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These easy beef bowls are a quick and delicious Asian-inspired recipe that makes the perfect weeknight dinner. Ready in about 30 minutes!
Why you’ll love it
Making Asian-style food is one of my favorite things to do, especially when it’s this tasty and fast. What’s not to love about tender beef and a sauce that includes fresh ginger and garlic, soy sauce, and a hint of brown sugar? One lovely reader said her only regret was not seeing this recipe sooner!
These beef and rice bowls are Korean inspired, but I do use hoisin sauce, which is Chinese. While not an authentic Asian dish, this ground beef recipe is a totally simple and very satisfying way to enjoy an affordable protein that you’ll put on repeat.
What you’ll need
- Rice – I like jasmine rice best, but use your favorite
- Ground beef – I prefer using lean (at least 90% lean) ground beef for this recipe because then you don’t have to worry about draining the fat
- Brown sugar – for a hint of sweetness to balance the sauce
- Hoisin sauce – it’s a dark sauce made with soybeans that has an irresistible flavor uniquely its own. It’s sweeter and thicker than soy sauce, savory and tangy, and some have described it as Asian BBQ sauce! Find it in the Asian aisle at most major grocery stores.
- Soy sauce – I use the regular kind, but use low sodium if that’s a concern
- Siracha – we’re only using enough for a gentle warmth
- Ginger – this gives a zesty, fragrant zing
- Garlic – we’re pretty generous, but feel free to add even more
- Red pepper and scallions – for a pop of color and crunch
- To easily grate fresh ginger, store it in the freezer! It sounds unusual, but I’ve been doing it for years. Use a Microplane to zest it. You’ll also never run out of fresh ginger or have it go bad in your fridge.
How to make beef bowls
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Cook the rice. Meanwhile, brown the ground beef until cooked through. Take the pan off the burner, and stir in the sauce ingredients.
Reduce the heat, then add the chopped red pepper and cook for a few more minutes until it’s tender-crisp. Serve over the rice, garnish with scallions, and enjoy!
Tools for this recipe
Check out Natasha’s favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!
- Mince the garlic effortlessly with one squeeze of a garlic press, and then store the remainder of the cloves in a garlic keeper that looks adorable on your counter.
- I use this versatile Le Creuset skillet for everything from stir fries to stovetop chicken recipes.
- A cooking spoon is what I use to break up the beef while it’s cooking.
Substitutions and variations
- This is the type of recipe where you can definitely adjust the sauce ingredients to taste, so don’t be shy! I love to add extra hoisin sauce to mine.
- Some readers enjoy doubling the sauce completely if you’re into lots of sauce! As written, it doesn’t make tons.
- I added a red pepper bell for color and a bit of freshness. If you don’t like them, you could leave it out. It won’t make or break the recipe.
- You don’t need to go out and buy sriracha sauce just for this recipe if you never use it, but I do like the flavor it adds. I didn’t use a lot so as not to make it too spicy for most people, but you can always add more if you want to give this recipe more heat.
What to serve with these ground beef bowls
- You don’t need to top them with sesame seeds like I did, but it adds a little additional contrast and texture. Fresh bean sprouts would be another great topping for some crunch.
- If you’re not into the rice, swap it out to make a beef noodle bowl. Try Udon, ramen noodles, or rice noodles.
- Other options are serving it over cauliflower rice, quinoa, or with other veggies.
Leftovers and storage
- Store any leftovers for 3-4 days in the fridge in an airtight container. I’d make fresh rice when you eat it.
- Reheat in a saucepan over a low heat, and you may want to add some extra hoisin sauce and/or sriracha because it tends to dry out a bit the longer you leave it.
- You can freeze it for up to 3 months.
If you gave these easy Asian beef bowls a try, please leave a star rating and review below! Let me know if you have questions not answered in the post. You can also tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram if you made it.
Easy Beef Bowls
- 1 cup uncooked rice I used white jasmine rice
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon (packed) brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- Garnish (optional): scallions, sesame seeds
- Cook the rice according to package directions. If you have a different amount you usually make for 4 people, just make your usual amount.
- Meanwhile, add the beef to a skillet over medium-high heat and break it up with your spoon as you go along until it's cooked (approx. 8-10 minutes). If there's a lot of excess fat, drain most of it.
- Take the pan off the heat and stir in the sauce ingredients (sugar, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sriracha, ginger, and garlic).
- Reduce the heat to medium and return the pan to the heat. Add the chopped red bell pepper. Cook for a few more minutes, stirring often, until the peppers are tender-crisp.
- Serve the beef over the rice and garnish as desired.
- To easily grate fresh ginger, freeze a whole piece. It grates much easier and you’ll always have some on-hand. This Microplane is the handy tool I use to grate/zest it.
- If you don’t have sriracha sauce, you can leave it out. If you love sriracha, don’t hesitate to add more than 1 teaspoon!
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.
This recipe was originally published on August 3, 2019. It’s been updated with new photos and better instructions but is the same great recipe!