This Korean ground beef bowl is going to become your new favorite 15-minute weeknight meal. It’s a simple ground beef recipe that makes it accessible and budget-friendly with a sweet and savory sauce that has so much flavor you’d never know it was this easy!
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Easy Korean Beef Bowl
If you’re familiar with Korean beef bulgogi you’ll love this shortcut version that uses ground beef! Seasoned ground beef is expertly marinated in a delightful blend of soy sauce and brown sugar then served over a bed of fluffy rice with an array of toppings for the perfect balance of sweet and savory taste. It’s one of my favorite easy recipes with ground beef!
Korean beef bowl is a one-pot meal made in just 15 minutes and it never gets old. In keeping with all the sweet and savory elements that make the irresistible signature flavors in this sauce, we’ll be using things like brown sugar, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes. We love to serve it with our coconut rice or easy fried rice.
The ingredients are so minimal and yet it packs so much flavor that it’s a dish my kids always inhale. I use lean ground beef along with garlic, ginger and onions which is then simmered in the tastiest sauce. When served over rice, it’s a complete meal perfect for busy weeknights or anytime I want to recreate our favorite Asian-inspired restaurant favorites!
How to Make this Korean Beef Bowl Recipe
- Cook the meat: Over medium heat in a large skillet, cook lean ground beef and onion until beef is no longer pink. Break up bigger pieces with a wooden spoon. Add in the minced garlic and ginger during the last minute of cooking the beef.
- Whisk the sauce: In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and a pinch of red pepper flakes, and whisk. If you like yours spicy, add a few more flakes for heat.
- Simmer: Drain any excess grease from the beef and add in the sauce. Stir together and bring to a gentle simmer for 1-2 minutes.
- Serve: Serve over rice and sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds.
Have any leftover rice in the fridge? Use it! It’s a great way to use up what you already have and save time in the process!
Ways to Serve Korean Beef Rice Bowl
- A popular way of adding even more protein to this ground beef dish is to serve it with a sunny side up egg or fried egg on top!
- For a little extra heat and flavor, drizzle with sriracha or spicy mayo before serving.
- Over easy Instant Pot rice, brown rice, quinoa, or the low carb cauliflower rice.
- Use leftover Korean beef over salad for a light lunch or dinner idea the next day.
- Sometimes all it needs is some fresh raw veggies on the side. Sliced cucumbers, pickle cucumbers, or spicy kimchi is delicious!
- Add steamed vegetables alongside.
Turn the Rice Bowl into Lettuce Wraps!
Add the beef mixture to leaves of lettuce, similar to my P.F Chang’s lettuce wrap idea. You won’t even miss the rice using this easy low carb method!
What Can I Substitute?
- If you don’t have fresh ginger, you can use 1/4 tsp ground ginger instead.
- Swap the low-sodium soy sauce for gluten-free coconut aminos.
- Substitute ground turkey, ground pork, or ground chicken for ground beef.
- Use honey instead of brown sugar for sweetness without refined sugar.
- To add some veggies into your Korean bowl recipe, toss in some bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, or mushrooms with the onions to cook at the same time. Or serve with steamed vegetables.
Storing & Freezing
To store: Keep leftovers of this Korean rice bowl covered in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. This is great for meal prep, especially if you double the recipe. Portion it out for a few days worth of lunch and dinner.
To freeze: Transfer the beef to a freezer-friendly container and keep frozen for up to 3 months.
It is advised to cook ground beef until the temperature reaches 160°F. At this temperature any bacteria that the beef may contain will be cooked through and the beef is safe to eat.
Yes! While ground chicken would be my preference, you could use diced chicken and just cook it until no longer pink.
There are quite a few options when it comes to rice selection. Try steamed white rice, brown rice, jasmine rice, basmati rice or even fried rice all work!
Other than rice, quinoa is another grain that could be served. Broccoli, cucumber salad, kimchi, cabbage salad, bell peppers, radish salad or even a simple green salad all are great side options.
More One Pot Dinners
One pot dinners are a favorite around here on busy weeknights! I love that everything can be made in one pot in minimal time.
- Egg Roll in a Bowl -love to meal prep this dish for lunches!
- Kung Pao Chicken -skip the takeout and make it easily at home.
- Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken -this one is a family favorite, made on repeat.
- PF Chang’s Lettuce Wraps -a classic that never gets old!
- Crockpot Beef and Broccoli -another delicious copycat recipe, your family will love!
Korean Ground Beef Bowl
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger , or 1/4 teaspoon ground
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce , or coconut aminos
- 2-3 Tablespoons brown sugar , or honey
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Sea salt , to taste
- Ground black pepper , to taste
For serving: Cooked rice
Optional toppings: Sliced green onions, Sriracha sauce, Sesame seeds
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and onion and cook until browned, stirring occasionally, breaking up any large pieces. Add the garlic and ginger during the last minute of cooking the beef.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and a pinch red pepper flakes. Add more if you like spice.
- Once browned, drain off any extra grease. Stir in the sauce. Bring to a light simmer 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons water, as desired. Salt and pepper, to taste.
- Remove from heat and serve over rice. Top with green onions and sesame seeds and drizzle with sriracha sauce, if desired.
- To add more protein to the dish, add a fried egg on top.
- To add more vegetables, add bell peppers and mushrooms with the onions. You could also add carrots.
- Serve with steamed vegetables.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!