“Korean” Ground Beef Bowls

My (white) boyfriend’s Dad always made a “Korean” Beef recipe that he absolutely loved growing up. I believe it was modeled after a ground beef dish that was modeled after bulgogi, and has definitely evolved far past what could be considered Korean food and into the category of “Asian-Inspired American Food”. Regardless of its cuisine origins, Nick (my boyfriend) was craving it- so we decided to give a substitute a go! This recipe aims to give the same sweet & salty satisfaction as the original- without any of the nightshades or sesame.

“Korean” Ground Beef Bowl

A sweet and salty rice bowl that is super satisfying- without any nightshades or sesame!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Korean
Servings 4


  • Frying Pan


  • 1 cup White Rice

"Korean" Ground Beef

  • 1 lb Ground Beef Preferably 80/20
  • 2.5 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 tbsp White sugar or additional syrup
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Ground White Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Tamari or Soy Sauce, if you are not wheat-free
  • Wasabi Optional

Pan-Seared Pineapple

  • 1/4 cup Pineapple
  • 1 tsp Canola Oil


  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 1 stalk Scallions
  • 1 tbsp Tamari or Soy Sauce, if you are not wheat free
  • Wasabi


"Korean" Ground Beef

  • Place ground beef in a pan over medium-high heat
  • If heat is desired, add a small amount of wasabi into the Tamari (or soy sauce) in a small container, and stir to combine.
  • Add salt, ground black pepper, white pepper, tamari (or soy sauce), and maple syrup to the pan. Fold into the ground beef.
  • Add the white sugar and/or additional syrup. Fold into the ground beef until fully cooked.
  • Serve over rice.

Pan-Seared Pineapple

  • Add canola oil to frying pan over high heat
  • Once oil is heated, add pineapple to pan
  • Brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.

"Korean" Beef Bowl

  • Cook white rice according to package instructions
  • Serve ground beef over rice
  • Top with pan-seared pineapple, avocado, and scallions. Season to taste with additional tamari (or soy sauce) and wasabi.
Keyword beef, bowl, grain bowl, ground beef, Protein, rice, rice bowl

I’m assuming the original recipe his family used had come from a blogger like damndelicious https://damndelicious.net/2013/07/07/korean-beef-bowl/ or The Girl Who Ate Everything https://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/cheater-korean-beef/ or maybe just experimentation themselves! Either way, I’m glad we were able to find a way to make a satisfying meal even with spice allergy restrictions.

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