Ground Beef Bulgogi Rice Bowls

Difficulty Easy

Salty-sweet, caramelized bits of ground beef piled high into rice bowls. A quivering fried egg that spills into golden splendor when you break it with a spoon. Ground Beef Bulgogi Rice Bowls are the best kind of 15-minute dinner!

What are Ground Beef Bulgogi Bowls?

Ground Beef Bulgogi Bowls are a variation of the popular Korean dish — bulgogi. Instead of thinly sliced beef — convenient and versatile ground beef becomes the vehicle to deliver all the signature flavors of traditional bulgogi.

Savory, sweet, garlicky, and fragrant with nutty sesame seed oil — Ground Beef Bulgogi is seasoned then cooked to perfection. Piled on top of rice, it’s got all the addictive, salty-sweet, garlicky flavor of Korean Beef Bulgogi. But with the ease and convenience of grocery store ground beef!

Ground Beef Bulgogi Bowls are also incredibly quick to make. Only 20-minutes for a weeknight-friendly meal that’s also nourishing and satisfying with minimal ingredients. Serve with a fried egg on top and kimchi on the side. Or add sliced avocado for creamy buttery deliciousness!

Literally translated, “fire meat,” Bulgogi is usually cooked over a hot grill pan for a deliciously smoky flavor. to achieve that charred, smoky flavor — use a wok or cast iron skillet. Cook until caramelized and crispy. An easy, customizable, one-bowl meal that’s full of Korean flavor!

Why Ground Beef?

There are so many reasons to cook and love ground beef:

  • Accessible. Unlike thinly sliced bulgogi meat, ground beef is easy to find at most grocery stores. You don’t need an extra trip to the Asian market to make this deliciously savory-sweet bulgogi bowl.
  • Budget-friendly. Ground beef is also an economical, inexpensive protein. You’ll only need 1 lb of ground beef to feed 4 people.
  • Familiar. A kid-friendly, common protein that even the pickiest eater will eat and enjoy.
  • Easy to handle and cook. Ground beef requires little marinating time and reheats well.
black bowl on a napkin filled with rice, bulgogi, and fried egg

Ingredients:

A minimal list of ingredients makes this an easy family favorite.

  • Ground Beef. Extra-lean works best. Otherwise, it will be very greasy and oily.
  • Onion. You’ll need 1 large onion. 1/2 is grated to a juicy pulp and placed directly into the marinade. The other 1/2 is diced and sauteed at the beginning of the cooking process.
  • Garlic. Gives bulgogi that essential garlickly flavor. Don’t skimp on the amount!
  • Soy Sauce + Sugar. The sauce base for the salty-sweet flavor that bulgogi is known for.
  • Mirin. Sweet Korean cooking wine adds intense flavor and depth. A common addition to meat in Korean cooking so it doesn’t taste or smell too gamey.
  • Sesame Oil. A fragrant, nutty drizzle of sesame oil completes the meal.
  • Green onion (scallions) + Sesame seeds. The garnish that every bowl of Korean food needs.
  • Egg. Fried, sunny side up eggs add more protein and lots of flavor.

Instructions:

  1. Prep onion. Grate 1/2 onion on box grater into a juicy onion pulp. Dice 1/2 onion into chunks.
  2. Marinate ground beef. Mix ground beef with GRATED onion, garlic, soy sauce, sugar, Mirin, and sesame oil.
  3. Cook. In a hot pan, cook the DICED onion until soft and translucent.
  4. Add marinated ground beef. Crank up the heat to medium high and add the marinated beef. Cook until most of the juice has evaporated and the beef has taken on a lovely, caramel-brown color with crispy edges.
  5. Garnish. Add green onion and sesame seeds.
  6. Serve. Heap into rice bowls with a fried egg on top. Add toppings of choice. Happy eating, friends!

PRO Tips:

  • Use a wok or cast iron skillet. For that charred, smoky flavor.
  • Cook until caramelized. Ground beef releases a lot of water. Cook until crispy and caramelized with a dark-brown color.
  • Make in advance. Reheats well. Make once and organize into separate portions for easy lunch meals all week long!
  • Make it spicy. If you’d like more fiery heat, add 1-2 Tbsp of Gochujang to the marinade.

To Serve:

To make a complete meal, add a cheerful, sunny side up egg. That’s the essential topping for Korean Ground Beef Bulgogi Bowls!

But these easy rice bowls are infinitely customizable.

