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Korean Beef Rice Bowls

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Easy Korean Beef Rice Bowl takes about 20 minutes to whip up, so quick and easy, loaded with flavor for under 400 calories!

Korean Beef Rice Bowls takes about 20 minutes to whip up, so quick and easy, loaded with flavor for under 400 calories!

Korean Beef Rice Bowl

When I created these easy Korean Beef Rice Bowls, they were so dang good that I knew I had to share. When I worked full-time in Manhattan years ago, my office was two blocks from Koreatown, and I loved having lunch there with coworkers. Since then, Korean food has become more popular, with Korean restaurants popping up everywhere. But if you don’t live near one, you can get the same great taste at home with this spicy Korean beef dish. More of my favorite Korean recipes are this Gochujang-Glazed Salmon, Korean Grilled Chicken, and Turkey Gochujang Meatballs.

Takes about 20 minutes to whip up these quick and easy Korean Beef Rice Bowls, loaded with flavor for under 400 calories!

Frequently Asked Questions: Gochujang

What does gochujang taste like?

One essential ingredient you will need for this rice bowl recipe is gochujang sauce. It’s a Korean condiment that’s a little spicy and sweet and has a distinct flavor only found in Korean cuisine. It also comes in a paste, requiring you to thin it down with a little water and sesame oil. If you can’t find it at your local supermarket, there are a lot of different brands on Amazon.

Is gochujang gluten-free?

Gochujang typically contains wheat, but not all brands do. If you’re gluten-free, check the labels first! And while we’re on the topic, soy sauce isn’t gluten-free either, so substitute tamari or coconut aminos.

What is a good substitute for gochujang?

Sriracha is probably the closest sub for gochujang, but it’s not exact. You might need to mix it with a little hoisin sauce or sugar and sesame oil to get closer. I highly recommend using gochujang if you can find it!

How do I make these Korean beef bowls mild?

If you’re not a fan of spicy food or are serving these bowls to spice-adverse family members, omit the red pepper from the beef and leave the gochujang on the side. Everyone can add as much (or little) sauce as they prefer.

Korean Beef Bowl Ingredients

  • Soy Sauce: Choose a low-sodium soy sauce.
  • Light Brown Sugar: Two teaspoons add a hint of sweetness.
  • Sesame Oil: You’ll need one teaspoon of oil.
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: If you want the beef to be mild, omit or reduce the pepper.
  • Ground Beef: Buy 93% lean ground beef.
  • Garlic: Crush two cloves.
  • Ginger: Fresh ginger is best. You can store it in the freezer in a zip-locked bag and grate it with the skin still on.
  • Brown Rice: I’m obsessed with frozen brown rice from Trader Joe’s. It takes three minutes to heat up, and the texture is perfect. If you live near a TJ’s, it’s a must!
  • Cucumber: If you use an English or Persian cucumber, there’s no need to peel it. Just thinly slice it.
  • Gochujang: Gochujang is what makes these bowls! Add more or less depending on your heat preference.
  • Sesame Seeds and Scallions for topping

How to Make Korean Beef Rice Bowls

  • Korean Beef Sauce: Combine the soy sauce, two tablespoons of water, brown sugar, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes in a bowl.
  • Cook the Beef: Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over high heat, spray with oil, and add the ground beef. Cook for about five minutes, breaking up the meat with a spoon.
  • Simmer: Add the onion, garlic, and ginger, and cook for a minute. Pour in the sauce and simmer on low for 10 minutes.
  • Assemble: Place rice in each bowl, top with beef, cucumbers, Gochujang, sesame seeds, and scallions.

Meal Prep Korean Beef Bowls

My family always eats up these rice bowls when I make them, so I’ll often double the recipe to have extra for leftovers. The cooked beef lasts up to four days in the fridge, so the leftovers are great for lunches. You could also make lettuce wraps with the meat to switch it up.

To pack for lunch:

Store the beef, rice, sesame seeds, and Gochujang in one container and the cucumbers and scallions in another. Reheat the rice container until warm and top with the veggies.


The variations for these Korean beef rice bowls are endless. Let’s dive in!

