This easy Korean ground beef recipe is a tasty dinner idea that is light on the budget but heavy on the bold Korean flavors! You’re family is going to love it!
So, you need an idea for ground beef that isn’t casserole, taco, or soup? Yeah, me too, so I set out to make something wonderful and delicious and then couldn’t help myself and made it a budget friendly dinner idea too!
I grew up with the same plate my entire life:
And then I grew up and did the exact same thing with a few twists to our staple dinners that Mom had made:
- Cheesy Ground Beef and Rice Casserole
- Pork Chops and Rice
- Potato Soup
- Idaho Tacos (don’t knock it until you try it)
But then I got to thinking, just because it isn’t 1999 doesn’t mean that mom’s don’t want quick, easy and cheap dinner ideas. It just means they need them with a modern twist! So, Korean Ground Beef was born. It’s a cheaper version of bulgogi, and we love bulgogi!!
I’ve made it with mushrooms, peas, peppers, and all sorts of additions but the truth is, it doesn’t need anything but ground beef, sauce and rice. It’s easy to make, even easier to freeze (both pre and post cooking) and all you have to serve is a little steamed veggie next to it.
Before You Begin…
If you’re planning to serve this Korean ground beef over rice, then the first thing you will want to do is get your rice cooking. That way the rice will be ready when the beef is finished.
Ingredients for Korean Ground Beef
I mentioned that this recipe is budget-friendly so let me prove it now by listing out the ingredients you will need. Everything is easy to find at the grocery and might even be in your pantry already. Here is your shopping list:
- Canola or Vegetable Oil: used to cook the ground beef and garlic
- Ground Beef: You can also use ground chuck.
- Garlic: adds flavor to the meat
- Soy Sauce: adds Asian flavor and saltiness
- Orange Juice: adds flavor and acidity
- Brown Sugar: adds depth of flavor and sweetness
- Sweet Chili Sauce: adds a little heat and sweetness
- Toasted Sesame Oil: gives that nutty signature Asian flavor
- Cornstarch: thickens the sauce
- Green Onions: used for flavor and garnish
The measurements for each ingredient can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post. You can also save or print the recipe there.
How to Make Korean Ground Beef
This is a great weeknight meal because it comes together in about 20 minutes. The steps are super easy. Here is what to expect:
- Brown the meat: Start this recipe by browning the meat in a cast iron skillet with the garlic. Drain any excess grease.
- Make the sauce: Whisk all the ingredients for the sauce together and set aside until the meat is cooked.
- Combine: Add the sauce to the ground beef and let it simmer until the sauce thickens slightly.
- Serve: Pour the ground beef over rice and serve for dinner!
The complete recipe can be found in the recipe card down below so keep scrolling for all the details.
What to Serve with Korean Ground Beef
We like to serve this delicious Korean ground beef over cooked white rice. It would also be great with some Asian noodles like ramen, udon, rice noodles or chow mein noodles.
You could also serve this ground beef in lettuce leaves to make them lettuce wraps just like your chicken lettuce wraps!
This recipe is a great recipe for freezing either before or after cooking it (perfect for meal prep!). To freeze it before cooking, whisk all the sauce ingredients together and freeze the sauce. Then when you are ready to make this recipe, pull the sauce out of the freezer. Let it sit at room temperature for about a half hour and then brown the meat combine. So easy!!
To freeze it after cooking it, let it cool completely and then store the ground beef in a ziploc bag or freezer safe container. It will keep for up to 3 months.
If you have some leftovers that you plan to eat in the next few days, store them in the refrigerator. They will keep for 4-5 days. Reheat them in the microwave for a quick lunch or dinner. You can also reheat them on the stove top. You may want to add a little beef broth to keep it from drying out.
We have stepped out of the usual ground beef recipes and added a Korean twist to make a fabulous Korean ground beef recipe that is inexpensive and on the dinner table in less than 30 minutes! It is a weeknight family dinner winner!
More Easy Ground Beef Recipes
- Family Ground Beef Stew
- Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Quick and Easy Dinner Ground Beef Casserole
- Beef Burrito Bowls
- One Skillet Ground Beef Enchiladas
- The Best Sloppy Joes
- Hamburger Helper
- All our Ground Beef Recipes
Easy Korean Ground Beef Recipe
- 1 Tablespoon Canola or Vegetable Oil
- 2 lbs Ground Beef, or ground chuck
- 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
- 1/2 Cup Orange Juice
- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Sweet Chili Sauce
- 2 teaspoons Toasted Sesame Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
- 2 Green Onions, sliced, plus more for garnish
- Heat the oil in a cast iron pan over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and garlic, using a meat chopper to break up, cook until browned all the way through, about 3-5 minutes, then drain grease.2 lbs Ground Beef, 4 Cloves Garlic, 1 Tablespoon Canola or Vegetable Oil
- Whisk together the remaining ingredients.1/2 Cup Soy Sauce, 1/2 Cup Orange Juice, 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, 1/4 Cup Sweet Chili Sauce, 2 teaspoons Toasted Sesame Oil, 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
- Pour the ingredients all over the beef and simmer until thickened slightly.
- Serve over rice with steamed veggies and garnish with green onions.2 Green Onions