Korean Beef Bowl square featured
Lean ground beef stir-fried with a sweet and spicy brown sauce and served over a bed of rice or noodles!
Jump to Recipe

Our Korean Beef Bowl is a family favorite every time I make it! Lean ground beef stir-fried with sesame oil, low-sodium soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and a little hint of red pepper and served over a bed of rice or noodles!

This Asian-inspired easy dinner recipe is ready in 15 minutes start to finish and is so versatile and even your picky eater will beg for it!

Korean Beef Bowl with chopsticks and green onion

This Korean Ground Beef Bowl is a favorite in our house!

We love Chinese carry-out, but we don’t love ordering in that much. That is why we adore this Korean Beef Bowl. This great recipe was adapted from Damn Delicious (I highly recommend checking out her site!). It is one of my most requested dinners by my family and I am so excited to share it with all of you!

When I am cooking dinner for my family, I am looking for ingredients I can find in my pantry (no need to make a special trip to the grocery) and quick to throw together. I love any recipe that can be ready in less than 20 minutes!

This Korean Beef Bowl checks off both of those boxes big time. My family loves it and I can easily get this recipe on the table in less than 15 minutes start to finish!

close up of ground beef on a wooden spoon

Korean Ground Beef Bulgogi ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef (or other ground meat I.e. turkey, chicken, meatless crumbles)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil or vegetable oil
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 ⅓ tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger (I use the kind in the squeeze bottle, but you can use fresh ginger if you prefer) 
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (add to preference)
  • Green onion 
  • White or brown rice (or lettuce for lettuce wraps)

Ground Beef Bulgogi Recipe variations

Beef: There are a lot of variations you can use in substitution for the beef. One of our favorites is to make Korean beef bulgogi (Korean BBQ Beef). Bulgogi is paper-thin slices of beef marinated in our Korean beef marinade. We make this all the time! Just place the beef, after it has been marinaded, on a baking sheet and broil it on the oven.

Ground Chicken or Ground Turkey: You can easily substitute the ground beef for either chicken or turkey. I find them a little bit drier, but still delicious if you are trying to watch your red meat intake.

Vegetables: We love to add in some green veggies! Our go-to favorites are broccoli and pea pods! You can also add green pepper, yellow pepper, red pepper (basically any pepper)! You can go full-on stir fry and add in shredded carrots, water chestnuts, onion, etc.

Spice: If you like your rice bowl spicy, you can always add some Sriracha, thinly sliced red chilies or additional red pepper flakes

Vegetarian Korean Bowl: One of my kids is a vegetarian so we use meatless crumbles in place of any meat. He loves it!

Rice: We typically serve this over white rice or brown rice, but sometimes I will shake it up and serve it over white rice noodles. When I do this, I will usually make extra sauce because I stir fry the rice noodles in with the beef and mix the sauce in with it. The noodles really soak up the sauce. If you are looking for a low-carb option, try our Cauliflower Fried Rice!

Lettuce Wrap: If you are watching your carbs and are looking for a low-carb or keto option, try making these into lettuce wraps! They are delicious even if you aren’t low-carb! (or as I mentioned above cauliflower rice is great too!)

How to make a Korean Beef Bowl

  1. Whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes until completely mixed.Korean beef marinade in a glass bowl
  2. Brown and crumble the ground beef over medium-high heat, until no pink remains.
  3. Add soy sauce and brown sugar mixture to the ground beefadding marinade to ground beef
  4. Let simmer 2-3 minutes. 
  5. Serve over rice, noodles, or in lettuce wraps.
Korean Beef Bowl with chopsticks

Bulgogi Ground Beef Recipe tips

  • When I brown ground beef, I love to use a potato masher (that’s right, potato masher). It is perfect for getting the beef separated into the perfect texture!
  • I am totally obsessed with Trader Joe’s frozen organic brown rice. It makes this easy recipe even easier! You just pop a bag in the microwave for 3 minutes and it is cooked to perfection every time! They also have frozen white Jasmine rice which we love too if you prefer white rice over brown rice!
  • Rice bowls can be easily customized for each member of your family! This makes a great buffet type dinner with the additions listed above!
using a potato masher for browning beef

How to serve Korean Ground Beef Bowl

We love to serve this with our Better Than Takeout Fried Rice! Sometimes we will even take the Korean BBQ sauce and incorporate it into the fried rice! It is super delicious!

 What should I serve with Korean beef?

Korean Beef Bowl FAQs

What does bulgogi taste like?

Bulgogi has a sweet and tender flavor to it. It is similar to a teriyaki sauce with a combination of brown sugar, ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil.

How to store Korean Beef (does it freeze well? reheating instructions?)

You can store Korean beef in the freezer for up to 6 months. Just freeze in an airtight container and defrost in the refrigerator for about 8 hours before ready to serve. To reheat, place in a pan over medium-high heat for about 3-4 minutes or until hot. You can also reheat in the microwave.

More Asian-Inspired Recipes

Bang Bang Shrimp|Mongolian Beef | Sticky Sesame Cauliflower | Recipe |Egg Roll in a Bowl |Bourbon Chicken | Sheet Pan Stir Fry | Chicken Lo Mein | Easy Sesame Chicken | Honey Garlic Chicken | Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps | Orange Chicken | Thai Noodles | Korean BBQ Pork | Beef and Pepper Rice Bowl

5 from 7 votes
Korean Beef Bowl square featured

Ground Beef Bulgogi (Korean Beef Bowl)

Serves — 4
Lean ground beef stir-fried with a sweet and spicy brown sauce and served over a bed of rice or noodles!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil or vegetable oil
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 ⅓ tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoon minced garlic divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger I use the kind in the squeeze bottle
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes add to preference
  • Green onion
  • White or brown rice or lettuce for lettuce wraps


  • In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, 1 ½ tablespoons garlic (save the other ½ tablespoon for the next step), ginger and red pepper flakes until completely mixed. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil (either vegetable or olive oil) and put a little bit of minced garlic (½ tablespoon) in the oil to give the beef a little extra flavor. Add the ground beef and cook until completely browned and crumbled. Drain the extra fat.
  • Pour the soy sauce and brown sugar mixture (give it a little stir again before you pour it in) over the ground beef, mix and let simmer 2-3 minutes.
  • Garnish with thinly sliced green onion and serve over rice, noodles or in lettuce wraps.

Jenn’s Notes

Recipe adapted from Damn Delicious.

Nutrition Info

Calories: 336kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 1158mg | Potassium: 517mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 222IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 4mg

I cannot wait for you to try this Korean Beef Rice Bowl. I know that it will become one of your new go-to dinner recipes! Who needs carryout when you can make an even better version at home!

Related Recipes

Secrets to Quick & Easy Desserts
How to make delicious desserts in no time at all!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How many stars would you give this recipe?


  1. 5 stars
    Have made this twice now. It is a hit! We adjust the brown sugar down a bit, but other than that this recipe will now be on regular rotation.

  2. 5 stars
    This was delicious! In fairness, I used ground chicken, and added a squeeze of lime and wilted in a couple of handfuls of baby spinach. Served on ramen noodles. Next time we make it, we’re using ground beef and serving on rice. This recipe is a keeper!!!