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Simple Yet Delicious: Korean Beef Bowl

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This Korean Beef Bowl gives you all the flavors of Korean bbq in 15 minutes. Serve with leftover rice and a side salad, and you have dinner in less than half an hour!


Just kidding. Nothing about this Korean beef recipe is slimy. The title of this post just reminded me of that scene in The Lion King. Don’t ask. My brain is a weird place, ok?

The recipe can be found here:

Korean beef bowl
The finished product. Yummmmm….

I was originally drawn to this recipe because it looks so simple, and because I love soy/ginger/sugar flavor combos. (My husband usually doesn’t, though, but oh well. I cook the supper so I call the shots.)

The original Korean Beef Bowl recipe

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground beef
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon sesame seeds

Check out the recipe on DamnDelicious for exact instructions!

What I changed in the Korean Beef Bowl recipe

Already from step 1 I was trying to make this super simple recipe even simpler.


And I figured, why bother whisking all the sauce ingredients separately if it’s all gonna be dumped into the frying pan and mixed around anyway? So I skipped that step and just added all the sauce ingredients directly to the pan after the meat was cooked.

The next change I made is I did not fry the garlic before the meat. In my experience, garlic burns extremely quickly, so I didn’t want it in the pan for too long. I put the chopped meat and diced garlic in the pan at the same time. The bonus of doing it this way is you don’t need to use any additional oil, since the fat from the meat ends up dissolving and acting as oil.

Here comes my biggest problem: “drain excess fat.” I never know how exactly to do that. I guess if I were a professional chef I would have some sort of sieve or something to let the fat drain off, but a. who has patience for that and b. the meat is really hot and hard to handle, so I have zero interest in trying to transfer it to a different dish, and letting the fat drain, and hoping not to get burned. I’m really clumsy, ok? It’s an accident waiting to happen.


What I usually end up doing is pushing all the cooked meat in the pan over to one side and then tilting the pan so the fat pools on the other side, then either soaking it up with some paper towels or spooning it into a plastic cup, waiting for it to cool off and solidify, and throwing it out.

cup of drained fat
The fat that I removed from the cooked ground beef. Doesn’t it look appetizing?

Changes I made to the actual recipe:

I didn’t use crushed red pepper flakes because I don’t have. I’ve made this recipe a few times and sometimes I’ve added Sriracha sauce to give it a bit more heat and sometimes I haven’t. It’s good either way.

I do use the sesame oil the recipe calls for. Although I don’t usually have or use the more “exotic” ingredients, I’ve found that sesame oil really adds a lot to a dish and is definitely worth having on hand.

I’ve never added green onions, aka scallions, because I never have them. I can see how they would add a nice crunch to the dish, but it still comes out amazing without it.

I don’t think I ever measured out sesame seeds, I just pour on what I think looks like an appropriate amount.

The recipe writer suggests serving this with rice. I’ve done that, but sometimes I have used it as filling inside puff pastry dough to make little meat “borekas.” (Or, because I’m super lazy, I’ve just put a whole piece of dough flat, put a line of meat down the center, folded over, and trimmed the excess dough to make a meat “roll” as opposed to taking the time to shape individual borekas.)


Oh. My. Gosh. This recipe is amazing. You need to go make it right now. Does it taste like authentic Korean bbq? I have no idea, having never tasted real Korean barbeque, or any authentic Korean food, for that matter. Is it extraordinarily delicious? Absolutely. This is definitely a beginner-friendly recipe; I can’t imagine what you would have to do to screw it up. And it tastes sooooo good. Even dear ol’ hubby, who generally doesn’t like this flavor combo as I mentioned earlier, approves. Go for it. Make it. Now. You need it in your life. This is one of the best ground beef recipes, hands down.

What I liked about the Korean Beef Bowl

The simplicity, short prep time, few ingredients, but most of all THE TASTE

What I didn’t like about the Korean Beef Bowl

Nothing. This is the perfect recipe.

Recipe grade

Take Care!

Check out some other amazing recipes!

Easy Shepherd’s Pie
Meat Lasagna
Homemade Cinnamon Buns
Chocolate Hidden Vegetable Pancakes


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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. a different “B”

    Made this for supper tonight. I also skipped the crushed red pepper because this way all ages would eat it. Flavor was delicious, my picky-eater kids loved it!

    1. admin

      Yay! So glad everyone enjoyed it!

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