Korean Beef Bowl – Skinnytaste

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An easy and delicious, healthy Korean Beef Bowl is made with ground beef, served over rice with cucumbers and gochujang sauce.

Korean Beef Bowls

Korean Beef Rice Bowl

If you have a package of ground beef you don’t know what to do with, make this easy Korean Beef Bowl made with cucumbers, rice and gochujang sauce. You’ll love them! This recipe is popular, it made it to my fan favorite recipes in my Meal Prep Cookbook. More of my favorite Korean-inspired recipes are this Gochujang-Glazed Salmon, Korean Grilled Chicken, and these Gochujang Meatballs. For more stir fries using ground beef, try this Ground Beef and Broccoli recipe.

Make Korean-Inspired Food in Your Kitchen

Gina @ Skinnytaste.com

When I worked full-time in Manhattan years ago, my office was two blocks from Koreatown, and I loved having lunch there with coworkers. Since then, Korean food has become more popular, with Korean restaurants popping up everywhere. But even where I currently live, we don’t have Korean restaurants near us, so this Korean beef dish brings those great flavors to my kitchen!

  • Great for Many Dietary Restrictions: This dish is high protein, weight watchers friendly, kid-friendly, gluten-free, and dairy-free.
  • Quick and Easy Dinner Idea: This whole dish is ready in under 30 minutes.
  • Budget-Friendly: Rice and ground beef are affordable staples, providing a nutritious and filling meal.

If you make this Korean Beef recipe, I would love to see it. Tag me in your photos on Instagram or Facebook!

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Korean Beef Bowl Ingredients

Here’s everything you need to make this quick and easy ground beef Korean bowl recipe. See recipe card below for exact measurements.

Korean Beef Bowl labeled ingredients
  • Soy Sauce: Choose a low-sodium soy sauce.
  • Light Brown Sugar: Adds a hint of sweetness.
  • Sesame Oil: Gives it a nutty flavor, if you’re allergic you can omit.
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: For spice, if you want it to be mild, omit or reduce the red pepper.
  • Ground Beef: I use 93% lean ground beef. You can use any ground meat here, like chicken or turkey.
  • Garlic: Crush two cloves, for flavor.
  • Ginger: Fresh ginger is best. You can store it in the freezer in a zip-locked bag and grate it with the skin still on.
  • Brown Rice: I’m obsessed with frozen brown rice from Trader Joe’s. It takes three minutes to heat up, and the texture is perfect.
  • Cucumber: If you use an English or Persian cucumber, there’s no need to peel it. Just thinly slice it.
  • Gochujang: Gochujang is what makes these bowls! Add more or less depending on your heat preference.
  • Sesame Seeds and Scallions for topping.

How to Make Korean Beef Bowls

Here’s step-by-step photos and directions for this Korean bowl recipe. See recipe card below for the full recipe.

  1. Korean Beef Bowl Sauce: Combine the soy sauce, two tablespoons of water, brown sugar, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes in a bowl.
  2. Cook the Ground Beef: Heat a large skillet over high heat, spray with oil, and brown the ground beef about five minutes, breaking up the meat with a spoon. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger, and cook for a minute.
  3. Add Sauce and Simmer: Pour in the sauce and simmer on low for 10 minutes.
  4. Assemble: Place rice in each bowl, top with beef, cucumbers, Gochujang, sesame seeds, and scallions.

Korean Ground Beef Variations

The variations for these Korean beef rice bowls are endless. Let’s dive in!

  • Protein: Swap beef for lean ground turkey, ground pork or ground chicken. If you’re vegetarian, use crumbled tofu, beyond beef or impossible burger.
  • Extra Protein: Top your bowl with an over-easy fried egg.
  • Vegetable Options: You can add just about any veggie. Sauteed mushrooms, bok choy, matchstick carrots, or edamame would all work.
  • Pickled Veggies: Mix in pickled onions, cucumbers, or carrots. Kimchi would also be good.
  • More Spice: Garnish with sliced fresh jalapeños.
  • Rice Alternatives: For fewer carbs, serve the Korean beef over cauliflower rice, or veggie rice.
  • Lettuce Wraps: You could also make lettuce wraps with the meat to switch it up.
Korean Beef Bowl

Meal Prep and Storage

My family always eats up these rice bowls when I make them, so I’ll often double the recipe to have extra for leftovers.

  • Refrigerator: The cooked beef lasts up to 4 days in and airtight container in the fridge.
  • Freezer: Freeze without the cucumbers or garnish up to 3 months. Reheat in the microwave.
  • To pack for lunch: Store the beef, rice, sesame seeds, and Gochujang in one container and the cucumbers and scallions in another. Reheat the rice container until warm and top with the veggies.

Gochujang FAQs

What does gochujang taste like?

One essential ingredient you will need for this rice bowl recipe is gochujang sauce. It’s a Korean condiment that’s a little spicy and sweet and has a distinct flavor only found in Korean cuisine. It also comes in a paste, requiring you to thin it down with a little water and sesame oil. If you can’t find it at your local supermarket, there are a lot of different brands on Amazon.

Is gochujang gluten-free?

Gochujang typically contains wheat, but not all brands do. If you’re gluten-free, check the labels first! And while we’re on the topic, soy sauce isn’t gluten-free either, so substitute tamari or coconut aminos.

What is a good substitute for gochujang?

Sriracha is probably the closest sub for gochujang, but it’s not exact. You might need to mix it with a little hoisin sauce or sugar and sesame oil to get closer. I highly recommend using gochujang if you can find it!

How do I make these Korean beef bowls mild?

If you’re not a fan of spicy food or are serving these bowls to spice-adverse family members, omit the red pepper from the beef and leave the gochujang on the side. Everyone can add as much (or little) sauce as they prefer.

Korean Beef Rice Bowls

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Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Total: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1 bowl

  • Combine the soy sauce, 2 tablespoons water, brown sugar, sesame oil and red pepper flakes in a small bowl.

  • Heat a large deep nonstick skillet over high heat, spray with oil and add the ground beef. Cook, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon until cooked through, about 5 minutes.

  • Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook 1 minute.

  • Pour the sauce over the beef, cover and simmer on low heat 10 minutes.

  • To assemble the bowls, place 3/4 cup rice in each bowl, top with scant 2/3 cup beef, cucumbers, Gochujong, sesame seeds and scallions.

Last Step:

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*check labels for gluten-free

Serving: 1 bowl, Calories: 394 kcal, Carbohydrates: 47 g, Protein: 30 g, Fat: 9 g, Saturated Fat: 3 g, Cholesterol: 70 mg, Sodium: 807 mg, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 7 g


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