This recipe for Easy Bulgogi Ground Beef is a quick and delicious, flavorful protein that pairs well with rice. Korean-inspired in its sweet and salty taste, the beef is flavoured with garlic, onions, ginger and scallions.
What is bulgogi?
Bulgogi means "fire meat" in Korean and is a staple dish of grilled or barbecued marinated thinly sliced meat.
The flavor and taste of the meat is savory and sweet.
Traditionally, thin cuts of rib eye, sirloin and brisket are used.
Why you'll love this recipe
This recipe for Korean Bulgogi Ground Beef is really quick to prepare, making it a great choice for a easy meal on weeknights.
Using ground beef is a convenient and economical (budget-friendly) choice, compared to the traditional cut of rib eye.
The soy sauce and grated Asian pear give it its signature sweet and salty Korean flavor.
Serve the Korean beef bulgogi with rice and easily turn it into a Korean Beef Bowl.
You'll only require a few ingredients to make this delicious side dish.
Ingredients you'll need for the ground beef bulgogi
- ground beef: or any thin cut of beef, such as rib eye
- white onion: chopped finely
- garlic: minced
- ginger: minced
- soy sauce: adds an overall savoury flavour to the beef
- Asian pear: grated; it is also known as apple pear and has a juicy and sweet flavour
- granulated sugar: you can also substitute with brown sugar or honey
- sesame oil: toasted, for aroma and flavour
- sesame seeds
- red pepper flakes: or red chilies
- green onions/scallions: chopped
You can find these ingredients at your local grocery store or Asian supermarket.
How to make it
Heat up a large frying pan or skillet over medium high heat.
Add in the ground beef and stir fry until browned.
If there is excess oil, drain or blot the oil, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the pan.
Reduce the heat to medium and add in the onion, minced garlic and ginger.
Sauté with the ground beef.
In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sugar, grated Asian pear, and sesame oil.
Pour the sauce over the beef and simmer until slightly thickened.
Remove from heat and serve with steamed white rice.
You can use any ground meat you like, such as ground turkey, ground pork, or even tofu.
For the sweetness, you can use brown sugar or honey.
If you're watching your sodium intake, choose a low sodium soy sauce.
How to serve
Serve the Korean Bulgogi Beef in rice bowls with kimchi, a fried egg (sunny side) or marinated egg.
Use this beef in Korean Bibimbap (Mixed Rice).
Add some vegetables such as broccoli, zucchini, carrot or spinach to make it a complete ground beef bulgogi bowl.
Alternatively, you can serve the ground beef mixture over noodles, similar to Pork Mazesoba Ramen Noodles.
Try it on Korean Loaded Fries for a fun fusion spin.
For a gluten-free variation, use the bulgogi beef in a lettuce wrap with vegetables.
How to store & reheat
Store the Bulgogi Ground Beef in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
You can also store the cooked ground beef in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Easily reheat the ground beef in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, until heated through.
Alternatively, you can reheat the beef mixture in a large skillet, until completely heated through.
If frozen, defrost the ground beef in the fridge overnight.
Other Korean-inspired recipes you may like
Be sure to check out these recipes:
Korean Loaded Fries With Bulgogi Beef & Kimchi
Homemade Gochujang (Korean Chili Pepper Paste)
Easy Korean Beef Tacos (Instant Pot)
Mayak Eggs (Korean-Style Marinated Eggs)
Quick and Easy Kimchi Grilled Cheese
Let me know if you try out this recipe -- tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below!
Easy Bulgogi Ground Beef
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 1 lb ground beef
- ½ large white onion finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ½" knob ginger minced
- 1 ½ tablespoon soy sauce to your taste
- 2 teaspoon granulated sugar or brown sugar
- ½ Asian pear grated
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil
- sesame seeds
- red pepper flakes
- green onions
- Heat up a large frying pan or skillet over medium high heat.
- Add in the ground beef and stir fry until browned.
- If there is excess oil, drain or blot the oil, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the pan.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add in the onion, minced garlic and ginger.
- Sauté with the ground beef.
- In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sugar, grated Asian pear, and sesame oil.
- Pour the sauce over the beef and simmer until slightly thickened.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking.
- Remove from heat, garnish with sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, green onions and serve with steamed white rice.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.
David @ Spiced
I'm always looking for fun new ways to mix up meals with ground beef - this one definitely needs to appear in our kitchen! I love the Korean-inspired version here!
Love the Asian pear in there (one of my favourite fruits). I bet it contrasts lovely with the savoury ground beef. So good over some fluffy rice!