This cheater version of Korean Beef uses ground beef instead of flank steak, making it easier and cheaper, but just as tasty. And ready in 20 minutes!
What if we said we had an absolutely delicious, inexpensive, easy meal for you… that is ready in 20 minutes? That’s the bees knees, right? This Korean Ground Beef is it!
Traditional Korean beef uses skirt steak or flank steak and sometimes vegetables or cellophane noodles. This Korean Ground Beef recipe is quicker and cheaper, but just as tasty!
Korean Ground Beef Recipe Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Ground beef: We use lean ground beef.
- Green beans: Green beans are a great vegetable for this dish. You could also use asparagus, snap peas, or broccoli.
- Scallions: These mild onions have a subtle peppery taste and are great in stir fry.
- Garlic and Ginger: For wonderful aromatics and flavor. Use fresh.
- Chili garlic sauce: It’s hot and tangy, with a punch of garlic. Adds flavor and a tiny bit of heat.
- Brown Sugar: Some sweetness to balance out the savory and salty soy sauce. This flavor combo makes a big difference, don’t skip it.
- Soy Sauce: Low-sodium to cut down on sodium levels.
- Sesame oil: Toasted sesame oil is used to sauté the beef and green beans. It adds an extra layer of flavor, instead of using vegetable oil and gives the sauce authentic Chinese stir fry flavor.
- Seasoning: Salt and pepper.
What to Serve with Korean Beef
We alternate serving this Korean Ground Beef recipe over cooked white rice or as lettuce wraps, depending on our mood and what we’re craving. Hot cooked white rice is great to soak up the sauce and hits the spot on a chilly day, whereas serving a scoop of the beef mixture in lettuce cups is perfect for warmer weather. A sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds is a great finishing touch.
Allow to cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Other Quick Stir Fry Recipes
I hope you love this delicious and easy recipe – be sure to give it a review below! Also don’t forget to follow Belly Full on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube!
Cheater Korean Ground Beef
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 6 ounces fresh green beans , cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
- salt and pepper
- 3 scallions , chopped
- toasted sesame seeds
- cooked white rice or lettuce , for serving
- Heat half the sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add in the green beans and sauté for 3 minutes until crisp-tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate and keep warm.
- Add the remaining sesame oil to the skillet. Swirl to coat and once hot, add in the ground beef. Brown the beef, breaking it up into small crumbles with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds until fragrant. Drain off the fat.
- Return green beans to the skillet, along with the brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, and chili garlic sauce. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Simmer for 2 more minutes to blend the flavors.
- Remove from the heat and toss in the scallions.
- Serve over hot rice or as lettuce cups, with a small sprinkle of sesame seeds.
Reader Questions and Reviews
So good and easy! My daughter loves this dish and asks for it often. Thanks for the recipe.
Nice and easy, delicious! Making it again soon!
Quick, easy, fairly healthy & can be spiced up with some red oepper flakes. This will be a go-to for a simple, delicious meal!
Easy and very tasty.
Made this tonight. Devine and so simple!
My husband and I inhaled this! I made it with ground turkey and it’s our new favorite.
Made this tonight for supper and my very picky husband RAVED about it. Yay…a new recipe to add to our mix. Thank you so much.
Made lettuce wraps with this tonite. Added diced water chestnuts for a little crunch. Delicious! Will definitely make this again. :)
This was delicious!! I expected it to be good, as al the recipes here are, but this one was a big hit! The kids loved it too- two thumbs up!
This looks so good! The flavor and the ease of this recipe is just what I’m looking for! However, I can’t tolerate brown sugar, would it still turn out as good if I substitute honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar?
Hi Sydnee – I’ve never made it any other way than I have listed. You might be able to get away with honey. Try it!
We do a traditional (or supposedly, anyway) Korean beef on the grill, and many of the ingredients are shared. I like the change you get from using ground beef in this recipe. I love your idea of lettuce wraps!
My family loved this!
Hot DANG this looks good. This is my kind of fast meal!
I love shortcuts like this!! After baking and doing dishes all day, I totally don’t want to spend more than 20 minutes on dinner. Tops. This is perfect!
I served this as lettuce wraps as suggested and it was amazing!
Such a good recipe for an easy weeknight meal – we gobbled it up! Even my little kids and that’s saying a lot!
I am SO making this ASAP!! Love!
I ran this past the finicky one and this is a go!
What do you think of using ground turkey?
It won’t be as rich, obviously. But I think it would still be good! I sub in ground turkey for burgers and meatloaf all the time, so why not?
Looks great! Always need a quick, tasty dish like this. I can see why you make it all the time. It’s now on the Must Try list. :-)
I grew up eating Korean beef . . bulgogi or kalbi (short ribs with the bone) and we typically used beef ribeye for bulgogi. . love this cheater version with ground beef! looks great!!
I can tell from the ingredients this quick, easy dish will be very tasty dish. I might even try it tonight.
I love Korean beef, and this cheater version looks awesome. Will add this to my dinner rotation. :)
Love how quick and easy this is, can’t wait to try it!