This easy recipe for Korean beef is ready in 30 minutes, making it ideal for a weeknight dinner.
There's no need to marinate the beef! Simply stir-fry it, add the tasty sauce, and serve.
I love the flavors of Korean cooking and make this recipe often, but not just because of its flavor. It's also a truly easy recipe (Another good one, and a variation on this recipe, is Korean ground beef).
I regularly make stir-fry recipes, including steak stir-fry, chicken stir-fry, pork stir-fry, shrimp stir-fry, and beef and broccoli. But these require prepping vegetables, which is time-consuming. When pressed for time, I appreciate how easy and quick this Korean beef recipe is.
Here's an overview of the ingredients needed to make this recipe. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below.
- Soy sauce: I use reduced-sodium soy sauce in most of my recipes. 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 use 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: This neutral-tasting cooking oil has a high smoke point.
- Top sirloin: You can splurge and use beef tenderloin, which is more tender but also more expensive.
- For garnish: Green onions, sesame seeds, and sesame oil.
- You can make this dish extra spicy by increasing the crushed red peppers to a full teaspoon.
- I sometimes make this recipe with refined coconut oil or ghee instead of avocado oil. I especially like ghee - it's very flavorful.
- You can replace the green onions with chopped chives. They are milder in flavor.
Korean Beef Instructions
Here are the basic steps for making this recipe. The detailed instructions are listed in the recipe card below.
- You start by whisking together a sauce made with soy sauce and honey (Photo 1).
- Next, slice the beef. (Photo 2).
- Brown the beef in avocado oil, then add garlic and ginger. Add the sauce and cook until it thickens. (Photo 3-4).
- Garnish the dish with green onions, sesame seeds, and sesame oil. Then serve! (Photos 5-6).
Top sirloin is appropriate for this recipe because it's lean. While it's not super tender, it's not overly tough, so you can avoid marinating it.
You can splurge on tenderloin, which is very tender but 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.
To make this recipe as easy as can be, you can buy pre-sliced beef strips such as those sold by Whole Foods, U.S. Wellness Meats, or Wild Fork Foods. If they are frozen, you will need to fully thaw them before using them in this recipe.
No! There's no need to marinate it if you use a tender cut such as top sirloin or tenderloin.
It depends. Refined sesame oil is OK to use in stir-fry recipes. But dark or toasted sesame oil is appropriate as a finishing oil, not a cooking oil.
You could, but I like how it balances out the other flavors. You can use just one tablespoon of it or a sugar-free syrup.
Traditionally, you would serve this dish on a bed of white rice. I serve it on top of cauliflower rice, adding a vegetable to this dish. You can also mix it into cooked shirataki noodles, zucchini noodles, or spaghetti squash noodles.
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in a sealed container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them gently, covered, in the microwave at 50% power.
This is one of those dishes that keeps quite well. Just make sure you reheat it gently - you don't want to dry out the meat.
More Beef Recipes
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Korean Beef Recipe
- 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 fresh garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root minced
- 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, for 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.