This Korean Ground Beef recipe makes for a simple, delicious meal that the entire family will love. Served in a bowl over your favorite rice, the sweet and spicy ground beef gets its characteristic flavor from a simple sauce made of brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic and ginger.
Easy Korean Ground Beef Bowl
Korean Ground Beef is a great recipe for those busy weeknights when you need an easy meal on the table fast. Instead of thinly sliced beef, this recipe uses budget-friendly ground beef as the protein without sacrificing any of the flavor. It literally tastes like it came from your favorite Korean BBQ spot.
The sweet and spicy sauce is simple, made from brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic and ginger. It’s thickened slightly with a cornstarch slurry and seasoned with a little black pepper and red pepper flakes for heat. I will typically serve Korean Ground Beef in a bowl over long grain white rice and garnish it with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.
If you want to go super healthy, you could serve over brown rice, cauliflower rice or even lettuce wraps instead. And, if you love Korean recipes, give our equally simple Korean Beef Stir Fry recipe a try.
Ingredients in Korean Ground Beef and Rice
- Ground Beef - I suggest using either 15/85 or 10/90 ground beef as it will be less greasy. Ground turkey makes a great, healthy substitute.
- Black Pepper - ground black pepper.
- Red Pepper Flakes - add a little more or less depending on how spicy you like it.
- Garlic - fresh minced garlic.
- Brown Sugar - this adds a bit of sweetness. A touch of rice wine vinegar would taste great, too.
- Soy Sauce - we generally recommend using a low sodium soy sauce.
- Ginger - fresh ginger has a great flavor, but you can also substitute ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger.
- Cornstarch Slurry - cornstarch mixed with cold water is added to the sauce to thicken at the end.
- Rice - serve over cooked white rice, or any kind of rice that you’d like. You could also serve over your favorite noodles or even use lettuce wraps.
- Toppings - sliced green onions and sesame seeds make for an easy and delicious garnish.
How to Cook Korean Ground Beef
- Cook the ground beef. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add the ground beef and cook for about 3 minutes, breaking up any clumps with a spoon.
- Cook with the sauce. Add the pepper, red pepper flakes and garlic and cook until the beef has a little pink remaining, or about 1-2 minutes more. Next, add the brown sugar, soy sauce and ginger. Cook until all ingredients are bubbling and the beef is no longer pink.
- Thicken the sauce. In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and cold water until smooth, then add to the skillet and cook until the sauce is bubbly and thick. Remove from heat.
- Serve. Serve the Korean Ground Beef in a bowl over cooked rice, topped with green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Ground beef is safest to eat when the temperature reaches 160 degrees F. Since it’s difficult to take the temperature of ground beef, the best way to know is if no pink remains.
The short answer is that any kind of rice works great. You can even use brown rice, wild rice or cauliflower rice!
However, we usually like to serve ground beef and rice bowls with long grain white rice. Jasmine rice is a great choice that has a mild sweetness and is slightly sticky. This Coconut Rice would also be a great choice.
Absolutely! This is a great freezer meal choice. Just make sure the beef is cooled completely, then freeze flat in freezer bags and store for up to 2 months.
Serve with any of your favorite Asian-inspired sides, veggies, soups or salads. Think recipes like egg drop soup, spring rolls or egg rolls. Honestly, though, this ground beef bowl is a meal all on its own!
You sure can! You can reference the instructions from our Lemon Rice recipe here to see how.
Storing and Reheating Korean Beef
- Refrigerator: store leftover Korean Ground Beef in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Freezer: you can also freeze cooked Korean Ground Beef! Make sure it is completely cooled, then transfer to freezer bags and freeze flat. Store frozen for up to 2 months.
- To reheat: you can reheat in the microwave, or else transfer to a saucepan and add a touch of water. Heat over medium, stirring occasionally, until warmed through and serve hot.
Korean Ground Beef Recipe
- 1 pound Ground Beef 15/85 or 10/90 fat content
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1 pinch Red Pepper Flakes
- 2 cloves Garlic minced, or 2 teaspoons
- 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
- ¼ cup Soy Sauce low sodium
- 1 teaspoon Fresh Ginger minced, or ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
- 2 Tablespoons Water cold
- 1 cup Cooked Rice
- 2 Tablespoons Green Onions sliced thinly
- 1 pinch Sesame Seeds
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, add the ground beef and cook for about 3 minutes, breaking up any clumps with a spoon.
- Add the pepper, red pepper flakes and garlic and cook until the beef has a little pink remaining, or about 1-2 minutes more. Next, add the brown sugar, soy sauce and ginger. Cook until all ingredients are bubbling.
- In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and cold water until smooth, then add to the skillet and cook until the sauce is bubbly and thick. Remove from heat.
- Serve the Korean Ground Beef in a bowl over cooked rice, topped with green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
More Delicious Ground Beef Recipes
- Ground Beef Tacos
- Old-Fashioned Meatloaf
- Easy Chili
- Meatball Pasta Bake
- Spicy Italian Meatballs
- More Beef Dinner Recipes
- More Easy Weeknight Meals
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This Korean Ground Beef, served over a bed of rice, is an easy 15 minute meal idea that the entire family will love. It's made with sweet and spicy ground beef that is simmered in a simple sauce made from brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic and ginger.