Korean Ground Beef has all the flavors of your favorite Korean BBQ but made budget-friendly with ground beef. It’s delicious served over rice or wrapped in lettuce leaves!
Korean BBQ beef is one of our favorite dishes to prepare at home, but when we want an easier, quicker, and cheaper alternative, Korean ground beef is our way to go. Made with ground beef and a simple 4-ingredient sauce, it delivers the sweet and savory flavors we love in half the cost and half the time.
It’s so yummy, G and I literally lick our rice bowls clean!
Not only is this Korean beef dish an economical one-pan dinner, but it’s versatile, too! You can enjoy it piled high over white steamed rice for a convenient one-bowl meal, and it’s just as delicious wrapped in crisp lettuce leaves for a low carb option.
The seasoned meat can also be used to fill egg rolls and wontons or tacos and quesadillas for a unique fusion of east and west flavors. You can quickly turn it into a complete dinner by tossing in shredded carrots, fresh spinach, diced zucchini or chopped cabbage.
The recipe serves four, but you can easily double (or triple!) as needed. It makes great leftovers and is perfect for packed lunches to work (or school).
I usually cook a large batch and portion it out with a serving of steamed rice in Tupperware containers so on the days I am too lazy to cook (which is often), I thaw my make-ahead meals in the fridge for a couple of hours and heat them in the microwave for a few minutes until piping hot. It’s a hack that has saved me the stress of figuring out what’s for dinner and the high cost of eating out.
Tips on How to Make Korean Ground Beef
- Finely mince the ginger or better yet, grate it, extract the juice and stir the juice into the marinade. This way, you get all the flavor without having small bits to bite into. I prefer the taste of fresh ginger, but you can sub with 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger if you don’t have any fresh on hand. Just stir the ground ginger powder with the soy sauce marinade, so it gets evenly distributed.
- Half a teaspoon of red pepper flakes was just the right amount of spice for us, but you can always adjust accordingly to fit personal tastes or omit altogether to make the dish more kid-friendly.
- If you ‘re adding vegetables, make sure to cut them into bite-size pieces, so they cook in tandem with the ground beef. Lightly brown the meat, add the sauce and give the beef a good few minutes to cook up and absorb the liquid. When the ground beef is about done, and most of the sauce is reduced, toss in the veggies and allow to cook for another minute or two until they’re tender-crisp.
That’s it, folks! Enjoy and please don’t forget to leave a comment and rate the recipe in the comment form below to let me know what you think. I love hearing from you.
Korean Ground Beef
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 thumb size ginger, peeled and finely minced
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
- sesame seeds, toasted
- In a wide pan over medium heat, heat vegetable oil. Add garlic and ginger and cook until aromatic.
- Add ground beef and cook, breaking apart with the back of a spoon, for about 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Drain excess fat.
- In a bowl, combine soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add to the pan.
- Continue to simmer until beef is cooked through.
- Add green onions and cook, stirring to distribute, for about 1 minute.
- Serve over steamed rice and garnish with green onions and toasted sesame seeds. Serve hot.