Ground Beef Bulgogi Bowls

Ground Beef Bulgogi Bowls — the best kind of 15-minute dinner.

black bowl on a napkin filled with rice, bulgogi, and fried egg

Ground Beef Bulgogi Bowls are the easy, accessible way to enjoy BIG Korean flavor — FAST! 15-minutes from start to finish!

If you crave that addictive, salty-sweet, garlicky Korean bulgogi flavor — this is the meal for you.

I made these on a whim, when I had a pound of ground beef and not much else. I modified my Korean Beef Bulgogi recipe and voila — Ground Beef Bulgogi Bowls were born!

What is Bulgogi?

Bulgogi is a catch-all Korean term for meat that’s cooked quickly over a flame. Literally translated, “fire meat,” — it’s got a salty-sweet profile that can also be spicy.

There are many different kinds of Korean bulgogi to enjoy:

Ground Beef Bulgogi Bowls differ in that they are a North American tweak of the Korean classic. Ground beef is not traditionally used in bulgogi. But it’s such an easy, accessible substitute!

Pile high into rice bowls and add toppings of choice. Easy to eat, customizable, and so tasty and delicious!


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

  • Ground Beef. Extra lean works best.
  • 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!
  • 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/smell too gamey.
  • Sesame Oil. A fragrant, nutty drizzle of sesame oil completes the meal!
  • Green onion + Sesame seeds. The garnish that every bowl of Korean food needs.

Additional Toppings for Ground Beef Bulgogi Bowls:

An essential topping for Ground Beef Bulgogi Bowl: a cheerful, sunny side up egg.

But living in the era of grain bowls, I’ve become very comfortable including all sorts of delicious additions.

For drizzling on top:

For eating alongside, as wraps:

  • Lettuce/Perilla
  • Roasted Seaweed/Gim

To add directly to the bowl:

  • Avocado
  • Pickled Ginger
  • Kimchi
  • Edamame
  • Shredded Carrot
  • Shredded Cabbage
  • Steamed broccoli or other green veg

Why Ground Beef?

There’s so many reasons to cook with Ground Beef. And this recipe stretches 1 lb to feed 4 people!

  1. Easy to find at most grocery stores.
  2. Familiar protein that even the most picky eater will eat.
  3. Requires little marinating time.
  4. Reheats well.
  5. Filling + full of protein.
  6. Inexpensive.


bowl of ground beef bulgogi

How to Make Bulgogi Bowls:

This recipe calls for 1 large onion. 1/2 needs to be grated (on a box grater) into juicy onion pulp. The other 1/2 needs to be diced into chunks.

Marinate ground beef with grated onion, garlic, soy sauce, sugar, Mirin, and sesame oil.

Heat up a wok and fry the diced onion until soft and translucent.

Crank up the heat and add the marinated ground beef. Fry, fry, fry until most of the juice has evaporated and the beef has taken on a lovely, caramel brown color.

Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds.

Heap into rice bowls with a fried egg on top. Add toppings of choice. Happy eating, friends!

black bowl on a napkin filled with rice, bulgogi, and fried egg

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!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Korean
Servings 4


  • wok or cast iron pan


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


  • While the rice cooks, prep the onion. You will need 1 large 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.
    two white bowls on grey background, one filled with grated onion and the other filled with diced onion
  • In a large bowl, add ground beef, grated onion, garlic, soy sauce, sugar, Mirin, and sesame oil. Mix well with hands. Set aside.
    ingredients for ground beef bulgogi
  • Heat up 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.
    sauteed onion in cast iron wok with spatula on the side
  • 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.
    cast iron wok filled with ground beef, spatula on the side
  • Remove from heat and add green onion and sesame seeds.
    ground beef bulgogi with green onion garnish in cast iron wok with spatula on the side
  • While the meat cooks down, fry 4 eggs in a cast iron pan or non-stick skillet.
  • Assemble into bowls: 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!
    black bowl on a napkin filled with rice, bulgogi, and fried egg
Keyword Beef, Bowls, Bulgogi, Rice
15 minutes, All Recipes, Beef, Korean, Weeknight Meals


  1. 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!!!!

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious! This is now on my bi-weekly meal plan! It feels so comforting and there are endless toppings to add!

  3. 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™‚

  4. 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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