This meal was our impromptu dinner last week when I stared aimlessly into the fridge after deciding I wasn’t in the mood for what I initially planned. You know those nights, when everything is planned for dinner but then 5 o’clock rolls around and that’s the last thing you want to eat. Instead of opting for take-out, or cereal (let’s be honest), this night I was determined to use at least some of the ingredients to create a different meal that we would all love. That meant utilizing the lean ground beef, a veggie mix that was intended for a big salad, and the brown rice I had precooked earlier in the week.
After staring at everything for a few minutes and doing a quick survey to find out if anyone had any dinner ideas (they didn’t), I remembered a simple Korean sauce that I make all the time to marinate protein and knew it would be the perfect thing. It’s sweet, savory, and slightly spicy and makes pretty much anything taste good. From there is was a simple matter of adapting things to work for ground beef and giving the veggies a quick saute. When using a sauce like this for ground beef, it’s a similar approach to making ground beef tacos. First you brown the meat and drain any excess fat. Then you add the sauce and let’s things simmer. Easy and quick.
So now let’s talk about serving this Healthy Korean Ground Beef with Vegetables. You can go the traditional route and serve it over white or brown rice. However it is also delicious in lettuce wraps for a lower carb option or served over a bowl of spaghetti squash or cauliflower rice. Now if you want to get really creative, this makes amazing Asian inspired tacos. Fill up warm corn tortillas with the ground beef. Top with either cooked Asian veggies (like in the recipe) or a fresh slaw using cabbage, cilantro, green onion, and lime juice. So good. And if you have leftovers, don’t be scared to throw this into a quick quesadilla. It may sound weird but it’s seriously delicious.
When cooking this Healthy Korean Ground Beef with Vegetables, here are some things to keep in mind:
- The sauce for the beef will be on the liquidy side. Personally I like this since I can spoon the extra sauce over the vegetables. However if you want a thicker sauce, stir in a little cornstarch before adding it to the beef. This will thicken up the sauce nicely.
- Any vegetable combination will work for this recipe. Usually I opt for a bag of mixed Asian veggies but you could choose any single vegetable or an assortment of your favorites. Consider using broccoli, green beans, bok choy, or even Brussel sprouts.
- If you don’t like things spicy, leave out the Asian garlic chili paste, and let people add their own afterwards. You can also substitute the sambal olek for Sriracha or some red pepper flakes depending on what you have on hand.
- This recipe will work great with ground turkey, ground chicken, ground pork, or ground bison so use whatever you have on hand or prefer. It also works with vegetarian crumbles.
- If you fall in love with the sauce, which you will, it can be used for marinating just about any type of meat. We use it all the time for chicken, steak, and pork.
Looking for more healthy Asian recipes?
Here are some of the products and tools I used for this recipe:
- I am in love with this pan that I used to prepare this dish but you could use any heavy bottomed pan or cast iron.
- Low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos: When it comes to soy sauce, I always opt for low sodium soy sauce and many times use coconut aminos instead which have lower sodium and are gluten free.
- Sambel olek: When it comes to Asian hot sauce, I switch between Sriracha and Sambal Olek, a thicker chili paste flecked with garlic. I can’t decide which I like better, but I love the garlic flavor in the sambel olek