simple family dinner on the table on busy weeknights in 30 minutes. Take your stir fry game up a notch with a secret ingredient, too!
Yield 4 servings
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Total 30 minutes

Ingredients 

Korean Ground Beef:

  • 2 Tbsp. oil avocado or olive, divided
  • 1 lb. ground beef 90/10
  • 4-5 green onions whites and green parts, thinly sliced, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic finely minced
  • ½ Tbsp. ginger paste
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce or Tamari
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar or white
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil toasted
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes

For the Bowl:

  • 2 cups Jasmine or long grain white rice cooked
  • 1 cup Pickled Carrots optional
  • 1 cup Pickled Cucumbers optional
  • Toasted sesame seeds optional
  • Gochujang optional

Instructions 

  • Cook beef over medium heat for 5-6 minutes, or until almost completely browned. Crumble the meat apart using a spatula or a potato masher.
  • Push beef to the side of the skillet and add the additional tablespoon of oil, the white parts of the green onions, garlic, and ginger. Saute for 30-60 seconds, or until fragrant.
  • Whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes in a medium-sized bowl. Pour the sauce into the beef, stir, and let simmer over medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes. Stir in ¾ of the green parts of the green onions and cook for another minute.
  • Serve over cooked jasmine rice with the remaining green onions, pickled cucumber and carrots, gochujang, and toasted sesame seeds.

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 3 votes

Video

Notes

  • Nutritional information is calculated with 4 oz. ground beef and sauce and ½ cup of cooked rice.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep ahead of time: Make the pickled carrots and cucumbers a few days early. You can also make the sauce and leave it in the fridge.
  • How to store: Keep the leftover Korean beef, rice, and toppings each in a separate airtight container for the best results. The beef and rice will last 3 to 4 days in the fridge.
  • How to freeze: You can freeze completely cooled beef in a freezer-safe bag for 3 to 4 months.
  • How to reheat: Warm Korean beef back up in the microwave or in a skillet over medium heat.

Nutrition

Calories: 537kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 23g, Fat: 33g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 16g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 81mg, Sodium: 713mg, Potassium: 426mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 303IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 55mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Made this recipe?Leave a comment below!
5 Secrets to Healthier Family Dinners
Tips & recipes for getting yummy — and healthy — meals on the table.

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