Delicious Korean Ground Beef is made with basic pantry ingredients and served over rice, for and easy 30 minute meal everyone loves!

Korean Ground Beef served over rice, in a bowl.

Ya’ll know I’m all about easy, family-friendly dinners and this Korean Ground Beef is always a winner! I love that it uses simple ingredints I always have on hand.

If you want some more great dinner ideas, check my list of 30-minute meals or one pan meals!

How to make Korean Ground Beef:

Start by browning your ground beef in a sauce pan. I season it with salt and pepper as it cooks. Remove grease. This is totally optional, but once it’s browned I like to put the meat in my food processor. I pulse it 2-3 times into very small pieces, and then return it to the pan. I love the way the sauce and flavor soaks into the meat when it’s finely ground like this.

Ground beef browned in a skillet next to a food process with crumbled ground beef.

Next add the sesame oil, garlic and ginger. Stir in brown sugar, soy sauce, and sriracha (or crushed red pepper of chili sauce).

Crumbled ground beef in a skillet with spice and seasonings added on top.

Add half of the chopped green onions, reserving the rest for garnish.

Chopped green onion added on top of Korean ground beef cooking in a skillet.

Serve over hot cooked rice, garnished with chopped green onion. I like to serve sliced cucumber on the side. It adds a wonderful fresh crunch and flavor that really compliments everything.

Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:

This is a great meal to make a few hours or day ahead of time–it reheats well on the stove!

To Freeze, allow the mixture to cool, then place in a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then rewarm on the stove.

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Recipe

Korean Ground Beef served over rice, in a bowl.
Prep 10 mins
Cook 10 mins
Total 20 mins
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Video

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger *
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha hot sauce , crushed red pepper flakes, or chili garlic sauce
  • 1 bunch green onion , chopped
  • hot cooked brown or white rice , for serving
  • Fresh cucumber , sliced, for serving

Instructions
 

  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Season beef with black pepper and add to skillet. Cook, stirring and crumbling into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned. Drain excess grease. (Optional: put beef in a food processor. Pulse it 2-3 times into very small pieces, and then return it to the pan.)
    Ground beef browned in a skillet next to a food process with crumbled ground beef.
  • Add sesame oil, garlic and ginger. Stir in brown sugar, soy sauce, and sriracha (or crushed red pepper of chili sauce). Cook for a few minutes, allowing some of the sauce to absorb into the meat.
    Crumbled ground beef in a skillet with spice and seasonings added on top.
  • Add half of the chopped green onions, reserving the rest for garnish. Serve over hot cooked rice, garnished with chopped green onion.
    Chopped green onion added on top of Korean ground beef cooking in a skillet.

Notes

Ginger: fresh is best for this recipe, (TIP freeze the leftover root for use in another recipe), or substitute ¼ teaspoon ground ginger.
Meat: could substitute ground turkey or chicken.
Make Ahead Instructions: This is a great meal to make a few hours or day ahead of time–it reheats well on the stove!
Freezing Instructions: Allow the mixture to cool, then place in a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then rewarm on the stove.

Nutrition

Calories: 367kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 27gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 2264mgPotassium: 570mgSugar: 36gVitamin A: 30IUVitamin C: 3.2mgCalcium: 58mgIron: 4.3mg

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Have you tried this recipe?!
RATE this recipe and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

I originally shared this recipe February 2018. Updated May 2021 with process photos and a video.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. This is on our monthly rotation. Kid approved! I roast broccoli and add that to the dish for some additional nutrition.

    Delicious!

  2. 4 stars
    Tasted delicious but I changed the recipe a little. I only used half of the soy sauce and brown sugar the recipe called for….I thought that amount would make meat too salty and sweet.I also did add any additional salt. I substituted gochujang for the pepper.

  3. 5 stars
    My 17 year old made this for dinner tonight. It was yummy, and so simple and quick. It would be fun served inside lettuce wraps! The cucumbers were a perfect compliment.

    1. This was a nice dish but I found it to be way too salty. Next time I’m omitting the salt to the meat and cutting the soya sauce in half!

  4. Do you think this could be served on top of a nice homemade mac/cheese? We have been eating a lot of dishes with rices and noodles, couple from your site which were fantastic, but was thinking the kids might want something different for the base/change. Was thinking it might make a good fusion food.

    What do you think?

  5. Mama Mia!! Tried this tonight as a quarantine relief dish (#eatthestressaway) and it is DE-LISH! %100 hubby approved. So easy to make. LOVE it. Thanks so much!

    1. Bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, celery, onion, mushrooms–so many types of veggies would taste great! Enjoy.

  6. This sounds delish and easy! If you want to make it even more Korean, I suggest using gochugaru (Korean chili flakes) and gochujang (Korean red pepper hot sauce).

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