  • Protein: Swap beef for lean ground turkey or chicken or even shrimp. If you’re vegetarian, use crumbled tofu.
  • Extra Protein: Top your bowl with an over-easy fried egg.
  • Vegetable Options: You can add just about any veggie. Sauteed mushrooms, bok choy, matchstick carrots, or edamame would all work.
  • Pickled Veggies: Mix in pickled onions, cucumbers, or carrots. Kimchi would also be good.
  • More Spice: Garnish with sliced fresh jalapeños.
  • Rice Alternatives: For fewer carbs, serve the Korean beef over cauliflower rice, zoodles, or sliced cabbage.

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Korean Beef Rice Bowls

4.94 from 191 votes
Make this easy Korean Beef Rice Bowl make a quick and easy meal, loaded with flavor for under 400 calories!
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Asian, Korean
Korean Beef Rice Bowls takes about 20 minutes to whip up, so quick and easy, loaded with flavor for under 400 calories!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Serving Size: 1 bowl


  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce*
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • cooking spray
  • 1 pound 93% lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 small sliced cucumber, skin on
  • 2 tablespoons Gochujang Sauce, or more if desired*
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 sliced scallions, white and green parts


  • Combine the soy sauce, 2 tablespoons water, brown sugar, sesame oil and red pepper flakes in a small bowl.
  • Heat a large deep nonstick skillet over high heat, spray with oil and add the ground beef. Cook, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook 1 minute.
  • Pour the sauce over the beef, cover and simmer on low heat 10 minutes.
  • To assemble the bowls, place 3/4 cup rice in each bowl, top with scant 2/3 cup beef, cucumbers, Gochujong, sesame seeds and scallions.

Last Step:

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*check labels for gluten-free


Serving: 1 bowl, Calories: 394 kcal, Carbohydrates: 47 g, Protein: 30 g, Fat: 9 g, Saturated Fat: 3 g, Cholesterol: 70 mg, Sodium: 807 mg, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 7 g


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590 comments on “Korean Beef Rice Bowls”

  1. This is tasty! Question though – does the Gochujong really just go on top? That seemed odd to me, so I put it in with the ground beef mixture.

  2. I kept seeing this dish get posted on the skinnytaste facebook page and hadn’t made it yet. Now I know why it was posted so many times. It’s very flavorful, delicious and comes together in a pinch. Also is delicious as leftovers/meal prep.

  3. I added sauteed bella mushrooms and it was a big HIT! I will definitely make it again and maybe even add a fried egg next time. Awesome flavors. Fresh.

  4. First time making it but this will go into our meal rotation. Lovely flavours and easy to put together.

  5. We love this recipe – it’s easy to prepare and very flavorful. For our most recent prep, we replaced half of the ground beef with 8 oz. of chopped mushrooms and it turned out great!

  6. My family has been enjoying this recipe for years. Everybody loves it, it’s a standard in constant rotation. Easy, flavorful, can’t say enough good things about it!!! 6 out of 5 stars 🙂

  7. A favorite! Have to pack up leftovers right away or will eat another whole serving. Works with ground turkey or chicken as well as beef. Have served it over lettuce or added slaw mix, with or without rice.

  8. Can’t believe I waited this long to try this! Super simple and delicious. I added carrots and zucchini to it.

  9. I added crimi mushrooms but the crowd pleaser didn’t s marinated flank steak in that initial sauce so double the sauce marinate the meat and boom epic!

  10. We love this dish! It was super easy and I followed directions exactly as written. Don’t leave out the Gochujang makes the dish!

  11. I’ve made this 3-4 times now and it’s always a hit with my family. It’s a great recipe to use on your ground beef when you’re tired of sloppy joes, tacos and spaghetti

  12. Yum! I didn’t use cucumbers, but I followed the rest of the recipe exactly as it is written. So good and easy!

  13. This is a staple in our household. So quick and easy. Delicious! Sometimes I’ll add some shredded carrots and kimchi. Yumm

  14. Avatar photo
    Natalie Metzger

    Hoisin sauce instead! We LOVED this. Added a bed of cabbage and carrots in the bottom, rice and beef and some edamame in top. Excellent!

