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This Korean Beef recipe is simple, tasty, and perfect for when you only have minutes to get dinner on the table. Serve with rice.
Let me start this post by stating there is no way this is an authentic recipe for Korean Beef because let’s face it, I am a white girl from Canada. BUT! That’s ok because I’m really good at creating waaaay better flavors and fast shortcuts in the kitchen when I do it all my way. So, this is a very simple-super-tasty-minimal ingredient-meal that is perfect on those days, where I only have 15 to 20 minutes to get dinner on the table.
SO many people have been posting similar recipes for Korean Beef which is what inspired me to create this healthier version that you can print below. Here is everything you’ll need to make it:
- Lean Ground Beef – traditional Korean beef is called bulgogi and uses sirloin steak. But we are using ground beef which is much cheaper. You could also use ground turkey if you wanted to make this recipe even healthier.
- Soy Sauce, Maple Syrup, and Sesame Oil – these three wet ingredients make for a beautiful blend of flavors. Salty, sweet, nutty. YUM!
- Garlic and Green Onions – these two are also used for flavor! You can’t go wrong with garlic and onions.
- Salt and Pepper – season as you cook, this is to ensure that the whole dish is as flavorful as it can be.
- Beef Broth – if the sauce is too thick, loosen it up with some good quality beef broth (or stock).
Tips and Tricks
My two major recipe tips for keeping this recipe (or really any recipe) healthful are:
- Rinsing the fat off of the cooked meat with hot tap water before replacing it back into the hot pan.
- Using maple syrup in the simmering sauce. As you can see in the pictures, the meat is super moist and turns out so so good every time.
Beyond those two things, I think that is just about all you need to know before you get cooking! This Korean beef recipe is pretty straightforward, just make sure you have a plan for how to serve it! If you don’t know, don’t worry, I have some ideas listed below.
How to Make Korean Beef
Traditional Korean Beef is called bulgogi which uses marinated sirloin steak. Instead, this Korean Beef Recipe calls for ground beef which is much cheaper and with the combinations of flavor coming from the ingredients we get the same taste as traditional bulgogi. It’s faster, cheaper, and tastes just as great, win-win-win! For full recipe details see the recipe card down below.
- Preheat a large skillet over heat. Add in beef and break apart as it browns with a wooden spoon. Once the beef is completely cooked, pour into a colander, and drain any excess fat off of the meat. Optionally, you can run hot tap water over beef to remove as much fat as possible. Place meat back into the pan.
- Reduce heat to medium and add in soy sauce, maple syrup, minced garlic, and sesame oil. Cook until the soy sauce reduces slightly. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. If meat mixture is getting dry, splash in some beef broth as needed or desired. Stir in green onion and serve hot.
Any leftover Korean Beef can be stored in the fridge, in an airtight container for up to 5 days. I suggest making a double batch so you can meal prep the leftovers for the week ahead.
What to Serve with Korean Beef
There are a couple of ways you can serve Korean beef, here are a few:
- Plain: Korean beef is plenty flavorful and delicious on its own. BUT it could use some side dishes if eaten plain. Easy Potstickers or Fresh Spring Rolls Recipe with Peanut Dipping Sauce make great sides.
- Over Rice: use plain rice, brown rice, cilantro lime rice, fried rice or my famous butter rice to make a simple Korean Beef Bowl. Each kind of rice will give a different type of experience with this recipe but all are tasty, you can’t really be wrong with these options.
- In Lettuce Cups: for a refreshing twist, serve this beef in lettuce cups (like at P.F. Changs!). Lettuce makes a great serving vessel!
- With Ramen: add Korean beef to any of these recipes to add some protein! Ramen Stir Fry, Chow Mein Recipe, or Sesame Noodle Salad.
Even though this recipe is so quick to make already, making ahead of time can still be beneficial! The secret is to freeze your Korean Beef!
To Freeze. Make the recipe according to the directions. Let Korean beef fully cool then store in an airtight container or freezer bag, in the freezer for up to 4 months.
To Reheat. Thaw in the fridge overnight then reheat in a skillet. If the meat mixture is dry, splash in some beef broth as needed.
More Meaty Recipes to Try!
- Asian Beef Tacos
- Kung Pao Chicken (Family Favorite!)
- Crispy Sesame Beef
- Beef and Broccoli
- Homemade Teriyaki Chicken
The printable recipe card is below, have a great day, friends!
- 1.25 lbs lean ground beef
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 3 small cloves garlic finely minced
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 green onions finely chopped
- beef broth as needed
- Preheat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in beef and break apart as it browns with a wooden spoon. Once the beef is completely cooked, pour into a colander, and drain any excess fat off of the meat. Optionally, you can run hot tap water over beef to remove as much fat as possible. Place meat back into the pan.
- Reduce heat to medium and add in soy sauce, maple syrup, minced garlic, and sesame oil. Cook about five minutes or until the soy sauce reduced slightly. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. If meat mixture is getting dry, splash in some beef broth as needed or desired. Stir in green onion.
- Serve over brown right, in lettuce cups, or on its own.