Ready in only 15 minutes, this easy Korean Beef Bowl recipe is fresh and flavorful! It's made with ground beef cooked in the BEST simple sauce.
About The Recipe
The sauce is the best part of this recipe...it's sweet, salty, and a little spicy. You can also make your own swaps to customize the sauce depending on if you want more sweetness or spice.
We love these bowls as a quick weeknight dinner or meal prep for the week! They're healthy and light, but still satisfying and flavorful. The leftovers are tasty too — cook a double batch and you'll have dinner + lunches for a couple days.
Dietary Note: this recipe is naturally dairy free and can be gluten free if you swap out the soy sauce for coconut aminos or Tamari sauce.
Korean Beef Bowl Ingredients
The full recipe is at the bottom of the page, but here's a quick overview of what you'll need and how to make it:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, for spice)
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- For serving: green onions, carrots, cucumbers
How to Make Korean Beef Bowls
Step 1: Make the Sauce
In a small bowl, stir together the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, red pepper flakes (optional, for spice), and black pepper.
Step 2: Cook the beef
Add oil to a large skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add the beef and let it brown, undisturbed, for 1 - 2 minutes. Then crumble the beef and cook 2 - 3 minutes more, until browned. Drain any excess grease.
Step 3: Add Sauce to Beef
Pour the sauce into the pan with the beef. Simmer for 2 - 3 minutes, until the sauce is thickened and the beef is cooked. Simmer longer for a thicker sauce.
Step 4: Serve
Serve warm, optionally over rice garnished with green onions and sesame seeds. Serve with a side of grated carrots and sliced cucumbers.
Ginger: the recipe calls for fresh grated ginger but you can swap this out for 1 teaspoon ground ginger.
Soy sauce: swap this out for Tamari sauce or coconut aminos to make this recipe gluten-free.
Rice vinegar: apple cider vinegar, rice wine vinegar or fresh lime juice can be used instead.
Honey: you can use your preferred sweetener instead of honey (like maple syrup, coconut sugar, brown sugar, etc).
Spice: use red chili flakes (about ¼ teaspoon or more) or 1 tablespoon Gojuchang (Korean red chili paste) or Sriracha sauce to add spice to your bowls. Gojuchang is the most traditional option for this recipe.
Low carb option: instead of serving your beef on white rice, make it into lettuce wraps or use cauliflower rice.
Leftovers: if you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 - 4 days.
Meal prep: this is also a popular recipe to meal prep! Our favorite way to store these bowls for meal prep is in a glass container with separate compartments for the rice, beef, and carrots/cucumbers.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you include the red pepper flakes (¼ teaspoon) this recipe has a low to medium spice level. To make it spicier, add more red pepper flakes or a teaspoon of gojuchang (red chili paste). To make it less spicy, leave out the red pepper flakes.
These beef bowls are full of Asian-inspired flavors. The sauce is similar to a stir fry sauce: it's salty from the soy sauce, sweet from the honey, and has a tasty balance of fresh ginger and garlic. They're light, fresh and flavorful!
The most popular way to serve these bowls is with rice and a side of vegetables. Our recipe recommends carrots, cucumbers and green onions — but you can substitute you favorite vegetables (for example: broccoli, snow peas, or bell peppers) or leave them out entirely.