  15. Love this for. Quick healthy weekend dinner. Big plus you can make as spicy as each person wants. I made with ground turkey bc that’s what I had. SO good!

  16. So, so, so good! Husband said he could eat this way every day. The Gochujang is a must. Thank y’all for your comments – might’ve passed this one up, and now it will be a staple. Great for meal prep (get yourself some Trader Joe’s frozen brown rice!).

  17. I’ve skimmed over this recipe and honestly never made it because it seemed boring. I was so wrong, delicious and such a fast easy dinner! Adding this to my monthly rotation.

  18. I make this all the time. My local grocery store has the gochujang sauce. I have shared the recipes many times!

  19. I make this all the time. I go heavy on the ginger and add an over-easy fried egg on top. It’s delicious.

  20. I made this recipe yesterday, substituting ground turkey for the beef. And I added the equivalent of 1 large carrot and 1 celery stalk, both cut into matchsticks. Arranged the sliced cucumber around the edge of the bowls. Easy and very tasty. Will make again.

  21. I added some Thai chilis to this for extra heat and loved the flavor. We love to do Korean BBQ at home and really love all the flavors Korean cuisine offers. This was a nice in between for easy cleanup but still great flavor.

  22. Avatar photo
    Kymberly Pectelidis

    Absolutely delicious!!! Made for a weeknight meal and was pretty easy. Will definitely be adding to my rotating list of for weeknight dinners.

  23. I have made this many times. Always a family favourite. I do really like the extra flavour the Gachujong sauce gives but the rest of my family likes it as is or with siracha if they want extra heat.

  24. Avatar photo
    Melissa Taylor

    This is so easy and delicious! My husband doesn’t like cucumber so I make other vegetables on the side, but we love this recipe!

  25. Great for anytime. I added fresh jalapeño slices, matchstick carrots, even a few bean sprouts. . .family loves it!

  26. This is a fantastic, easy recipe that is guilty free! I make it all the time, bit my husband is not a fan of cucumbers. So tonight I’m going to increase the sauce ingredients and add a bunch of frozen broccoli (to try and keep it easy and fast). Still going to have cucumber for myself. 😉

  27. this recipe uses no ingredient that has gluten in it. why the comment telling people to check labels for gluten. kind of mis-leading.

  28. Have made many many times. Always a hit with the whole family. I serve over jasmine rice with roasted carrots. A little sweet and spicy.

  29. I just discovered you live on Long Island like me. Now I know that I should be able to find all your ingredients nearby. I’m going to try this soon. 

  30. Highly recommend!!!!! We love this recipe!!! So delicious with the combination of spice and sweetness combined. Although I did change a few things by using chili piquing instead of the red pepper and I used thin beef steaks cut up and it was gone in seconds.! If u use the piquins then use less cause they are spicy! I roast my own and crush them into flakes for storage.

  31. Avatar photo
    Mary Lou Skeens

    Now I get all the fanfare about this recipe. It was outstanding and will definitely be on my list of favorites!

  32. Big fan of this dish. I usually add some steamed bok choy or spinach. Not labor intensive and very flavorful.

  33. This is a home run recipe! I’ve been seeing Skinnytaste Facebook group members rave about this recipe for so long I finally decided to try it. Now I have no idea why it took me so long! This is easily one of my top 3 favorite recipes of Ginas. I added roughly chopped mushrooms to give a little more volume and it turned out great. Will be making this for dinner often!

  34. Does anyone or Gina have a recipe to pickle the cucumbers first and for how long? I’m excited to try this recipe because of all the rave reviews but I think pickled (instead of raw) cucumbers will take it the next level …. Thanks! 

    1. I either buy cucumber kimchi from a local Asian Grocery, or use this quick Kimchi recipe. It’s DELICIOUS! But I do use about 1/2 the fish sauce.

  35. This is a phenomenal recipe. I didn’t have brown sugar, so I used coconut sugar. My eight-year-old grandson loved it.

