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This Korean Beef recipe is simple, tasty, and perfect for when you only have a minutes to get dinner on the table. Serve in lettuce cups or over rice. My Famous Butter Rice and Cilantro Lime Rice are both great options.
A Healthier Korean Beef Recipe
Let me start this post by stating there is no way this is an authentic recipe for Korean Beef. 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. BONUS: This healthier version 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.
Need other ground beef recipes? Look no further! Here are a few of my favorites: The Best Sloppy Joes, Hamburger Soup, Simple Sunday Meatloaf, The Best Burger Recipe, and Easy Meatballs.
This 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. Here is what you can expect when making this recipe:
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. Place meat back into the pan.
Reduce Heat + Add Remaining Ingredients
Reduce heat to medium and add in soy sauce, maple syrup, minced garlic, fresh ginger, red pepper flakes 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.
Add in Green Onions + Serve
Stir in green onion and serve hot. I like to serve in lettuce cups or over rice.
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.
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.
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 of garlic finely minced
- 1 inch ginger fresh, grated
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp 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. Place meat back into the pan.
- Reduce heat to medium and add in soy sauce, maple syrup, minced garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes 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.
We all loved this tonight!
We aren’t huge sesame oil fans so I cut that down a lot. But it was super tasty.
Saw on this on your Instagram feed and was inspired to make it for lunch. Delicious…absolutely delicious. Even my picky eaters had seconds. Thanks!
This is a perfect last minute weeknight recipe. It’s very flavorful without needing a bazillion ingredients 🙂
[…] Korean Beef […]
[…] if you feel like you need some protein with this meal check out my Korean Beef Recipe or Better Than Take-Out Crispy Sesame Beef. Chicken or shrimp would be super good […]
[…] Healthier Korean Beef […]
Last night I bought ground beef for burgers but something came up and we needed up eating out. I stubbled across this recipe just now and made it! I needed something to make for dinner that I could reheat after volleyball this evening. It tastes yummy. I did add some Gochujang and lemongrass because I had it one hand. Also we will put the meat and some rice in the lettuce I bought for the burgers and eat it like that! Dinner is done. Thanks.
I made this and it was SO GOOD. I added just a dash of red chili flakes for a little heat to it, but it was sooo tasty. Served with steamed veggies and rice. Wonderful quick supper after a long day at work!
[…] Korean Beef […]
[…] Korean Beef […]
[…] Lauren’s Latest Easy Korean Beef […]
[…] All you have to do is add everything listed to your skillet after browning the beef. That easy.I usually serve this with jasmine rice and edamame. You can find frozen edamame in the grocery store. My mom likes to get the beef in strip form or something easier to eat than ground beef but we’ve always eaten it ground and just mix it in with the rice. The sesame oil gives so much flavor! Recipe from Lauren’s Latest. […]
[…] -Read More – […]
I made this recipe tonight and was disappointed in the blah taste. Followed your recipe for everything. I googled some other similar recipes and found they all included ginger, either fresh grated or dry and red pepper flakes. Will try to doctor up the leftovers of which there are plenty.
I’ve been eyeing this recipe and I’m definitely making it! This is the week!! Looks great.
I have this on my recipe list for next week. Can’t wait to try it out. Looks delicious and so simple which I love!
I am saving this recipe. My Sister turned me on to Bul-go-gi (sp?) as her ex’s step mother is Korean. This sounds like a simple way to fix it.
By the way, I don’t know if others are having the same problem as I am, but the pictures in your posts are very elongated. All the text is all in one paragraph. I will have to come here on your posts to read them…
Looks delicious and easy! Such a perfect recipe for a weeknight! 😊 Can’t wait to try it as lettuce wraps for me and hubby and serve it with rice to our kiddos 😃
This looks delish! I’ve tried other Korean beef recipes but this has way less sugar and looks super simple! Adding to next week’s meal plan! 🙂
I just made this recipe last week and boy oh boy, It will most definitely be added to the recipe arsenal. This is so easy to make and has so much flavor. I love fast, easy meals for week nights, and this one is perfect. Husband loved it! I served it with homemade fried rice. Yum, yum, yum!
Made this the other night and everyone loved it! Yay!
This looks like the perfect dinner to make during the Olympics!
Love this recipe — thanks!
This looks SO incredibly delicious! We love Korean food and were always looking for new weeknight recipes. I am definitely adding this mean to our menu this week!
I want to try this Korean Beef recipe, it looks better than a restaurant! Thanks for sharing this!
I just got ground beef today to try this later in the week!
Thanks Lauren love your blog… I love your pictures of New York ..Being from Canada and I haven’t been there as yet do enjoy the sites….Have travelled to many places in the states but not to New York …on my bucket list. We are going to have the Korean beef today with rice….your doing a wonderful job I know how hard it is to run a household plus all the rest as I I had 3 boys and life is busy when there young and to manage it all is like a puzzle…👍❤️🎈 All my best ..Barb
Made this tonight for dinner, and it was delicious! I used ground turkey instead of beef, and added some better than beef bouillon to keep the beef flavor. It was still fantastic!
Made this for dinner and it is so so good!! Thank you for sharing!
Wow! This meal is absolutely delicious! My husband said this is moving to the top of his list of favorite dinners…looks like it will become a regular in our house. We made ours with ground turkey since that’s what I had on hand and it was still really yummy!
Good idea using turkey 🙂
So life changing!!!
I find the “white girl from Canada” to be insensitive and rude. I just dont know what means, given the number of years you have lived in the States; that your husband has some type of job for the US government, and you live in a diverse City.
How can it be rude if you don’t know what it means? Being diverse has nothing to do with her nationality and race–it meant she isn’t Korean, chill.
I actually have all of the ingredients on hand and I was needing a new ground beef recipe. Can’t wait to make this tomorrow night!!! (p.s. There is a typo on step 3: right/rice)
Awesome!! (And thanks. I was zooming right through trying to get this posted asap! Got that right corrected to rice 😉 )
My mom is Korean she adds some hickory sauce! A tiny bit is only needed.
Silly question: where would one find hickory sauce? I must try this.
I’m sorry it’s called liquid smoke. I didn’t clarify. At all grocery stores by bbq sauces. Use very little!
Hi Lauren, That has got to be one of the easiest recipes I’ve seen in a long time…and it sounds pretty darn tasty too. If you put up your rice when you first start cooking the meat, both should be done at about the same time. Add a veggie and you literally have a complete meal in no time at all. Thanks for posting this ~ ~ I can’t wait to try it. Stay warm and safe. ♥