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Korean Ground Beef is a quick & easy dinner that is ready to eat in just 15 minutes! Lean ground beef cooks with sesame oil and ginger, and then simmers in a sweet soy sauce glaze. Serve over white rice or inside lettuce wraps for a low-carb dinner option.
Ground beef is such a universal protein that is inexpensive and so versatile. We also love these Cheeseburger Cups for a quick family-favorite dinner!
Easy Skillet Pan Korean Beef Recipe
I am always on the lookout for simple and quick dinner ideas that don’t take long to make and only require minimal ingredients, with little prep work. This Korean Beef is a quick version of the Asian classic.
Lean ground beef cooks in one skillet pan with sesame oil and ginger. Then it simmers in a sweet brown sugar soy sauce. Serve it over cooked white rice and garnish it with green onions. It’s a family favorite that is versatile and loved by all ages.
Why You’ll Love It!
- Minimal Ingredients : With only 7 main ingredients, most of which are dried seasonings or traditional fridge condiments, this is an easy recipe to make.
- Versatile : So many ways to change this recipe for Korean Beef up. Use any ground protein you prefer, make it spicy with a few additions, and serve it over rice or low-carb style inside lettuce wraps.
- Sweet & Savory Flavors : The addition of brown sugar makes this a sweet & savory dish that appeals to all ages – especially kids!
- Lean Ground Beef – I use 93/7 ground beef in this recipe because there is less grease to drain off. Any percentage fat ground beef can be used with great results.
- Ground Ginger – Fresh ground ginger can be used but you’ll want to use more, like 1 tablespoon of fresh grated ginger or ginger paste.
- Sesame Oil – Just a little adds tons of flavor!
- Garlic – Use fresh garlic that you mince or press, chopped garlic from a jar, or garlic paste.
- Soy Sauce – Use coconut aminos/tamari for a gluten-free version or reduced-sodium soy sauce for reduced sodium.
- Sesame Seeds
- Red Chili Flakes – Optional for some heat. Can also add hot sauce.
- White Rice and Green Onions – For serving the Korean Beef.
How To Make One Pan Korean Ground Beef
- Add the ground beef, ground ginger, and sesame oil to a skillet pan. Cook and crumble, over medium-high heat, until the beef is no longer pink. Drain any excess grease from the pan.
- Add in the minced garlic and sauté for another minute until garlic is fragrant.
- Stir in the soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame seeds, and red pepper flakes (optional). Cover the pan with a lid and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Serve over white rice and garnish with green onions. You can also serve the Korean Beef inside lettuce wraps.
FAQ’s + Expert Tips
- Is This Spicy? : If you choose to add the red pepper chili flakes then yes this dish will be spicy. Add more or less red pepper chili flakes to your preference. You can also add some hot sauce if wanted. If you omit the red pepper chili flakes then this dish not spicy but still very flavorful. I never add in the red pepper chili flakes.
- Serving Suggestions : Korean beef is really delicious served with a side of steamed broccoli or other stir fry veggies. I buy a steamable bag of broccoli and cook it in the microwave while the beef is cooking.
- Can I Make It Saucier? : Yes you can. The recipe as is, is not super saucy but it has plenty of flavor and enough sauce to be delicious served over rice. If you want more sauce for serving then I suggest doubling (or 1.5 x) the soy sauce and brown sugar. You can also try adding some teriyaki sauce & marinade to the skillet pan or some stir-fry sauce.
Korean Ground Beef
- 1 pound lean ground beef (I use 93/7)
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons minced or chopped garlic
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- ½ teaspoon red pepper chili flakes (optional for spice)
- In a skillet pan, over medium-high heat, cook and crumble the ground beef, ground ginger, and sesame oil until beef is no longer pink. Drain any excess grease from the pan.1 pound lean ground beef, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- Stir in the minced garlic and sauté for about 1 minute or until the garlic is fragrant.2 teaspoons minced or chopped garlic
- Stir in the soy sauce, light brown sugar, sesame seeds, and red pepper chili flakes (if using).1/3 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, ½ teaspoon red pepper chili flakes
- Cover the pan with a lid and let simmer for about 5 minutes to let the flavors combine. *It's important to cover it during the simmer time so the moisture/liquid does not cook out. We want all the liquid and moisture to stay in the ground beef mixture.
- Serve a scoop of Korean ground beef over cooked white rice and garnish with sliced green onions. Enjoy!