This truly easy recipe for Korean beef is ready in just 30 minutes, making it ideal for a weeknight dinner.
There's no need to marinate the beef! Simply stir-fry, add the tasty sauce and serve.
I love the flavors of Korean cooking and make this recipe quite often, but not just because it's so tasty. It's also a truly easy recipe, one of the easiest and quickest in my repertoire. (Another good one, and a variation on this recipe, is Korean ground beef).
I have several stir-fry recipes on this website (this steak stir fry is excellent), but most require prepping vegetables, which is fairly time-consuming. When pressed for time, I really appreciate how easy and quick this recipe is.
Here's an overview of the ingredients you'll need to make this Korean beef recipe. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below.
Soy sauce: I use reduced-sodium soy sauce in most of my recipes. Obviously, you can use a gluten-free alternative.
Honey: Adds just a touch of sweetness. Even with the honey, a serving of this recipe only has 9 grams of carbs. But you can try using a sugar-free alternative if you wish.
Cornstarch: Helps to thicken the sauce without adding too many carbs, since I only use 1 tablespoon.
Spices: Crushed red peppers, garlic, and ginger.
Avocado oil: I like using this neutral-tasting cooking oil that has a high smoke point.
Top sirloin: You can splurge and use beef tenderloin, which is more tender but also more expensive. But top sirloin works just fine.
For garnish: Green onions, sesame seeds, and sesame oil.
As I said, making this Korean beef recipe is truly easy. Here are the basic steps. The detailed instructions are listed in the recipe card below.
- You start by whisking together a tasty sauce made with soy sauce and honey.
- Next, brown the beef in avocado oil, then add garlic and ginger.
- Add the sauce and cook until it thickens.
- Garnish the dish with green onions, sesame seeds, and sesame oil. Then serve!
To make this recipe as easy as can be, I like to use pre-sliced top sirloin (sold in trays and marked as "beef for stir fry"). Of course, it's fine to simply buy top sirloin steaks and slice them yourself.
Top sirloin is appropriate for this recipe because it's lean, and while it's not super tender, it's also not overly tough. So you can get away with not marinating it.
You can splurge with tenderloin, which would be very tender, but also very expensive. I almost always go with top sirloin.
Do make sure, however, that you're getting top sirloin. Bottom sirloin is tough and won't work in this recipe.
Frequently asked questions
No! There's no need to marinate it, as long as you use a tender cut such as top sirloin or tenderloin.
It depends. Refined light sesame oil is fine to use in stir-fry recipes. But dark or toasted sesame oil is appropriate as a finishing oil, not as a cooking oil.
You could, but I do like the way it balances out the other flavors. Perhaps use just 1 tablespoon of it or use a sugar-free syrup.
I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you'd like to vary the basic recipe, here are a few ideas for you:
- Make this dish spicy by increasing the amount of crushed red peppers you use.
- Cook the dish in refined coconut oil or ghee instead of avocado oil.
- Replace the green onions with chopped chives.
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in a sealed container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power.
This is one of those dishes that actually keeps quite well. Just make sure you reheat it gently - you don't want to dry out the meat.
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- ⅓ cup reduced sodium soy sauce (or use a gluten-free alternative)
- 2 tablespoons honey*
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon crushed red peppers
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 2 lb. top sirloin cut into strips
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
- ¼ cup green onions green parts only, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, cornstarch, and red pepper flakes. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced beef. Stir-fry the beef until browned, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for 1 more minute.
- Add the soy sauce mixture. Reduce the heat to medium and stir-fry until the beef is well coated and the sauce has thickened, about 2 minutes.
- Turn the heat off. Spoon the meat and the pan juices into plates or bowls. Top with the green onions and sesame seeds, drizzle with the sesame oil and serve.