This 30-minute Korean beef stir fry tastes delicious, reheats well, and is a wonderful weeknight meal. The best part? It takes less time to make it than it does to pick up!
One-pan Korean beef stir fry is a little sweet, a little salty, and just the right amount of savory. On a hectic weeknight, it comes together in just 30 minutes and makes for great leftovers. I like to make a huge batch on a slow Sunday and have it on hand for quick lunches and dinners throughout the week.
If you are looking for new and exciting ways to get a HUGE serving of veggies, look no further than this stir fry. It’s colorful, packed with nutrients, and will surely put you well on the path to getting your “five a day”.
Another reason why this stir fry is a weeknight hero is that it is made in just one, single pan. Minimal dishes and maximum flavor – what more can you ask for?
What is Korean Beef Stir Fry?
This Korean beef stir fry is a simple dish of veggies, ground beef, and a sweet and savory sauce. Below, find a rundown of the flavor, texture, and cooking time.
- Flavor: The savoriness of the ground beef is balanced out by an abundance of veggies and a simple marinade of soy sauce, brown sugar, and sesame oil.
- Texture: The texture if full of contrast. Tender ground beef, slightly crunchy veggies, and a silky smooth sauce…
- Time: From start to finish, this dish only takes 30 minutes to make.
How to Make Korean Beef Stir Fry
Making this Korean beef stir fry only requires a bit of chopping and assembling. Below, find a quick hitter overview of the recipe before you dive in.
- Make the Marinade: Whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, and brown sugar for the simple marinade. Set aside.
- Saute the Veggies: In a large preheated skillet, stir fry the veggies with a bit of oil over high heat. Set the veggies aside.
- Brown the Ground Beef: Using the same skillet, brown the ground beef until it’s fully cooked. Add the veggies back into the pan and pour in the marinade. Stir to combine and cook for a couple more minutes.
- Serve: Remove the skillet from heat and serve the stir fry as is, or alongside a bowl of steamed rice.
Hot Tip: Use a wok if you have one! The pan is specifically used for making stir fry and can stand up to extra high heat. The high edges also help prevent spillage.
Tips for Making the Best Korean Beef Stir Fry
- Use lean ground beef. Lean ground beef produces less fatty oils and won’t water the marinade down.
- Allow the sauce to come together in the pan. After you add the marinade, make sure to cook the stir fry for an additional 2-3 minutes. This will help bring the flavors out and thicken the sauce.
- Cook beef and veggies separately to prevent overcooking. Resist the urge to throw everything in the pan at once. Cooking the veggies and meat separately prevents overcooking and results in the best texture.
- Use a wok if you have one. Woks are wonderful for stir fry. They stand up well to high heat and have tall edges to prevent spillage.
Have leftover steak? If you have leftover steak hanging around from your last BBQ, use it to make stir fry!
Other Veggies to Add to Stir Fry
Stir fry is a great way to use up any veggies you have lingering in your refrigerator. Below, find a handful of suggestions to mix things up.
- Bok choy
- Bean sprouts
- Bell peppers
- Sugar snap peas
- Jalapeños (for extra spice)
Serving Korean Beef Stir Fry
This stir fry can stand as a meal all on its own, or be served alongside a steaming bowl of white or brown rice. If you want to make a full Korean spread, whip up some japchae or spicy noodles. If you want to be even more authentic, pick up some kimchi from the grocery store. Hot Korean dishes are often served with this spicy, fermented cabbage as a topping or side dish! Bonus: It’s really good for your gut health.
Storing Korean Beef Stir Fry
- Refrigerator: Store leftover stir fry in an airtight container in the fridge. It should keep fresh for up to a week.
- Freezer: Not recommended. Frozen stir fry doesn’t reheat very well and will likely turn to mush.
Reheating Tip: Reheat leftover stir fry by popping it in a skillet with a bit of oil over medium heat. Remove from heat once warmed through. You can also reheat it in the microwave.
Why is my stir fry beef so tough?
Your stir fry beef likely turned out tough because it was overcooked. The key to tender, juicy stir fry meat is to cook the beef over high heat for a short period of time.
Should I marinate the beef before using it for stir fry?
You can marinate the beef before using it for stir fry, but it’s not required for this recipe.
How do you make beef stir fry sauce from scratch?
Making a quick stir fry sauce from scratch only requires brown sugar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Whisk the three ingredients together until they’re silky smooth and well-combined and you have yourself a delicious stir fry sauce!
Other Similar Recipes to Try
- Easy Korean Spicy Noodles – Spicy and sweet
- Korean Stir-Fried Sweet Potato Noodles (Japchae) – Stir-fried glass noodles
- 30-Minute Pepper Steak Stir Fry – Bell pepper and flank steak stir fry
- Korean Air Fryer Pork Ribs – Asian-style mini ribs
- 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 cup broccoli
- 1/2 lb sugar snap peas
- 1/2 bunch green onions
- 2 jalapeno pepper
- 3 garlic cloves
- oil, for cooking
- Gather all your ingredients.
- Prepare the beef stir fry marinade by whisking soy sauce, sesame oil, and brown sugar together. Set aside.
- Add a bit of oil to a large preheated skillet. Add in your veggies. Saute them over high-heat until they soften and turn light brown. Remove veggies from the skillet and set aside.
- In the same skillet, brown the ground beef until it's fully cooked. Return the veggies to the pan. Cover the stir fry with the marinade. Stir to combine.
- Cook the stir fry for about 2-3 more minutes and remove from it from heat. Serve over steamed white rice.