  36. This is a family favourite.! Easy to make and so delicious.
    Wondering how the WW points are now calculated ?

  37. Wonderful recipe and I only changed the red peppers to 1/2 t as I can’t take the heat but all in all loved it and will make again.

    As an aside Note,
    I recently came across Calrose Botan Rice that I have never heard of. I tried to find it in your recipes for rice but none were shown. Can you tell me about it and can it be used as regular rice? Thanks

  38. Will definitely be making this again!! Served in on top of cauliflower rice for less points!! So good!!

  39. Usually when someone uses an * there is a note below to explain something about that item. There’s an * following both the soy sauce and the Gochujang in the ingredient list, but there’s no later reference. Please explain? Thanks.

  40. We made this for the first time tonight after seeing someone post about this meal on Facebook. 
    We loved it.  It’s a simpler version of a hello- fresh meal we used to make, but this is much quicker to prepare for me.
    We’re already planning on making it again since we have leftover ingredients.  Thank you!  

  41. Inoticed this recipe does not have the WW personal point link. Will you be providing? I saw others that did not have link too.

  42. Husband and I love this one! Easily one of our top 3 recipes we like to make. We use grated ginger that comes in a squeeze bottle, which works fine instead of needing to have fresh on hand. Sometimes we do regular rice, and sometimes cauliflower rice, but it will take more cauli-rice to feel full just so you know. I like to eat it sort of like nachos: piling the beef and rice on a cucumber slice. It cools off the pepper-flake/gochujang taste perfectly!

  43. This was great even with meatless ground as the substitute! I just added the vegan beef bouillon cube to the sauce. Thanks! 

  44. I tried this for the first time tonight and everyone in my family loved it!  It’s easy and so flavorful!

  45. I made this last night, and it was AMAZING!!!   I did add some Bibigo Korean barbecue sauce, and toasted the sesame seeds. Served with steamed broccoli, and it was a PERFECT dinner, which we will continue to enjoy for tomorrow night’s dinner.

    Note about the ground beef: I at first was concerned about using ground beef and having just another “hamburger” meal. I learned, however, that using such lean gb (mine was 96%) it cooks up as though it was very cut-up steak. There was nothing “hamburger” about it! I will use this for future stroganoff recipes, as well as this recipe. 

  46. Another family favorite. I usually mix regular rice with cauliflower rice. This time I added roasted cauliflower with the rice. 

  47. Fabulous! My whole family will eat this even our pickiest eater who just eats just the beef and rice without all the extra goodies on top. 

  48. We loved this recipe! The two of us polished off the whole thing! I didn’t have fresh ginger so I used 1 tsp of powdered ginger and it worked fine. Next time I will make sure to have fresh ginger. Thank you for a new, quick go to dinner recipe!

  49. Delicious! I made my bowl with cucumbers and broccoli (google Korean broccoli banchan – very easy to make). My husband added some kimchi and loved it! I skipped the red pepper flakes in the sauce (I’m a wimp when it comes to spicy), and still very very flavorful. I’m so happy to find easy recipes like this, I’ve saved so much money from ordering out and lost a lot of weight from cooking at home. Win win!! 

  50. Avatar photo
    Rachel Atkinson

    Super yummy! I subbed sriracha for the gochujang since that was what I had and it worked well. I think next time I make this I’ll try using pickled cucumbers!

  51. I have made this recipe several times and each time it’s a hit. By far one of my husband’s and my favorite recipe. I do pickle an English cucumber and use jasmine rice. 

    1. I usually make this with either ground chicken or ground turkey and my “I hate ground turkey” husband likes it, lol. I do prefer the ground chicken, though.

  52. Avatar photo
    Nicky Nearing

    Tried this for the first time today. Added green beans and carrots for extra vegetables and doubled the sauce. I used brown rice to be a little healthier.  It was a hit so will try it again.

  53. How spicy is this? I have a couple of kids that love stir fry-type dishes but nothing very spicy. Trying to find something new that isn’t teriyaki!

    1. My kiddos can’t handle spice. I skipped the red pepper flakes and only put the gochujang sauce on my plate. The rest of it is not spicy.

