Sometimes I test a recipe, and it’s a few weeks before I get around to posting it here. Other times a recipe comes along that is so easy yet excellent, I rush to blast it into the interwebs ASAP, with the hope that it saves you from a dinner emergency at the earliest opportunity—like tonight. This Korean Beef Bowl recipe is practically still cooling on the stove, and I couldn’t wait one more day to share it with you!

Healthy Korean beef bowl with vegetables on rice

A healthy ground beef recipe made of lean ground beef that’s stir fried with ginger, garlic, sesame oil, a touch of honey, and plenty of green onions, this Asian-inspired dinner is perfect for serving with vegetables and rice for a fast, wholesome meal.

And by “fast” I mean lightening. Start to finish, this Korean beef bowl with veggies is ready in about 20 minutes; meal prep your vegetables the day before, and you’ll have it ready even sooner.

Two plates with the Korean beef bowl recipe for meal prep

This recipe is super-duper loosely based on Deb’s Crispy Rice Bowls, which have been one of our favorite easy dinner recipes we’ve tried lately.

You’ll find a number of major differences between them (particularly the ground beef), but the two recipes are wildly delicious, quick-and-easy, and take inspiration from Korean cooking. Neither claims authenticity. I hope you’ll try them both.

I love Deb’s idea of topping the Korean bowls with shredded carrots and thinly sliced cucumbers. If you have time, let the vegetables sit in a mix of rice vinegar, sugar, and water to lightly pickle—the time the beef needs to brown will be enough, and you’ll adore yourself for making this upgrade.

We served our sautéed Korean ground beef over steamed brown rice the first time I made this recipe and with quinoa the second; we were highly pleased with how they both tasted. If you have a few extra minutes and feel so inclined, I imagine the bowls would be delicious if you crisped the rice on the stove first, the way Deb does.

As with most of my healthy ground beef recipes (like this Healthy Beef Taco Skillet), you also can trade out the vegetables here for just about any you prefer or have around. I love the combination of beef and broccoli in Asian recipes (looking at you, Crockpot Beef and Broccoli, Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli, and Healthy Beef and Broccoli), so making this Korean beef bowl with broccoli is next on my list.

A skillet with ground meat and scallions in a savory stir fry sauce

How to Make a Korean Beef Bowl

If you regularly cook stir fries, you probably have these ingredients around. If you don’t, I enthusiastically encourage you to pick them up! You can find all of them at an average grocery store, the investment is nominal, and they will open you up to a whole new genre of tasty dinners, including all of these wonderful healthy stir fry recipes.

The Ingredients

  • Ground Beef. Lean ground beef (I used 93% lean) keeps this recipe light without sacrificing on flavor.
  • Soy Sauce. Coats every morsel of the beef and gives it a delightfully salty, umami flavor. I recommend using low-sodium soy sauce to ensure your beef bowl doesn’t become too salty.
  • Garlic + Ginger. Tiny but mighty! Both garlic and ginger pack intense flavors that complement almost any stir fry recipe.
  • Rice Vinegar. For a touch of acidity.
  • Honey. Adding honey gives the dish a subtle, balanced sweetness without using any refined sugars.
  • Red Pepper Flakes. For a pinch of heat. If you like your stir fry extra spicy, feel free to add more red pepper flakes to take it up a notch.
  • Sesame Oil. Brings an unmistakeable, lightly toasted flavor to this dish. Don’t skip this ingredient! Sesame oil is typically located in the Asian or international aisle of most grocery stores.
  • For Serving. See below for tips on what to serve with this dish.

The Directions

  1. Quick pickle your vegetables (optional but worth it!). Start browning the beef. When it’s halfway done, add soy sauce and green onions. Once the beef is cooked, stir in the garlic.
  2. While the beef cooks, combine the vinegar, honey, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Pour the mixture over the beef, stirring to coat. Remove from the heat, and stir in the sesame oil.
  3. Serve hot with rice and desired toppings. DIG IN!

Two plates with a delicious stir fry recipe, pickled vegetables, and rice

What to Serve with Your Korean Beef Bowl

  • Rice. A classic and crowd-pleasing base for this beef bowl. We like brown rice for its whole grain benefits.
  • Quinoa. For a boost in protein content, serve your beef bowl on top of cooked quinoa.
  • Cauliflower Rice. Make this a low-carb Korean beef bowl by serving it with cauliflower rice.
  • Broccoli. Korean ground beef and broccoli is a winning combination. Use steamed fresh broccoli, pickled broccoli slaw, or this Roasted Frozen Broccoli.
  • Noodles. If you’re a fan of noodles with your stir fries, try this beef bowl with cooked soba, rice, or udon noodles.

