Korean Beef

HAPPY FRIDAY, FAM! We made it, we made it. Did this week just seem to drag on and on and on for anybody else or was it just me? I mean, my time off of work flies by but the time I’m at work just go s-o-o-o SLOW. And it sucks because, like so many, I enjoy my time off of work much more than my time at work. I mean, there are so many things to be done! Aside from day-to-day chores, there’s the whole running thing, blogging (hi!), exploring Chicago (because I live here now), and spending time with friends and family (I don’t do enough of that). There is just not enough time in the day to do all of the things I love to do.

I don’t wanna get all philosophical on you but time is such a valuable resource, one we won’t get back. So, it only makes sense that we spend less time doing things we don’t always like and more time doing things we enjoy! And, while I l-o-v-e to cook (usually), I also like having my time to do things I like even more. Like, I can spend Saturday afternoon baking cookies or preparing tasty side dishes, but the moment I *need* to cook, I hate it. Making lunches for the work week? Not a fan. My time is better spent elsewhere (in my opinion). Making dinner after work so we don’t starve? Not a fan of that, either.

Korean Beef

However, I am certainly of fan of this stupid-easy recipe I’m sharing with you all today. I like to say it’s Korean Beef but… I mean how authentic and “Korean” can this Korean Beef be? It’s definitely got some flavors you’d see in a Korean restaurant, though! From start to finish in 20 minutes and the best part? It’s not only all made from scratch (hurray!), but it’s actually pretty healthy. Affordable! Tasty! And! It’s delicious as a leftover, too. Okay, so that’s actually 5 really good features of this dish. Wow, that must mean it’s a must-make right? Like, you should really add this your regular meal rotations.
Check out my recipe for a less-than-30 minute meal and treat yo’ self to better-than-takeout Korean Beef. You’re gonna love it!

What I really like about this dish is that it can be completely customized. Sub your ground beef for a fattier cut (or better yet – use steak!), sub tofu (or another non-meat substitute) for the beef entirely. Add shredded carrots and cabbage. Like it hot? That’s cool, you can add even more red pepper flakes or drizzle with Sriracha. Or maybe you hate heat (like me, hi!), the sweetness of the brown sugar balances whatever amount of red pepper flakes you use. Trust me.

korean beef

I made this the other night when I was absolutely exhausted and ready to crash. By the time the rice was done cooking, the beef was ready to be served up and all I needed was to saute up some spinach (for greens and things). I served myself up a bowl of this beautiful dish I created and promptly plopped myself on the couch for some Real Housewives of NYC action. What a glorious hour that ended much too soon.

And now? I’m sharing it with you. Make it. Eat it. Love it. Have it for leftovers.

Easy Korean Beef

Yield: 4-5

Easy Korean Beef


  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1-lb ground beef (I used 85/15)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Chopped green onion
  • Optional garnish: sesame seeds, green onion


  1. In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, brown sugar, and ginger
  2. Over medium high heat, heat up sesame oil and garlic, stirring constantly until fragrant (about 1 minute)
  3. Add the ground beef and brown until nearly cooked all the way through
  4. Stir in the soy sauce, brown sugar, and ginger mixture and mix all the way through
  5. Stir in the green onions
  6. Serve atop a bed of rice and garnish with green onion and sesame seeds
  7. Serve with a side of sauteed spinach or other vegetables

What’s your go-to quick meal?