  • Swap out the rice for quinoa or grain of choice. Korean Purple Rice is also a nice base.
  • Add sauce: Kewpie mayo, Sriracha, or Gochujang Sauce
  • Serve with wraps: red or green leaf lettuce, perilla leaves, or roasted seaweed snack (gim)

Make it a complete meal and add:

  • Avocado
  • Pickled Ginger
  • Kimchi
  • Steamed broccoli or other green veg
spoon breaking into sunny side up egg

Other kinds of Korean bulgogi to enjoy:

There are many different kinds of Korean bulgogi to enjoy. Some of my favorites:

two bulgogi bowls with fried egg on top and side dish of kimchi

Ground Beef Bulgogi Bowls

The Subversive Table | Lis Lam
Salty-sweet, caramelized bits of ground beef piled high into rice bowls. A quivering fried egg that spills into golden splendor when you break it with a spoon. Bulgogi Bowls are the best kind of 15-minute dinner!
4.88 from 8 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Korean
Servings 4
Calories 504 kcal

Equipment

  • wok or cast iron pan

Ingredients
  

In a bowl:

  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 1/2 large onion, grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce (not the low sodium kind)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Mirin (Korean sweet cooking wine) rice wine also works
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil

In the wok:

  • 1/2 large onion, diced

Assemble into bowls:

  • 4 cups (cooked) rice
  • 4 sunny side up eggs
  • 2 green onions, chopped

Instructions
 

  • Cook rice, according to package directions.
  • Prep the onion. Grate 1/2 onion on a box grater so that it becomes juicy, onion pulp. Dice the other 1/2 onion in a medium dice.
  • Marinate ground beef. In a large bowl, add ground beef, grated onion, garlic, soy sauce, sugar, Mirin, and sesame oil. Mix until well combined with hands or a fork. Set aside.
  • Cook. Heat a wok or cast iron skillet on medium heat. When the pan is hot, add 1-2 Tbsp neutral oil (I use grapeseed oil) and swirl around in the pan. Add onion and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes.
  • Increase the heat to medium-high heat. Add the marinated ground beef and keep cooking, breaking apart big chunks with a metal spatula or wooden spoon. Initially, a lot of liquid will release from the meat. Keep cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated and the meat has turned dark brown in color with crispy edges, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Garnish. Remove from heat and add green onion and sesame seeds.
  • Assemble. Evenly divide rice among 4 bowls. 1 cup cooked rice is a generous portion so feel free to adjust, according to your preference. Evenly divide ground beef bulgogi over the rice. Top with a fried egg. Enjoy!

Notes

Tips:
    • Use a wok or cast iron skillet. For that charred, smoky flavor.
    • Cook until caramelized. Ground beef releases a lot of water. Cook until crispy and caramelized with a dark-brown color.
    • Make in advance. Reheats well. Make once and organize into separate portions for easy lunch meals all week long!
    • Make it spicy. If you’d like more fiery heat, add 1-2 Tbsp of Gochujang to the marinade.

Nutrition

Calories: 504kcalCarbohydrates: 56gProtein: 36gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 234mgSodium: 928mgPotassium: 606mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 298IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 69mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Beef, Bowls, Bulgogi, Rice
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
15 minutes, All Recipes, Beef, Korean, Rice, Weeknight Meals

8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Easy to make and guaranteed great flavour. My kids are mastering this recipe too. Garnishing with green onion and sesame seeds makes it look like a restaurant dish!

  2. Michelle

    5 stars
    My family and I love this recipe! I have to double it for my family of five. I serve it with white rice or will also use quinoa. This is an easy weeknight dinner – as long as I remember to thaw the ground beef!

  3. 5 stars
    Absolutely fabulous! Made with ground turkey. Cooked the meat as the recipe suggested until it turned a little brown and crispy (took more like 15-18 minutes) and that made a huge difference in the texture and flavor.
    Served with green onions, kimchi, toasted sesame seeds, chili garlic paste. Next time will pickle some carrots and daikon.
    Great recipe!!!!

  4. 5 stars
    Delicious! This is now on my bi-weekly meal plan! It feels so comforting and there are endless toppings to add!

  5. 5 stars
    This was so easy and tasty to make! I never thought I would be able to make the bulgogi sauce with ingredients I already have at home. I typically buy the pre-made jars! I will use this future again for the future ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. 5 stars
    This was such an easy, fast, last minute meal. A really homey dish that I’ll definitely make again.

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