  54. Amazing flavour. Super quick and easy. 
    Everyone loved. 
    Sauce is sooooooo tasty. 
    Thank you!!
    I have bought two of your books within the last week! Enjoying them immensely. 
    Beautifully illustrated. I treasure all my cookbooks and yours will be on the shelf with my most used ones. 

    Hoping my people pick up on my hints for the Air Fryer Book for my Birthday. 

  55. Avatar photo
    Chantal Moquin

    Wow! Nous avons adoré! Servi avec riz jasmin+ jus de lime + coriandre
    Wow! we loved it! Served with jasmin rice+lime juice+ cilantro

  56. Un-real!! We ended up making this as part of one of the weekly diet plans, it is amazing!! We meal prepped it for lunches this week and it reheats great! Thanks for this great recipe! It’s fantastic 

  57. I made this for dinner and my family loved it. My daughter and son both asked for the recipe. This will become a regular with us.

  58. Avatar photo
    Sherrille Gooch

    I love easy and delicious recipes and this one fits my requirements!! Recipe was made as is, but in the end, I added fresh asparagus cuts as they were in my fridge and needed to be cooked right away. The dish was beautiful and tasted amazing!

  59. Love, love this! So easy and flavorful. Would you freeze with the rice? Want to take on our trip out west so would be nice to stash in our freezer. Thanks.

  60. This was so easy, quick, and got rave reviews from the fam. Definitely putting this into rotation. Maybe I would add veggies next time. Sauce was 💯.

  61. I had to see what all the hype was about with this dish. I made half a recipe, since I am single and I want to try the cheeseburger salad later.  I’m here to tell you, the hype is real! For something that goes together this quickly, it has a ton of flavor. I did add some mushrooms and celery with the onion, because they were in my refrigerator. Added shredded coleslaw mix and pickled daikon radish to the toppings.Glad I have another serving waiting!

  62. Made this for the first time tonight and it won’t be my last. It was delicious! The only changes is I didn’t have the gochujang sauce and used half the red pepper flakes. So yummy!

  63. Avatar photo
    Mary Paige Boyce

    This was DELICIOUS! I did marinate my cukes in a little vinegar and monkfruit sweetner for a bit first.

  64. Great easy weeknight recipe! I used boil in a bag brown rice so I could easily time it all together. Really good flavor, my husband cleaned his bowl!

  65. Delicious! I make it with ground turkey for a little less points and add in some sweet bell pepper for extra veggies. The spicy and sweet combo is perfect. I could eat this every week!

  66. I make this all the time. It’s delicious! I double the recipe and cook a ton of veggies with the ground beef.  Usually a couple zucchini’s and shredded carrots. I’m going to try broccoli slaw  and zucchini next. I put it over riced cauliflower and I feel super healthy 🙂

  67. This was so easy and delicious! Thank you! I used powdered ginger since I forgot to buy fresh and still great. Also I’m laughing at all of the comments about the gochujang sauce/paste. Whole Foods carries multiple GF brands. This isn’t mis-information on Gina’s part… people just look a little harder similar to finding gluten free soy sauce. Sigh.

  68. Avatar photo
    Necia DiTrapani

    What is the nutritional information for the beef only? I service mine over cauliflower rice. 

  69. Fantastic. Used ground turkey doubled the sauce. Added the Korean bbq sauce in at the end to taste. Marinated Zucchini carrots cucumbers and daikon with sesame oil soy sauce sriracha and rice vinager to pickle them. Added a great crunch. To the bowl. Everyone loved it. Even my picky 13 year old. 

  70. Avatar photo
    Brenda Vaughn

    We love this recipe and make it often, sometimes with turkey instead of beef. The cucumbers are a must as the light, fresh flavor works well with the spice.

  71. Avatar photo
    Melissa Bolton

    My kids LOVE this receipe.  It is delicious and comes together so quickly. Great week night meal.

  72. This recipe is a perfect bowl combination and is so satisfying. This is the second time I’ve made it, and I love trying different gochujang offerings.   This is beyond five star quality.   

