If you’re looking for a quick and easy weeknight meal, then try this Korean beef and rice! It’s the perfect combination of flavors for a meal that’s going to become a new family favorite! With a few pantry staples, you can make a delicious meal from start to finish in just 15 minutes!
This Korean ground beef recipe comes together in just minutes but still packs a big punch of flavor. The sauce made from basic pantry items like brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and ginger adds so much deep sweet and savory flavor to the beef and it's a combo I just love and always have on hand.
Since I'm pretty obsessed with Asian flavors lately, all I need to do is pick up some ground beef each week to make this simple and fast weeknight meal. My favorite part about it is that it only takes 15 minutes to make but tastes like you spent the entire day in the kitchen making it!
- What is Korean Beef and Rice?
- Why This Is The Best Korean Beef and Rice Recipe
- What You Need to Make Korean Beef and Rice At Home
- How to Make Korean Beef and Rice Step by Step
- Tips For Making the Best Korean Beef and Rice
- Serving Suggestions
- Recipe Variation Ideas for Korean Beef and Rice
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How to Store Leftover Korean Beef and Rice
- More Easy Dinner Recipes
You'll love it just as much as I do served over a bowl of fluffy rice. I also like to throw in some fresh veggies to make it a hearty meal-in-one. It’s just so tasty and satisfying. Give this easy beef a try next time you're craving some Korean cuisine but don't want to spend all night cooking.
Read on to learn exactly how to make this delicious Korean beef and rice recipe today!
What is Korean Beef and Rice?
Korean beef and rice, or Korean beef bowl, is a tasty and filling meal that's a mainstay in Korean cooking. You basically cook up some lean ground beef with basic pantry ingredients like garlic, onions and fresh ginger.
Then you season the beef mix with a sweet and savory sauce made of brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes. Finally serve the beef over steaming white rice and top with sesame seeds and sliced green onions.
Making this at home lets you enjoy a restaurant-quality dish from your own kitchen. The flavors really are incredible and the juicy ground beef combines with the sweet, tangy sauce for a complex yet comforting taste.
The fresh garnishes like the crunchy onions give a nice contrast to the soft beef and rice, making each bite a treat. It'll definitely impress your family and any dinner guests. The meal really is delicious and satisfying.
Why This Is The Best Korean Beef and Rice Recipe
- Easy to make: This Korean beef and rice recipe uses everyday ingredients like lean ground beef, garlic, onion, and fresh ginger, and is cooked in a single skillet. The prep time is minimal, and the total time from start to finish is just a few minutes, making it a perfect option for busy weeknight dinners.
- Quick: The ground beef cooks quickly and the sauce, made from brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes, takes just a minute to whisk together in a bowl. Plus, if you have leftover rice, it is even quicker!
- Family-favorite: This Korean beef bowl is a flavorful, hearty meal that's sure to be a hit with the whole family. The savory beef mixture, served over rice and garnished with sesame seeds and green onions, is combo that will have everyone asking for seconds.
- Versatile: This recipe is incredibly versatile. You can easily substitute ground beef with ground turkey or even a mix of vegetables for a vegetarian option. Also, you can play around with the garnish, adding things like julienne carrots, sliced cucumber, or even a fried egg for extra flavor and texture.
What You Need to Make Korean Beef and Rice At Home
All you need are some incredibly simple, pantry-staple ingredients to make this delicious Korean beef and rice recipe at home.
Here's an overview of the specific ingredients for this recipe. For the exact ingredients and measurements, please scroll to the recipe card below.
For the Beef Bowl:
Lean Ground Beef: This is the star of the dish, providing a hearty, protein-packed element. The lean version guarantees fewer calories and less fat.
Garlic: Minced garlic gives a burst of flavor to the beef mixture, enhancing the overall taste of the dish.
Rice: It serves as the perfect fluffy and neutral companion to the savory beef, absorbing the flavors from the sauce and beef.
Yellow Onion: It adds a sweet and tangy flavor to the beef mixture. It also provides a slightly crunchy texture.
Fresh Ginger: Minced fresh ginger gives a warm and spicy flavor that compliments the other ingredients perfectly.
For the Sauce:
Brown Sugar: It sweetens the sauce slightly, balancing the salty soy sauce and spicy red pepper flakes.
Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce: This gives the dish its signature salty, umami flavor without adding too much sodium to the dish. You can also use low-sodium Tamari for a gluten-free version.
Sesame Oil: It adds a nutty, rich flavor to the sauce that's distinctive of many Asian dishes.
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: They add a spicy kick to the sauce. Adjust the quantity based on your preference for heat.
Pepper: A classic seasoning, black pepper adds a bit of heat and complexity to the dish.
Green Onions: They add a pop of color and a fresh, tangy flavor to the final dish. They're also a traditional garnish in many Korean recipes.
Sesame Seeds: They give a slight crunch and nutty flavor when sprinkled on top.
Carrots and Cucumber: They offer a fresh, crunchy contrast to the warm, savory beef and rice. Plus, they add a pop of color to the dish.
How to Make Korean Beef and Rice Step by Step
Making this incredible Korean beef and rice bowl r at home is super easy and will give you great results every single time. Here's how to make it step by step:
- Cook ground beef in a skillet or Dutch oven. Start by heating oil in a large, deep skillet over high heat. Add your lean ground beef to the skillet and break the meat apart with a spoon. Continue to cook until the beef is thoroughly cooked through, about 7 minutes. Now, it is time to add some flavor! Stir in your onions, garlic, and fresh ginger, and let everything cook together for about a minute.
