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Ground Beef Bulgogi Bowls with Spicy Aioli

These ground beef bulgogi bowls are quick and delicious. Packed full of flavor, they’re the perfect easy weeknight meal!

Overhead view of ground beef bulgogi bowl on table

Beef bulgogi is a Korean dish that is typically made with thinly sliced beef that has been marinated in bulgogi sauce. This ground beef bulgogi recipe includes a sugar free bulgogi sauce that is cooked right into the meat to save time on prep but still pack a punch of flavor!

With cauliflower rice, carrots, and cucumbers, the veggies balance the beef perfectly and stand up to the sauce without becoming soggy. The result is a quick, easy, and flavor-loaded meal in a single bowl.

We first had these through a Hello Fresh order, but they included rice, sugar, and sour cream, as well as whatever was in the pre-made bulgogi sauce. Once I tasted them, I immediately set my sights on making a grain free, dairy free, sugar free version.

The end result is the perfect ground beef bulgogi bowl – easy to make, quick enough for a weeknight, and a taste that will make you want to eat them again and again.

Heads up! This recipe assumes you’ve already got bulgogi sauce on hand. Head over to this post to see how to make it in 5 minutes if you haven’t already!

Here’s how to get these lovelies on the table for dinner in just 30 minutes:

1. Quick pickle cucumber.

Cucumber ribbons on cutting board with vegetable peeler in the background

In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, coconut sugar, and a few pinches of salt. Trim the ends from cucumber. Using a vegetable peeler, shave cucumber lengthwise into ribbons, rotating until you get to the seedy core; then discard the core. Add the peeled ribbons to the bowl with the vinegar mixture and toss to coat, then set aside to pickle.

2. Cook cauliflower rice.

Cauliflower rice cooking in pan

In a skillet or pan, heat 2 tsp coconut oil over medium heat. Add the cauliflower rice and stir to coat. Cover and cook, 5-7 minutes or until tender.

3. Cook carrots.

Shredded carrots cooking in pan

Remove cauliflower rice from pan and return pan to stove. Add 1 tsp coconut oil, then add the carrots and cook, stirring just until tender, 2-3 minutes. You’re looking for them to be crisp-tender, so we still want them to have a little bit of crunch to them!

4. Cook beef.

Ground beef cooking in pan with korean bulgogi sauce

Remove carrots from the pan and set aside. Return the pan to the stove and turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the ground beef to the pan and sauté, breaking up as it cooks.

When meat is mostly cooked through, drain, then return pan to the stove, add the scallion whites and half the sesame seeds to the pan and stir to combine.

Add the beef bulgogi sauce to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook 2-3 more minutes or until meat is cooked through and sauce has thickened, then remove from heat.

5. Make spicy chili aioli.

Mayonnaise and chili paste in measuring cup

While the beef is cooking, combine your mayo and your chili paste (I use Sambal Olek) and stir. Add water a bit at a time until sauce is at a drizzling consistency of your liking.

6. Finish and serve.

Side view of korean ground beef bulgogi bowl

Now it’s time to put it all together! Drain your cucumbers and add cauliflower rice, carrots, and cucumbers to each bowl. Divide the meat between the bowls as well.

View of table with korean ground beef bulgogi bowl surrounded by kitchen tools and ingredients

Top everything with the spicy chili aioli, then sprinkle with the green parts of the scallions and the remaining sesame seeds.

Serve and enjoy, knowing you’re getting all of the flavor with none of the guilt!

Ground Beef Bulgogi Bowls with Spicy Chili Aioli

Ground Beef Bulgogi Bowls with Spicy Chili Aioli

Yield: 2 people
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

These ground beef bulgogi bowls are quick and delicious. Packed full of flavor, they're the perfect easy weeknight meal!

Ingredients

Bulgogi Bowls

  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 3 tsp coconut oil
  • 10 oz cauliflower rice
  • 4 oz shredded carrots
  • 10 oz ground beef
  • 1/2 cup bulgogi sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds

Chili Aioli

  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1 Tbsp chili paste

Instructions

  1. Chop scallions, separating greens from whites.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, coconut sugar and a pinch of salt. Stir well.
  3. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the cucumber into ribbons until you get to the seedy core. Discard core and toss ribbons in vinegar mixture, coating well. Set aside.
  4. In a skillet or pan, heat 2 tsp coconut oil over medium heat. Add cauliflower rice and stir to coat. Cover and cook, 5-7 minutes or until tender.
  5. Remove cauliflower rice from pan and return pan to stove. Add 1 tsp coconut oil, then add carrots and cook, stirring just until tender, 2-3 minutes.
  6. Remove carrots from pan and set aside. Return pan to the stove and turn heat up to medium-high. Add the ground beef to the pan and sauté, breaking up as it cooks.
  7. When meat is mostly cooked through, drain and return to pan, then add the scallion whites and half the sesame seeds to the pan and stir to combine.
  8. Add the bulgogi sauce to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook 2-3 more minutes or until meat is cooked through, then remove from heat.
  9. In a small bowl, combine your mayo and chili paste. Add water 1 teaspoon at a time until sauce reaches desired consistency.
  10. Scoop cauliflower rice into bowls and top with beef, carrots, and pickled cucumber. Drizzle everything with the chili aioli. Top with chopped scallion greens and the remaining sesame seeds.

Notes

  • Nutrition calculation includes the entire batch of chili aioli, which you will not use - you only need a drizzle! The recipe without the aioli included contains per serving: 643 calories (31C/30P/45F).
  • If you're watching fat grams and need a lower number, use ground chicken or turkey for a leaner option. 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 2 people
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 700Saturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 125mgSodium: 391mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 6gSugar: 9gProtein: 30g

These ground beef bulgogi bowls are a grain free and sugar free alternative to the Hello Fresh recipe here.

Korean Bulgogi Sauce
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Rebecca Shingledecker

Wednesday 21st of August 2019

Do you know if it would negatively affect the taste if I leave out the sugar? Or do you have a suggestion for a substitute? I’m on whole30 ?

Jessica

Wednesday 21st of August 2019

For the cucumbers? Not at all. Just skip it!

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