  73. This was so amazingly delicious and so super easy to make!! We heated some edamame to go with it but Gina has done it again!! You amaze me with your culinary talents!! Thank you for such a crowd pleasing meal as always!!

  74. After making this for my husband last year, he has made this on his own no less than 2x a week (sometimes doubling the recipe). I’m making it for him tonight as he is working late as a surprise…this is a winner. Zero modifications needed…

  75. This is the best at home asian recipe I’ve ever made! Absolutely delicious!  I love Korean rice bowls in restaurants-never knew the name of the sauce. Annies is so good. I cant wait to try the Korean lettuce rolls 

  76. This recipe is great, but add some mushrooms w the onions and meat, and quick pickle those cukes in rice wine vinegar w some soy sauce, fish sauce, crushed red pepper and a tiny bit of sugar and it’s out of this world.
    Also— momofukus spicy Asian gochujuang sauce really kicks it up another notch if you can find it.
    Prepared with these modifications and it’s my husbands favorite meal. 

  77. Phenomenal flavor. Fast and super simple. I’ll double it next time so there’ll be one in the freezer. Thanks Gina!

  78. This is our favorite dish… favorite all around (not just when on WW and being healthy). These flavors are like nothing I’ve tasted. This week I subbed 99% ground turkey (did cook with some beef broth to make a meatier flavor) and we use the minute rice brown rice quinoa blend (slightly less points). And we add lots of extra ginger. This is incredible any way you tweak it. Thank you so much. (We have made it close to 30 times) 

  79. We made this one and really didn’t like it but it had so many rave reviews and comments on facebook, we tried it again. We messed something up the first time because the second time it was wonderful and super easy! We loved it. Will definitely make again. Still wonder what we messed up the first time.

  80. Avatar photo
    Jenny Almond

    Hi Gina,
    For serving size it says “1/4”. Does that mean 1/4th of entire recipe? Thanks! 

  81. I made this but subbed the beef with Gardein meatless ground out of the freezer section. It turned out amazing! My 5 year old loved it (without the Gochujang) and asked me to make it again, so that’s a huge success.

  82. FANTASTIC!!! This is a “keeper” in our house. However, the next time I make it, I will double the sauce. Everyone wanted a bit more sauce to put over their rice, but the meat mixture absorbed it. Might also try rice noodles for variety too. We also cut the cucumbers up in tiny bit size bits to mix in with the rice and ground meat.

    1. Delicious. I make this all the time, and add chopped broccoli to the pot during the last 5 minutes… soooooooo good!

  83. Soooooo delish!!!! Easy & tasty!!! Big hit with my boys — I doubled the recipe so they had lunch for work tomorrow 🙂 I didn’t care for the chili sauce but they all loved it! Another Skinnytaste keeper!!

  84. It’s official. This is my absolute favorite recipe! And I’ve tried SO many of yours. It’s delicious. Thank you!!!

  85. This has become a regular for us! Thank you, Gina!

    For anyone looking for ideas on customizing, I quick pickle the cucumber (adding shredded carrots if I have any). I also cook 8oz. chopped mushrooms with the beef. I use the gochujang that Gina recommends, it’s great! I make 1.5x the sauce, although I do cut the soy sauce with water, since I’m watching sodium. Lastly, I top with a fried egg. Yum!

  86. I wanted to make the Asian Chicken Wraps but didn’t have the ingredients. Found this recipe but haven’t been to the store for 2 weeks…just hunkering down at home…so still had to sub regular onions for the green onions & sriracha for the Gochujang. It was so good, hubs said it should become a regular! Thanks Gina for the recipe!!

  87. Thank you for a delicious and simple recipe! We don’t eat a lot of red meat, but I received a package of ground beef in my latest grocery delivery and was looking for a new recipe. This was a great way to bring spice and umami flavors into a healthy, weeknight dinner. Will make again!

  88. Avatar photo
    Adina Erridge

    This is by far one of my family’s favorite meals. I have to double the recipe every time because we all go back for 2nds. If you happen to have leftovers, its incredible on day 2 as well. This was my first exposure to Korean food so thank you for the introduction!