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Korean Ground Beef Bowl

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!

korean ground beef bowl on counter
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Easy Korean Beef Bowl

If you’re familiar with Korean beef bulgogi you’ll love this shortcut version! Instead of using thin strips of marinated ground beef, we’re using ground beef which cooks up fast and is something I always keep stocked.

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.

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!

korean ground beef bowl in skillet

How to Make this Korean Beef Bowl Recipe

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. 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 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!

korean ground beef over rice in bowl

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.

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.

korean ground beef over rice in bowl

Korean Ground Beef Bowl

5 from 2 votes
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!
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger , or 1/4 teaspoon ground

Sauce

  • 1/4 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

      Instructions

      • 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.
        korean ground beef bowl in skillet
      • 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.
        korean sauce in glass bowl
      • 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.
        korean ground beef bowl in skillet
      • Remove from heat and serve over rice. Top with green onions and sesame seeds and drizzle with sriracha sauce, if desired.
        korean ground beef bowl on counter

      Notes

      Storage: Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
      For serving: 
      • 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

      Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 610mg | Potassium: 496mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 3mg

      Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

      Course: Main Dish
      Cuisine: Korean
      Author: Jamielyn Nye

      Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

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