Bulgogi is a scrumptious Korean dish that literally translates to, “fire meat.” Learn how to make your own yummy ground beef bulgogi with this quick and easy gluten free recipe!
ground beef bulgogi Bowl recipe
Looking for a budget-friendly meal for busy weeknights? Ground beef bulgogi makes a family-friendly dinner in under 30 minutes! Kids love the sweet and savory bulgogi sauce, while the spice can be adjusted to appease all tastes!
For those who need gluten free dinner recipes that appeal to the whole family, this gluten-free, dairy-free meal checks all the boxes!
Ingredient Notes and substitutions
When making traditional or gluten free bulgogi, it’s important to pay particular attention to the soy sauce. If you do not use reduced-sodium sauce, the recipe will be overly salty. For a gluten free recipe, be sure to use a soy sauce without wheat.
- Ground Beef – After browning the beef, drain off the excess grease. To lighten the dish, use ground turkey or ground chicken.
- Ginger – Similar to gluten-free orange chicken recipe, I prefer the taste of freshly minced ginger, but dried ginger powder may also be used. Substitute 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger.
- Sesame Oil – This serves the purpose of added flavor, so substituting another oil will not have the same affect.
- Reduced- Sodium Soy Sauce – The most important ingredient to pay attention to! Using regular soy sauce makes the dish too salty. If that is all you have on hand, use 3 tablespoons soy and fill the rest with water to equal a 1/2 cup liquid. For a gluten free Korean beef bowl, use reduced-sodium tamari sauce. or La Choy Lite Soy Sauce.
- Red Pepper Flakes – Adds a bit of spiciness to balance the sweet. If you are sensitive to spice, use 1/8 teaspoon.
how to make ground beef bulgogi
(Below shows step-by-step photos and modified instructions. For the complete recipe, along with ingredient amounts, scroll down to the recipe card.)
- Since the recipe goes so fast, it’s best to measure and prep the ingredients before beginning.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the ground beef and break up with a spoon. After cooking, drain off the excess grease.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic, ginger, and sesame oil to the ground beef mixture. Cook for a minute, then stir in the soy sauce, brown sugar, and red pepper.
- Lower the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the sauce reduces, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the chopped green onions.
- Serve over rice and top with additional green onions, sesame seeds, or vegetables.
gluten free bulgogi sauce
To make gluten free ground beef bulgogi bowls, use a gluten free soy sauce or tamari. Also, be sure it is reduced-sodium as to not overly salt the dish.
Gluten free soy sauce options include reduced-sodium tamari sauce. or La Choy Lite Soy Sauce. The remaining ingredients in the bulgogi sauce are naturally gluten free and safe for celiac disease or a gluten free diet.
Like gluten-free coconut curry, it is traditionally served over rice, but there are plenty of toppings and alternative ways to enjoy Korean beef bowls.
Whether serving Korean beef bulgogi as rice bowls, over rice noodles, or in lettuce wraps, the best part is making the dish your own!
- Add more vegetables – Stir fry with additional veggies, such as cabbage, broccoli, spinach, zucchini, or peppers.
- Top Korean ground beef bowls with a sunny side up fried egg.
- Serve over basmati rice, jasmine, brown rice, rice noodles or in lettuce wraps for gluten free bulgogi.
- Suggested toppings – julienned carrots, sliced cucumbers, kimchi, radish, avocado, sesame seeds, green onions, sliced asian pear, or sriracha sauce.
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Korean Ground Beef Bulgogi (Gluten Free)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger, see recipe note for substitute
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- ½ cup gluten-free reduced sodium soy sauce, see recipe notes for substitutes
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 chopped green onions
- Serving options: cooked rice, cauliflower rice, sesame seeds, green onions, kimchi, cucumbers, carrots, radishes
- Since the recipe goes so fast, it's best to measure and prep the ingredients before beginning.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef, breaking up with a spoon. Cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes. Drain off excess grease.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the garlic, ginger, and sesame oil. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce, brown sugar, and red pepper.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the sauce reduces, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the chopped green onions.
- Serve immediately over rice and garnish with suggested toppings.
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