Meal Prep and Storage Tips

This Korean beef rice bowl is ideal for meal prep.

  • To Meal Prep. Prep your vegetables in advance, and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Portion out your rice into storage containers, top with your desired serving size of the beef mixture, and finish with the vegetables. Store all the containers in the refrigerator, and grab for quick lunches or dinners throughout the week.
  • To Store. Place leftovers in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers in a large skillet over medium-low heat on the stove. You can also reheat this dish in the microwave.
  • To Freeze. Store the beef mixture and vegetables in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Two Korean beef bowls with pickled veggies and scallions

Recommend Tools to Make this Recipe

If you try this recipe, please take a moment to let me know how it turned out. Your 5-star ratings and reviews are so important to my blog, and they help others out too!

Healthy Korean beef bowl with vegetables on rice

Korean Beef Bowl

4.97 from 26 votes
Quick and healthy Korean Beef Bowl — ready in 20 minutes and made with simple ingredients! Serve with rice and veggies for easy dinners or meal prep!

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
  

FOR THE BEEF

  • 1 pound lean ground beef I used 93% lean
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce plus additional to taste, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups minced scallions both green and white parts (from about 1 small bundle), divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic about 3 cloves
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons minced or finely grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes plus additional to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil plus additional to tase

FOR SERVING

  • Cooked brown rice quinoa, or cauliflower rice
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots see recipe notes to pickle them for an upgrade
  • Thinly sliced seedless cucumbers Persian-style or English/hot house
  • Toasted sesame seeds

Instructions
 

  • Pickle the carrots and/or cucumbers if desired (see recipe notes—I highly recommend). In a large skillet, brown the beef over medium-high heat, breaking it into small pieces, until it is browned and cooked through, about 5 or so minutes. When the beef is about halfway finished cooking, add 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce and 2/3 of the scallions. Once the beef is completely browned, stir in the garlic and cook 30 seconds.
  • While the beef cooks, in a small bowl, stir together the rice vinegar, honey, ginger, red pepper flakes, and remaining soy sauce. Pour over the browned beef. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, then stir in the sesame oil. Sprinkle the remaining green onion over the top. Taste and add extra soy sauce or red pepper flakes as desired (I added a bit more of each).
  • Serve the beef hot, over rice, topped generously with the carrots, cucumber, and sesame seeds.

Notes

  • TO PICKLE THE CARROTS AND CUCUMBERS: Place the vegetables in a medium bowl. Top with 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons water, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt to coat the strands. Let marinate/gently pickle while you prepare the rest of the recipe. Drain then use to top the bowls.
  • TO STORE: Place leftovers in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 
  • TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm leftovers in a large skillet over medium-low heat on the stove. You can also reheat this dish in the microwave. 
  • TO FREEZE: Store the beef mixture and vegetables in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 4); heaping 3/4 cupCalories: 303kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 24gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 74mgPotassium: 600mgFiber: 2gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 6968IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 55mgIron: 4mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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66 Comments

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  1. Erin thank you I am going to try this tonight!! I love your recipes:).  My husband and I both love Korean this sounds like a winner ❤️  

      1. I made  the meal tonight!  The most time consuming was prepping the vegetables.  I pickled them as you suggested.  The whole dish was yummy!  A definite redo!!  I served it with brown rice.  I bought broccoli to cook with it and I was so preoccupied with the recipe that the broccoli is still in the fridge lol.  Bonus with this meal my husband and I both have leftovers for lunch tomorrow!!  I meant to take a picture but forgot.  Thank you ❤️5 stars

  2. This looks like a good recipe and I may try it. However, I’d like to suggest that you add gochujang (Korean chili paste) to this recipe to give it some kind of legitimate Korean taste. It is easily accessible via Amazon and in most grocery stores (for example, I am just down the highway in Madison and there are two varieties in my grocery store). Otherwise the flavors in here are pretty generically “asian”. Just a thought.

    1. Hi Alleira, thanks for your suggestion! You can certainly add gochujang to this recipe if you’d like. I hope you enjoy it if you try it!

  3. Looks delicious, can’t wait to try it!! I have pretty much  all the ingredients on hand, so it will definitely be on the rotation this week :)

  4. I am curious at to why you do not post the sodium amounts for your recipes? It would be very helpful considering all of the other nutrition amounts you post.

    Thanks

    1. Hi Michelle, since sodium content can vary so much based on the brands of ingredients used, I recommend using an online calculator like MyFitnessPal, which you can customize based on the ingredients you have to get a more accurate number. I hope this helps and that you enjoy the recipe if you try it!

