Thursday, February 26, 2015

Cheater Korean Beef

Cheater Korean Beef - recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen
Cheater Korean Beef is the kind of recipe that both beginning and experienced cooks need in their life. This simple meal comes together in minutes and is full of fantastic flavors. It's easier than ordering take-out, saves you money, and tastes better too!

I love so many things about this recipe! This dish includes our favorite Asian ingredients, and everything is simple enough to be found in most grocery stores. The fact it's made with ground beef instead of a more expensive cut of meat makes it a really great alternative to the pricier meats when you are craving Chinese food. Best of all, you can make this recipe start to finish in less than 20 minutes. I've served the beef over rice, wrapped in lettuce, and on top of a salad.

I've made this Cheater Korean Beef for dinner four times over the past month. It was the perfect dinner for busy nights after we'd spent the day packing, or unpacking, after our move this month. My kids all cheered when they saw it on the stove last night, even after eating it so many times recently.

COOK'S NOTE: This dish reheats wonderfully. I've learned to double the recipe every time I make it. The beef freezes well too, just skip the green onions and sprinkle them on the top when ready to serve. Cheater Korean Beef is pretty much the ultimate in flavorful and frugal make-ahead meals.

Cheater Korean Beef
recipe adapted from Very Culinary
Yield: 4 servings
(printable recipe)

1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 pounds ground beef
3-4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, cut into tiny matchsticks
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/3 cup soy sauce
2-3 teaspoons chili paste
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, adjust to taste
Optional: 1 cup frozen peas
3 green onions, sliced thin

Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Brown the beef until cooked through, crumbling it as it browns. Drain thoroughly, then add the garlic and ginger and cook another minute or two until fragrant.

Whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce, and chili paste. Pour the liquids over the beef, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer for 2 minutes to blend the flavors and slightly thicken the sauce. Add the peas, stir and simmer a minute longer. The peas will thaw and warm in the hot skillet. Enjoy!

Cheater Korean Beef - this simple recipe comes together in minutes and is full of fantastic flavors. It's easier than ordering take-out, saves you the money, and tastes better too!

ONE YEAR AGO: Polish Kapusta
TWO YEARS AGO: Chicken Enchilada Dip
THREE YEARS AGO: Hungarian Mushroom Soup


  1. I knew you'd be sharing this! Wheeeeee! This dish has saved my butt on so many busy nights. Love your addition of peas.

  2. This looks fantastic. I have been making a Korean Beef dish like this from a recent post at Mel's Kitchen Cafe and it is excellent. Can't wait to try your version, which is different. But do you know if chili paste is the same as sweet chili sauce (which I have in my pantry, unopened). We do not like too much spice. Will this do or should I get the chili paste? Is it spicy? Thanks so much.

    1. Sweet Chili Sauce is not the same thing. I would recommend buying the chili paste and just using a small teaspoon of it. You could make the dish without it, but it adds flavor even more than it adds just heat, if that makes sense. We add a full tablespoon of it to this dish, because I do like a bit of heat in the dish, but a teaspoon shouldn't warm it up too much for you. I hope that helps!

  3. I have some of that Korean chili paste in my fridge, and this looks like a good way to try it! Great recipe idea from Amy.

  4. Made this for dinner the same day as you posted it. Fabulous! I always use less hot stuff (chili paste) so reduced that to just one teaspoon and it was perfect for us. Also I finely diced some cucumber as additional garnish. Love your recipes! Thank you.

  5. YUM! Tonight's dinner...easy, flavorful, delicious. I had garlic chili paste on hand from your Huli Huli Chicken so I used it along with with 3-4 cloves of garlic. Thanks so much!

  6. This looks so very tasty. Can't wait to try it.

  7. Mary you rock! Way to hit all the points, ground beef, double batch, freeze, different ways to eat, you know how to make flavor last!

  8. I just made this and it was absolutely delicious! Thank you so much.

  9. I love, love, love this recipe. I substitute 1/2 head of shredded napa cabbage for 1/2 pound of the ground beef. This is a perfect, complete meal for the two of us.

  10. This was fantastic! Thanks!