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    Ground Beef Bulgogi (Korean Ground Beef)

    Looking for a fast, delicious dinner? Look no further! When I need something easy, tasty, and perfect for the whole family, I turn to Ground Beef Bulgogi. It’s a simple twist on classic Korean Bulgogi, but with ground beef, making it a breeze to whip up.

    The best part? It’s packed with all those same amazing Bulgogi flavors – sweet, savory, and just a hint of spice.

    This Korean Ground Beef Bulgogi recipe is bursting with flavor, and whips up in about 20 minutes. Perfect weeknight dinner contender!

    I love everything that has the Bulgogi name in it. From Bulgogi Tacos to classic Beef Bulgogi, it’s all so flavorful, and the secret is in the easy but very bold Bulgogi Sauce. I have perfected ours over the years, and will tell you all about it.

    As great as the original bulgogi is, sometimes when that craving hits I need it right now! I don’t want to wait four hours for my beef to marinate. That’s where the ground beef comes in…

    This Korean Ground Beef Bulgogi recipe is bursting with flavor, and whips up in about 20 minutes. Perfect weeknight dinner contender!

    What is Bulgogi?

    Bulgogi (불고기), pronounced as bool-GOH-gee, is a classic Korean dish made of thin marinated slices of meat, mostly beef, grilled on a barbecue or on a stove top griddle. It is also often stir-fried in a pan in home cooking.

    Bulgogi is a combination of two Korean words, Bul meaning “fire” and Gogi, translating to “meat”. Hence, this dish is famously called “fire meat.” But don’t worry, Bulgogi is not really spicy, rather slightly sweet with typical Asian umami flavors. “Fire” here is a reference to the hot cooking surface that’s used to cook it.

    beef bulgogi

    My Ground Beef Bulgogi is a twist on this classic. Here, ground meat is used instead of some expensive steak like rib eye. It’s a brilliant way to make this meal budget friendly for every day weeknights. And most importantly, it happens much faster!

    Ingredient Needed

    • For Bulgogi Sauce – This is the most important part to make delicious Bulgogi. My recipe uses soy, mirin, sesame oil, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, grated pear, scallions, sesame seeds, black pepper and Gochujang (optional for spicy version). You will find the exact amounts in the recipe card down below.
    • Ground beef – I use 90/10 lean ground beef for this recipe. If using higher fat ground beef, simply skim off the extra grease while cooking the meat.
    • Oil – Cooking oil of your choice.
    • For garnish – Green parts of scallions and sesame seeds.

    Ground Beef Bulgogi Recipe

    1. Make Bulgogi sauce: In a bowl, I whisk all sauce ingredients until well combined. Then I set it aside till it’s ready to go in the stir fry.

    bulgogi sauce in a bowl

    2. Cook ground beef: I heat some oil in a skillet or wok on high heat. Then, I add the ground beef and cook it until it’s browned and all the liquid is gone. If there’s any extra liquid or grease, I discard it.

    3. Finish the dish: I pour the bulgogi sauce over the meat and mix it all together. Then, I let it simmer for 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens up. Finally, I sprinkle some green onion and sesame seeds on top and serve it right away.

    bulgogi after cooking

    Alpana’s Tips

    • Don’t skip or skimp on any ingredients: Using pear and mirin is very important to get authentic Korean flavors going. Use the right amounts, as I have perfected the taste.
    • Don’t overcook: When cooking, I’m careful not to overdo it. Ground beef cooks fast, so I aim for a juicy and tender texture by not overcooking it, which can make it tough.
    • Use a hot pan: I also make sure my pan is nice and hot before adding the beef. Cooking it in a hot pan helps to sear it quickly, giving it that beautiful caramelized exterior that makes all the difference in flavor.
    This Korean Ground Beef Bulgogi recipe is bursting with flavor, and whips up in about 20 minutes. Perfect weeknight dinner contender!

    Possible Variations

    • Protein Swap: Some days I replace ground beef with ground pork, chicken, or turkey for a new flavor profile.
    • Add Vegetables: I like to mix in other veggies like shredded carrots, bell peppers, or mushrooms during cooking.

    Serving Suggestions

    1. With Steamed Rice: I serve it over a bed of steamed white or brown rice. This is my favorite.

    2. In Lettuce Wraps: Some days I place the ground beef Bulgogi in crisp lettuce leaves. Great idea if you’re watching carbs.

    3. With Noodles: I love to pair it with stir-fried noodles like udon or soba. Or use it as a ramen topping.

    4. In Tacos: I also like to use the ground beef Bulgogi as a filling for tacos, topped with a Korean-style slaw. Yes, it’s awesome!

    5. With Banchan: Serve the ground beef Bulgogi with an assortment of Korean side dishes, known as banchan, for an authentic Korean feast.

    6. In a Rice Bowl (Bibimbap): Combine with rice, various vegetables, and a fried egg for a colorful Korean rice bowl.

    bulgogi bibimbap bowl

    The next time you have some ground meat to cook for dinner, try the most famous Korean flavors. This is a very family friendly meal enjoyed by all ages. I hope you love it as much as I do!

    For more easy weeknight dinners, check out our hand picked collection of Dinner Ideas for Tonight. Until next time…

    Ground Beef Bulgogi, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!

    bowl of ground beef bulgogi atop the Gypsy plate

    More Quick Ground Meat Stir Fry Meals:
    Ground Beef Stir Fry
    Korean Ground Chicken
    Ground Turkey Stir Fry
    Mongolian Ground Beef
    Egg Roll in a Bowl
    Thai Basil Chicken

    featured image for ground beef bulgogi recipe

    Ground Beef Bulgogi (Korean Ground Beef)

    Yield: 4 servings
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 15 minutes
    Total Time: 20 minutes

    My Korean Ground Beef Bulgogi recipe is bursting with flavor, and whips up in about 20 minutes. Perfect weeknight dinner contender!


    Bulgogi Sauce

    • ¼ cup soy sauce
    • 2 Tbsp mirin
    • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
    • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
    • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
    • ½ pear (preferably Asian), grated
    • 2 scallions, sliced
    • 1 tsp sesame seeds
    • ⅛ tsp black pepper
    • 1 Tbsp Gochujang (optional for spicy version)

    Ground Beef Bulgogi

    • 1.5 pounds lean ground beef
    • 2 Tbsp oil
    • 1 green part of scallion, for garnish
    • sesame seeds, for garnish


    1. In a bowl, whisk all sauce ingredients until well combined. Set aside.
    2. Heat the oil in a skillet or wok over high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until beef is browned and no more liquid remains in the pan. (Discard any excess liquid or grease)
    3. Add the bulgogi sauce to the meat and combine well. Simmer it for 2-3 minutes, until sauce thickens.
    4. Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.


    1. If you can't find Asian pear, Bosc is the next best substitute. The pear should be slightly under ripe.
    2. We like the full tablespoon of gochujang. If you want just a little kick, start with one teaspoon.
    3. The same recipe can be used with any other ground meat of your choice.
    4. Leftovers: Ground beef bulgogi is great as leftovers, making it an ideal meal prep option for the whole week. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. You can also freeze the ground beef bulgogi for up to 3 months. Simply thaw overnight in the fridge.

    Nutrition Information
    Yield 4 Serving Size 1
    Amount Per Serving Calories 613Total Fat 35gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 21gCholesterol 151mgSodium 1253mgCarbohydrates 21gFiber 2gSugar 14gProtein 52g

    Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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