  5. Hi! I just tried this recipe and added 2 tsp of the gochujang someone suggested and it was delicious! My fiance and I really really enjoy the Asian inspired recipes. They are definitely our favorite! Thanks for this wonderful recipe, Erin!5 stars

  6. Erin! I made this last night and it was amazing! The pickled cucumber and carrots added such a nice zing! I ate mine with cauliflower rice and added some kimchi. I could eat this every night!!! Thank you so much for your recipes! I’m always stalking your site – you’ve really inspired me to cook more!!!5 stars

  7. I finished making this recipe and realized I only added 1 of the 3 tablespoons of soy sauce.  I rechecked the recipe and can’t find where I missed it.  The vegetable prep took me longer than 10 minutes…lol4 stars

    1. Hi Andrea! The remaining soy sauce is added at the end of Step 3, and you can adjust the amount to your tastes. I hope you enjoyed the recipe!

  8. This was delicious! The combination of flavors added so much depth to the dish, and the pickled cucumbers and carrots were the perfect compliment! 5 stars

  9.  I needed some inspiration for a delicious meal with ground beef. So I searched your website found this winner!  This was really tasty!  My family enjoyed it lots!  5 stars

  10. Loved this dish!
    I did add extra soy sauce and chilli flakes for a little more flavour. Super easy and convenient for a week night dinner!5 stars

  11. I have made Korean Beef Bowls TWICE this month already! It is so fast and so delicious!!! My hubby and 4 yo both enjoy it, too! Win- win – win! Thank you for another nutritious, filling, delicious and EASY meal!!! xo5 stars

  12. Made this tonight – excellent! I also pickled some radishes; all delicious! Such a great recipe; thank you. I’m going to try it again soon with ground turkey just to switch it up for the no-beef folks, but it is perfect as is. As always. Your recipes are getting us through the q time with happy – yet healthy- tummies!5 stars

    1. I’m so pleased that you enjoyed this recipe, Jane! Thank you for taking the time to share this kind review!

  13. I made this last week and it was SO GOOD I made it again tonight. I love the mix of flavors with the pickled cukes and carrots. I’m vegetarian so I made it with Beyond  Beef crumbles. I paired with the brown rice and even threw in some lettuce. Thanks for this fantastic recipe. 5 stars

  14. I highly recommend this recipe. I also served over brown rice and added gochaughng for an extra kick. I am excited for the leftovers tomorrow.5 stars

  15. I have 2 college age kids and my husband – we all loved this! Picking the veggies was easy and definitely added a nice tang to the dish. Next time I might add more soy sauce to the beef, but adding it at the end worked great, too. Thanks!5 stars

  16. The ingredients call for 3 tbsp soy sauce, divided with the 1st tablespoon added when browning the beef.  When do the other 2 tbsp get added?

    1. Hi Adriana! It goes in with the other sauce ingredients in step 2. I hope you love the recipe if you try it!

    1. Hi Ellen! Since sodium content can vary so much based on the brands of ingredients used, I recommend using an online calculator like MyFitnessPal, which you can customize based on the ingredients you have to get a more accurate number. I hope this helps and that you enjoy the recipe if you try it!

  17. Loved this recipe! Super easy to put together and so flavorful! I wish I had doubled the recipe for lunches during the week. 5 stars

  18. So easy, so delicious, and the entire family loved this!!  I made the pickled veggies and it was easy and a hit with everyone.5 stars

  19. I don’t know if I’ve reviewed this recipe before or not, but I LOVE IT!!!! I make it almost every other week and both my guys (hubby & 4 yo) gobble it up! 5 stars over and over and over!!!5 stars

  20. I’ve been making this about once a week since lockdown this Spring. We mostly use beef, but was good with ground chicken and ground pork, too. Fantastic recipe that’s super quick. We serve over cauliflower rice and its perfection. Thanks for sharing!5 stars

  21. Great recipe (I doubled the beef for 4 no leftovers)…the pickled carrots and cucumber add such a great balance. My daughter added a fried egg to hers.5 stars

  22. Excellent recipe. After searching for Korean beef bowl recipes, this one stood out because it called for rice vinegar, pickled vegetables, and didn’t have a lot of sugar (others were 1/4-1/2 cup for the same amount of beef). It was simple and delicious. Highly recommend the pickled veggies for the added texture/crunch that nicely balances with the spice. I didn’t have sesame oil but did add 2 teaspoons of fish sauce for the umami and because it was around. Served over rice noodles to use those up. Delicious. This one is a keeper.5 stars

  23. This dish was excellent! I made a mistake and bought ground chicken, I was looking for ground turkey. I also used kikkoman sweet soy sauce for rice. It took my dish to the next level. I followed the instructions for everything else. This will become one of my favorite dishes to prepare on Friday nights.5 stars