Korean Ground Beef Bowls

korean ground beef bowl
Pete Scherer
  • Total: 45 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Servings: 2 servings
  • Yields: 2 servings

A quick and easy take on beef bulgogi, this Korean-style ground beef and rice bowl, is quick, flavorful and hearty. It's a great dish to add some variety to the weeknight family menu, or prep ahead to reheat for lunch at the office.

Bulgogi is usually marinated, which takes time. To speed things up, this recipe calls for an aromatic puree of Asian pear, onion, garlic and ginger to be mixed into the ground beef just before cooking (though feel free to substitute any kind of apple or pear). After the beef is browned, soy sauce, honey, and sesame oil are brought in to round out the top notes. 

Spoon over a generous bowl of freshly cooked sticky rice, then garnish liberally with sesame seeds and sliced scallions for freshness and a crunch. If you have a minute or two more, a fried egg on top is a nice bonus. Break that runny yolk and stir everything together with some gochujang and a little kimchi if you have it on-hand, and you'll marvel at how so much rib-sticking goodness could come together so quickly.

Ingredients

  •  1/4 Asian pear (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 1/4 yellow onion (roughly chopped)
  • 1 large clove garlic (roughly chopped)
  • 1/2 inch piece ginger (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil (like peanut or soybean)
  • 12 ounces ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 cups cooked white or brown sweet short grain rice
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 green onions (sliced on a bias)
  • 2 large eggs (optional)
  • Oil for frying eggs (optional)
  • 1/2 cup kimchi, chopped (optional)
  • Gojuchang or other Asian chili sauce

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a blender, puree the Asian pear, onion, garlic and ginger. It doesn't need to be completely smooth.

  3. To a medium bowl add the ground beef and the pear, onion, garlic and ginger puree. Stir to combine.

  4. Set a large pan over medium high heat and add the oil. When the pan is hot add the seasoned ground beef. With a spatula, break up the beef as it browns into small chunks. When the beef is nearly fully browned, add the soy sauce, sesame oil and honey. Saute for two or three more minutes, then remove from heat.

  5. Put approximately one cup of cooked sticky rice into each of two serving bowls. Spoon the cooked ground beef over top each bowl of rice. Sprinkle with some of the sesame seeds and sliced scallion.

  6. If desired, fry the eggs in the same pan you cooked the beef in.

  7. Place fried eggs on top of the beef and top with the remaining sesame seeds and sliced scallion. Serve immediately with gochujang and kimchi, if desired.