Korean Beef Bowls

Published August 28, 2017. Updated April 16, 2019

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These Korean Beef Bowls are so easy to make and taste delicious! Ground beef is perfectly seasoned and saucy, and ready in 20 minutes. This is recipe that’s definitely worthy of your dinner rotation!

Korean Beef Bowl with veggies and rice

Shortcut Korean Beef Bowls

I’ve made and love the traditional Korean Beef (Bulgogi), but this Korean ground beef bowl recipe is so much easier (no marinating or slicing beef) and it’s cheaper, so I’m sold.

After just one bite, you’ll be hooked for life. Those sweet and salty flavors over the richness of the well browned beef — yes and yes! Then pair it with veggies and rice and you’ve got one delicious bowl of comfort food.

Sometime I’d like to try this Asian ground beef recipe with ground turkey to make it a little healthier, but the beef version is just so good that I’m not sure I’ll be able to. Why change a good thing?

Want to see how to make Korean Beef Bowls? Check out this video!

Korean Beef Bowls Ingredients

  • Honey
  • Brown sugar
  • Sesame oil
  • Lime
  • Soy sauce
  • Ground beef
  • Green onions
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Rice (white, brown or cauliflower)

Korean Beef Bowls

How to Make Korean Beef Bowls

  • Whisk together honey, brown sugar, sesame oil, lime juice, soy sauce and water.
  • Brown ground beef in skillet until about halfway cooked.
  • Add green onions, garlic and ginger and continue to cook until beef is cooked through.
  • Pour in honey mixture. Let simmer, 1 minute.
  • Serve warm over rice with desired toppings and sides.

Korean Beef Bowls

How to Brown Beef

One thing I’ve learned about cooking over my long life is that browning makes everything better. And browning is key in this Korean beef bowl recipe.

You’ll need a large skillet, but be sure to preheat it well to get a good sear when the beef hits the skillet. And if possible give it space.

If it’s crowded, the beef will basically just steam. I use a 12-inch skillet and sort of pile it up the sides of the pan as well.

Then, very important, let it rest undisturbed before turning and breaking it up more. When I first started cooking, I used to stir the beef the entire time it was cooking. It always ended up kind of a strange grayish brownish color because it wasn’t getting a good sear — you really don’t need to stir much at all!

Then douse the ground beef with that simple, yet ever so satisfying sauce, let it simmer and thicken just slightly and soak into the beef a little. And 20 minutes later, you’re ready for one unforgettable dinner.

Korean Beef Bowls

Can I Make This With Another Type of Ground Meat?

Probably, yes! I haven’t tried this with ground turkey or pork, but I imagine these Korean bowls would turn out delicious with another type of ground meat.

Does Korean Ground Beef Reheat Well?

All the parts of this Korean beef bowl recipe reheat like a dream. I recommend reheating everything in a hot skillet (just add a tablespoon or so of water if things look dry).

Tips for the Best Korean Beef Bowls

  • When choosing your garnishes, thinly sliced raw English cucumbers would be another great option. As would unsalted peanuts. That crunch!
  • Adding a little something spicy completes this Korean beef bowl. Something like Sriracha, thinly sliced red chilies, red pepper flakes, or Korean chili sauce (Gochujang).
  • Feel free to play around the steamed veggies you add to these beef bowls. Switch things up with whatever is in season!

Korean Beef Bowls

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Korean Beef Bowls
4.72 from 25 votes

Korean Beef Bowls

Super fast and seriously delicious cheater Korean Beef Bowls! Perfectly seasoned and ready in 20 minutes. A recipe definitely worthy of your dinner rotation!
Servings: 4
Prep12 minutes
Cook8 minutes
Ready in: 20 minutes


  • 1 1/2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp dark brown sugar (light can be substituted)
  • 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 18 oz. 85% lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions, only white and light portion
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
  • 1 Tbsp peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • Chopped green onions (green portion), chopped unsalted peanuts, sesame seeds, Sriracha (optional)
  • 2 cups Cooked white or brown rice, or cauliflower "rice" (or more as desired)
  • Sauteed or steamed veggies, such as spinach, carrots or zucchini (optional)


  • In a small mixing bowl whisk together honey, brown sugar, sesame oil, lime juice, soy sauce and water. Set aside.
  • Preheat a 12 to 14-inch non-stick skillet over moderately high heat. Crumble beef into about 1-inch pieces into skillet, leaving a little space between as possible.
  • Let beef cook undisturbed for 2 1/2 - 3 minutes until nicely browned on bottom. Sprinkle in green onions (white/light portion), garlic and ginger.
  • Toss and break up beef and continue to cook until beef if fully browned and cooked through, about 2 - 3 minutes longer. 
  • Pour in honey mixture. Reduce heat to medium, then let simmer, stirring frequently, 1 minute.
  • Serve warm over rice, sprinkle with green onions, peanuts, sesame seeds and drizzle with hot sauce if desired. Serve with veggies on the side. 


  • When choosing your garnishes, thinly sliced raw English cucumbers would be another great option. As would unsalted peanuts. 
  • Toppings and sides not including in nutrition. Nutrition is for beef and rice.
  • Recipe source: Cooking Classy
Nutrition Facts
Korean Beef Bowls
Amount Per Serving
Calories 398 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 82mg27%
Sodium 842mg37%
Potassium 488mg14%
Carbohydrates 35g12%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 29g58%
Vitamin A 85IU2%
Vitamin C 2.7mg3%
Calcium 39mg4%
Iron 3.5mg19%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.