Beef bulgogi bowls have quickly become an undeniable favorite. My beef bulgogi is a delicious Korean-inspired recipe made with savory beef served over jasmine rice with a fried egg, shaved cucumber, shredded carrots, and fresh cilantro. It’s really easy to pull together and a complete meal in a bowl with so many fresh flavors.
Bulgogi is typically made with thinly sliced beef or pork, however, I’ve also made this with ground beef. The beef is browned and cooked in a simple sauce comprised mainly of soy sauce, sesame oil, and brown sugar. It’s finished with garlic powder, ground ginger, and a little sriracha for an array of Asian-inspired flavors.
Shaved Cucumber Salad
This recipe calls for shaved “pickled” cucumbers-A spin on Asian cucumber salad. Cucumber salad is essentially cucumber soaked in rice wine vinegar, spices, and a pinch of sugar. It creates a refreshingly tart cucumber that adds to a balanced medley of fresh veggies.
The trick is to shave the cucumber using a potato peeler into thin long strips. A Y-shaped peeler works best for this. Stop when you reach the seeds/guts. It works best if you work on one side and then rotate once you’ve reached the seeds. You really only need to soak the cucumbers for a few minutes to infuse them with flavor.
This recipe pairs well with an optional simple creamy lime sauce (sour cream, water, and lime juice), sriracha, or extra soy sauce drizzled on top. I have found that a nice creamy sauce helps bring out the flavor and adds a nice creamy texture to the whole dish.
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My beef bulgogi is a delicious Korean-inspired recipe made with savory beef served over jasmine rice with a fried egg, shaved cucumber, shredded carrots, and fresh cilantro.
- 1 1/2 pounds thinly sliced flank, skirt, or ribeye steak (see notes on beef options)
- 2 cups (uncooked jasmine or basmati rice)
- 1 bunch of fresh cilantro
- 1 large cucumber, shaved
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar (white wine vinegar works too)
- 1/2 teaspoon table sugar
- 1–2 green thinly sliced green onions, for garnish
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, for garnish
- 1–2 tablespoons Canola/vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- Dash sriracha
Creamy Lime Sauce (Optional)
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 1–2 tablespoons water
- Squeeze of fresh lime juice
- Remove the skin from the cucumber using a peeler and discard. Using the peeler, shave the cucumber into long thin strips until you just reach the seeds (a few seeds is OK). Rotate the cucumber to a fresh side and continue to shave. Repeat on all 4 sides. Toss in a small bowl with sugar and vinegar until well coated. Set aside.
- If making the creamy lime sauce, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix. Add additional water to thin if needed. Should be runny enough to drizzle. Thinly slice green onion diagonally and set aside.
- Prep the sesame sauce by mixing all ingredients in a small bowl. Stir and set aside. Cook the rice according to the package and keep warm.
- Meanwhile, heat cooking oil in a medium/large pan on medium-low heat. Add carrots and cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and transfer to a bowl and set aside. Turn the heat up to medium heat and add a dash more oil and add the beef. Cook until fully cooked through and just starting to brown, about 5-7 minutes. See notes below on using ground beef.
- Add the sesame sauce and mix with the beef until evenly distributed. Let slightly caramelize until beef is nicely browned, 1-2 minutes. Transfer beef to a plate and cover to keep warm.
- In the same pan over medium heat, fry 2-4 eggs over easy. You can optionally use a separate pan if you desire.
- Serve beef over rice topped with a fried egg, shredded carrots, shaved cucumber, and fresh cilantro. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onion. Serve with sriracha and optional creamy lime sauce.
This recipe can also be made with one pound of 85% lean ground beef using the same cooking instructions. Cook the ground beef and break it into small granular chunks with the tip of a spatula. Cook until browned and fully cooked through. Drain excess fat before proceeding to the next step.
If using flank or skirt steak, always slice against the natural graining in the steak for tenderness.
Steps 1-2 are mainly prep and can all be done 1-2 hours in advance if preferred (except the rice of course).
- Serving Size: 1/4 or 1 bowl (no sauces)
- Calories: 710
- Sugar: 7.1g
- Sodium: 422mg
- Fat: 28.9g
- Saturated Fat: 9g
- Carbohydrates: 73.1g
- Fiber: 2.2g
- Protein: 36g
- Cholesterol: 100mg
Keywords: beef bulgogi bowls, korean beef bowls