Korean Style Ground Beef

I have a bit of a picky eater on my hands. I know that I am partially to blame for this as when I worked outside of the house, I would give in to his child demands and make frozen chicken nuggets and instant rice for him for dinner. Every. Night. Sigh. But I don’t feel terrible about it as I was trying to feed and raise a family, work, commute and all of the other 1,000 little things one does in a day. Was my boy growing heathy and strong? Yes! Did he eat pure, organic, vegetables with only a little bit of meat? Nope.

But lucky for me (and not so much for him) I started to be around more when he was 4 which meant I had a bit more time to work on this separate meal issue. I’ll spare you the tears, yelling, gagging and vomiting (yes that happened) but I now have a child who mostly eats what we eat. Because I try to be a fair human, I give my son one “choice night” per week where he can refuse the food politely and eat something we have on hand. One of the ways we got to almost full food acceptance was that once I found food he would eat (ground beef with pasta sauce) I tried to work one part of that into a new way to eat it. Thus, Korean Style ground beef made it’s way into our home.

This tasty beef is not only amazingly delicious, it’s got some fun ingredients (most you will have on hand), a different flavor, and it’s fast! This recipe calls for ground ginger (which I can even find in my tiny town grocery store) and sesame seed oil. This oil is usually found in the Asian food section of most grocery stores and is about $3.50 a bottle. I use this quite frequently and find a bottle lasts in my house for at least 2-3 months, so it’s not one you are going to have to replace all the time. You can also use it to give chicken an Asian flair, dress up plain leftover rice, and it adds something special to Chicken Fried Rice (check out my take on it HERE). Did I mention this meal is fast? In around 30 minutes, you can have this tasty beef hot and served over some rice or to really make it fun, some Asian style stir fry noodles!

Korean Style Ground Beef

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Prep Time: 5 minutes : Total Time: 35 minutes | Serves: 4


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (ground not fresh)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2-3 heaping tablespoons sesame seed oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • diced green onions (optional)
  • sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
  • rice or Asian style noodles for serving


  1. Prepare rice or noodles per package direction and set aside
  2. In a large skillet, brown ground beef over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper and strain any excess fat
  3. When beef is just browned, make a well in the center of the skillet and add the garlic. Stir well and allow garlic to cook for 1 minute
  4. Add brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame seed oil and ginger and mix well. Lower heat to low and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring 2-3 times
  5. Remove from heat and if using, sprinkle green onions and sesame seeds over beef. Serve over rice or noodles and rejoice in the speed and flavor of it all!
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