These Korean Steak Bowls are made with juicy seared steak bites, a quick sesame cucumber slaw, your choice of rice or quinoa, and the best 2-ingredient spicy dressing!
Meet the bowls that we have been making on major repeat lately. ♡
They were actually inspired by a Korean burger recipe that I made with some friends in the States a few months back. But since good burger buns are notoriously difficult to find here in Barcelona (lol, don’t get me started), I ended up adapting the recipe into these simple salad-y rice bowls once I arrived back home. And over the past few months, this recipe has turned into one of our all-time favorites for easy meal prep lunches and dinners for the week ahead.
The protein here is of course 100% up to you — I’m partial making these bowls with juicy soy-marinated steak bites, but you could just as easily swap in ground beef (or Beyond Beef), chicken, pork, shrimp, tofu, or tempeh. You also have the choice of rice, quinoa or other grains as your base for these bowls. But the slaw and dressing are non-negotiables here. ♡ I am absolutely in love with this sesame cucumber slaw recipe, which adds a burst of bright fresh flavors and cool crunch to these bowls, and also holds up well in the fridge for a few days if you are making these bowls for meal prep. And get ready, because once you meet this creamy dreamy spicy gochujang sauce, you’re going to want to be drizzling it on just about everything. Altogether, the ingredients combine to form the most irresistible balance of textures and flavors that we’re obsessed with here in our house. I’m certain you’re going to love them too!
Alright, let’s make these Korean steak bowls!
Korean Steak Bowl Ingredients:
Alright, let’s chat ingredients! To make these Korean beef bowls, you will need the following ingredients for these four basic components of the recipe:
Steak bites: I used flank steak for this recipe, seasoned with salt and pepper then cooked in avocado oil (or whichever high-heat oil you may prefer). But as I mentioned above, feel free to sub in whatever other type of protein you might prefer if steak isn’t your fave.
Cucumber slaw: Made with a basic bag of coleslaw mix, English (or Persian) cucumber slices, fresh cilantro, green onions, and a simple dressing made with rice vinegar, soy sauce, maple syrup and toasted sesame oil. Feel free to also toss in some toasted sesame seeds for added crunch, if you’d like!
Spicy sauce: So obsessed with this simple sauce made with plain Greek yogurt (or mayo) and gochujang paste. You can either serve it as more of a thick creamy sauce, or thin it out with a few tablespoons of water to make it more of a drizzly dressing — up to you! (Feel free to also adjust the amount of gochujang, depending on what level of spicy heat you prefer.)
Rice: We typically make these bowls with either white or brown rice, but feel free to use quinoa or any other grains that you might prefer.
How To Make These Korean Steak Bowls:
As always, the full instructions are listed in the recipe below. But here are a few notes about each of the steps we will take to make these bowls:
Cook the rice. I always do this nowadays in my Instant Pot, which is the easiest breeziest way that I know to make rice. But feel free to use the traditional stovetop method or a rice cooker too — whichever works best for you!
Make the sauce: As mentioned above, you can either whisk the ingredients together to form a thick and creamy sauce, which you can dollop onto your bowls. Or you can thin the sauce out with a few tablespoons of water to make it more of a drizzly dressing.
Make the slaw: No worries about whisking the dressing ingredients together separately. I literally just add everything to a big bowl and toss until combined!
Cook the steak bites: In order to get perfectly seared and juicy steak bites, it’s essential that we work quickly with a very hot pan! So be sure that your steak is chopped and seasoned and ready to go. Then heat the oil in a large sauté pan over high heat until it’s shimmering and sizzles loudly once the steak hits the pan. Add the steak bites to the pan in an even layer (do this in two batches if your pan is on the smaller size) and cook for 2 minutes without stirring, so that the steak can get a nice golden sear on the bottom. Then flip and cook on the second side until the steak reaches your desired level of doneness, and transfer to a clean bowl, and toss with the soy sauce.
Assemble the bowls: Finally, layer everything up! In your serving bowls, portion out a generous serving of rice and coleslaw, add a layer of steak bites, top with the spicy sauce (plus maybe an extra sprinkle of cilantro and sesame seeds) and enjoy!
There are so many fun ways that you can customize these bowls if you would like! For example, feel free to…
Use a different protein: As mentioned above, these bowls would be delicious with just about any protein that you love best! In place of the steak, feel free to use ground beef, chicken, pork, shrimp, tofu, or tempeh. Or we’ve also enjoyed making this lately with Beyond Beef too.
Add avocado: I didn’t include this in the recipe below, since sliced avocado doesn’t hold up well in the fridge for meal prep. But if you happen to have an avocado on hand, we can vouch that it’s delicious in these bowls!
Add a soft-boiled (or fried) egg: Also a delicious addition.
More Favorite Korean Recipes:
Looking for more Korean recipe inspiration? Here are a few of my other favorites!
Cook the rice. Cook the rice according to package instructions.
Make the sauce: Whisk together the Greek yogurt and gochujang until combined. If you would like to turn the sauce into more of a drizzly dressing, whisk in a few extra tablespoons of water until the mix reaches your desired consistency. (And if it tastes a bit too spicy for your liking, stir in some extra Greek yogurt.)
Make the slaw: Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl until combined.
Cook the steak bites: Season the steak evenly with a generous pinch of salt and a few twists of freshly-cracked black pepper. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over high heat until it is shimmering. (You want the pan to be very hot!) Quickly add the steak bites to the pan in an even layer. (If your pan is too small for the steak bites to fit in a single layer, I recommend cooking it in two batches.) Cook the steak for 2 minutes without stirring. Then flip and cook for 2-ish more minutes, or until the steak is seared on both sides and cooked to your desired level of doneness. Transfer steak to a clean bowl and toss with the soy sauce.
Assemble the bowls: In your serving bowls, layer a portion of rice, slaw, and steak bites. Then drizzle generously with the spicy sauce, plus an optional extra sprinkle of chopped cilantro for garnish. Enjoy!