- Whisk sauce ingredients in a bowl: Next, take a small bowl and whisk together your brown sugar, low-sodium soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and pepper. This mixture will give your Korean ground beef recipe its unique, delicious flavor.
- Pour sauce over beef: Once your sauce is well combined, pour it over your cooked ground beef in the skillet. Allow the beef to simmer in the sauce for another minute or two to really soak up those flavors.
- Serve over rice with toppings: Now that your beef mixture is ready, it is time to serve! Spoon your flavorful Korean beef over cooked rice. For a pop of color and added taste, top your beef and rice with sesame seeds, green onions, and thinly sliced carrots and cucumbers.
Enjoy your homemade Korean beef bowl!
Tips For Making the Best Korean Beef and Rice
Choose lean ground beef: For a healthier option, opt for lean ground beef in this recipe. It will not only reduce the calories but also make the dish less greasy. You can also use ground turkey as a substitute.
Use fresh ingredients: Fresh garlic, onions, and ginger significantly enhance the flavor of this Korean beef bowl. Always opt for fresh over dried or powdered versions whenever possible.
Don't skip the garnish: Garnish adds color, flavor, and texture to your Korean beef and rice. The crunch of sesame seeds, green onions, carrots, and cucumbers compliment the savory beef mixture perfectly.
Experiment with add-ons: Feel free to add more ingredients like red peppers, broccoli, or even a fried egg on top of your Korean beef bowl!
- If you're after a low-carb option, swap out the rice for lettuce wraps. The crisp lettuce compliments the savory beef and makes for a refreshing and healthy meal.
- Need a quick lunch? This Korean ground beef recipe is perfect for quinoa or rice bowls. Just layer the beef mixture on top of cooked rice and garnish with sesame seeds and green onions for a satisfying midday meal.
- Want a twist on the traditional? Substitute the lean ground beef with ground turkey. It is a leaner option but still packed with flavor.
- For a spicy kick, sprinkle some red pepper flakes on top of the beef. It adds a touch of heat that pairs wonderfully with the sweetness of the brown sugar and savory soy sauce.
- Don't forget to pair this ground beef and rice bowl with a salad. Korean style carrot salad might be just what you need.
Recipe Variation Ideas for Korean Beef and Rice
This delicious Korean beef and rice recipe is so flavorful and easy to make you'll want to try out some of these delicious variations! Here are some great ideas:
Vegetarian Version: If you're seeking a meat-free version, simply substitute the lean ground beef for a plant-based ground meat alternative. You'll still get that savory, umami flavor, especially when the substitute is sautéed with garlic and onion.
Try it with Chicken: For a leaner protein option, swap the ground beef for ground chicken. This variation will not only reduce the calories but also give a slightly different, yet delicious taste to your Korean beef bowl.
More Vegetables: For a nutrient-packed bowl, add more vegetables like broccoli, red peppers, and carrots. These will enhance the fiber content and add a delightful crunch to your dish, not to mention the vibrant color they bring.
Wrap it in Lettuce: For a low-carb version, skip the rice and wrap your Korean beef in lettuce. It is a refreshing, crunchy alternative that cuts down on the calories without sacrificing flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions
For this recipe, lean ground beef is the ideal choice. It provides a rich flavor without too much fat. However, you can also substitute it with ground turkey or chicken if you prefer.
You can control the spice level by adjusting the amount of red pepper flakes. If you prefer a milder flavor, simply reduce the amount or omit it entirely. For an extra kick, add more.
Low sodium soy sauce is recommended to control the saltiness of the dish. However, if you don't have it on hand, you can use regular soy sauce. Just keep in mind that it may alter the taste slightly.
Of course! This recipe is quite flexible. Feel free to add other veggies like broccoli, red peppers or even a fried egg on top for an extra protein boost.
How to Store Leftover Korean Beef and Rice
Got some leftover Korean beef and rice from your dinner? No worries! With the right storage methods, you can enjoy this delicious dish on another day.
In the Fridge: Firstly, you need to let your beef mixture cool completely before storing it. Once it is cooled, transfer the Korean beef and rice into airtight containers. Remember, it’s best to store the beef and rice separately to prevent the rice from getting soggy.
To Reheat: When it is time to reheat the beef, you can do it in a skillet over medium heat. Add a splash of water or low sodium soy sauce to bring back some moisture. For the rice, use a microwave or a stovetop with a bit of water.
In the Freezer: If you want to freeze the leftovers for longer storage, it is absolutely possible! Korean beef freezes well and can be stored in the freezer for up to three months. However, rice doesn't freeze well as it tends to become hard and grainy. It is better to cook fresh rice when you're ready to eat the beef.
To Thaw: When you're ready to thaw the frozen Korean beef, move it to the fridge and let it thaw overnight. Then, you can reheat it in a skillet, just like the fridge-stored leftovers.
More Easy Dinner Recipes
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Easy Korean Beef and Rice Bowls (Tasty 15 Minute Meal)
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup cooked rice Basmati or Jasmine
- 1 small yellow onion
- 2 tablespoon fresh ginger minced
- Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking the meat with a spoon, until cooked through, about 7 minutes or until no longer pink. Add onions, garlic, and ginger, and cook for 1 minute.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and pepper. Pour over the ground beef and let it simmer for another minute or two.
- Served over cooked rice and top it with sesame seeds, spring onions, sliced carrot, and cucumber.