Korean Beef with Gochujang Sauce

by Emily Kemme
Korean beef with gochujang sauce

Spicy Korean beef is satisfying because it’s a perfect bowlful of tastes: there’s heat, salt, the umami luxuriousness of tender beef — and a hint of sweetness. The longer you simmer the sauce, the better intensity and the more tender the beef, but if you’re short on time, this is still the recipe for you. Serve these tantalizing flavors over steamed, white rice and a side of lightly steamed broccoli for color and a power boost from one of the world’s healthiest foods.

Korean Beef with Gochujang Sauce Recipe

2 T toasted sesame oil, plus extra for drizzling

1 lb thinly sliced eye of round, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

3 inch knob of ginger, peeled and minced

1/3 cup Turbinado sugar

Note: Turbinado, a healthier sugar alternative, is raw cane sugar, better known as “sugar in the raw.” It has brown sugar characteristics with a maple notes but is lighter in flavor.

1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/2 cup coconut juice (also called coconut water)

Note: low in calories and fat and packed with fiber, coconut juice is a healthier alternative to fruit sweetners because it’s loaded with vitamins and bioactive enzymes. Find in many packaging options. Here’s one I liked for its low sugar content.

Coconut Juice or Coconut Water

2 T Gochujang sauce (chili garlic paste)

Note: there’s increased availability of Asian foods in larger grocery stores these days. Or visit an Asian grocery in your area and go exploring. If this cute, red-packaged sauce isn’t available, sub with Thai chili garlic sauce.

Gochujang Korean chili garlic paste

2 green onions, thinly sliced

2 small heads broccoli, stem ends trimmed, florets divided into 2-inch pieces

Heat sesame oil in large, non-stick skillet or wok over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add beef to skillet and stir-fry until browned and no longer pink.

Sprinkle Turbinado sugar over beef mixture. Add soy sauce, coconut juice and Gochujang sauce to skillet and stir gently to incorporate ingredients. Bring sauce to boil, and then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for at least 30 minutes until sauce has thickened and beef is tender.

For Broccoli:

Place metal steamer basket in medium pot. Add water to about 1 inch over bottom of basket. Cover pot and bring water to boil over high heat. Add broccoli to steamer basket, cover and cook on medium heat for about 3 minutes, until broccoli is bright green and fork tender.

Serve beef over steamed white rice. Sprinkle green onions over the top and drizzle with toasted sesame oil. Serve broccoli alongside.

Serves 4.

Korean beef with gochujang sauce

The longer you can simmer the thinly sliced beef in the gochujang sauce, the more tender and flavorful it will be.

Cherry Sake CocktailStephanie Davis loves sake, and her husband — well, not so much — but she says that doesn’t mean she has to deny herself a sake indulgence every now and then. Sake should be consumed fresh and doesn’t fare well days after opening. She recently opened a 750mL bottle of sake and with half of it unconsumed, she dreamed up a cocktail! Google has endless ideas for the amateur mixologist, so she liked the ease of this Cherry Sake Cocktail. Use ginger beer instead of ginger ale. It was a home run with Steph’s husband. He asked for another!


Did you enjoy reading this? If so, please share! And thank you!

Award-winning author Emily Kemme writes about human nature, illuminating the everyday in a way that highlights its brilliance. Follow her on her blog, Feeding the Famished,  https://www.facebook.com/EmilyKemme, or on Twitter @EmFeedsYou . Life inspired. Vodka tempered.

Like this blog post? Subscribe to my newsletter so you won’t miss out on future blog posts!

Related Articles


Jeannine December 7, 2019 - 6:03 am

This was a delicious recipe. I did change a few things (marinating the meat a bit) and used green beans chopped into small pieces (quick steamed them first before chopping). My teenage son truly dislikes green beans. I’m always trying to find a way to make them. He ate everything, asked for a little more, and has asked me to make the recipe again… like for the follow week! Thank you again for the recipe.

Emily Kemme December 7, 2019 - 11:37 am

Great idea to entice green bean eating with this combo! Enjoy!

John M October 17, 2017 - 11:45 am

I wasn’t meaning to be belligerent. The recipe is great. In fact it was brilliant and enjoyed by my girlfriend and
3 sons twice. It was just the format I was not enamoured with. The photos are great. Always a help with any
recipe but please keep the ingredients together. Either before or after the photos. Thank you for a good recipe.
Just for your enjoyment and possibly amusement my girlfriend thought I was out of order with my first comments.
John M (in the UK)

Emily Kemme October 17, 2017 - 3:17 pm

Hi John (in the UK),
I am definitely amused by the entire thing. Thanks for sharing it. I’m glad you like the Korean Beef recipe. Give some of my other recipes a try, too! They don’t all have photos in the middle of the ingredients, either. 🙂

John M November 5, 2017 - 6:51 am

I definitely will. Glad my girlfriends comments amused you. Keep smiling. John M (in the UK) At least I’m honest.

John M September 15, 2017 - 9:47 am

This is a good recipe. The fact you you have spread the ingredients between all the pictures is abysmal. The ingredients and method should all be together so that you are not constantly scrolling back and forth. This is the worst execution of a recipe (blog) I have seen. You call yourself an author. Please look at other food blogs. I’m not trying to be belligerent but this is just bad. I will however once again say thank you for a good recipe.

Emily Kemme September 15, 2017 - 10:13 am

Hello John,
Thank you for your comments. I’d love to hear your impressions of the recipe once you’ve prepared it. I intersperse photos of unusual ingredients in-between the instructions for purposes of educating my readers. I find it helps them locate an ingredient with which they may not be familiar. Take a look at some of my other recipes and you’ll find I only do this when introducing something that people may not typically cook with.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.