Fast and budget-friendly, add Korean Beef & Kimchi Noodles to your list of easy weeknight dinners that make you feel like you just ordered take-out!
Traditional Korean Beef (Bulgogi) is made with fine strips of marinated steak, quick-cooked in batches to keep the meat tender. Seared on the outside, juicy in the middle. Shifting to ground meat makes Korean Beef even more versatile.
Pair with plain Jasmin Rice for a simple, wholesome Korean Beef Bowl. Bundle Korean Beef into a tortilla with a base of chopped Napa cabbage and julienned carrots for an out-of-this-world Asian Burrito, or try Korean Sloppy Joes with Bulgogi on a bun.
Budget Friendly & Fab Flavour
Stretching the all-mighty dollar and still eating well is a delicate balancing act these days. In our household, that means taking advantage of whatever happens to be on sale, particularly at the meat counter.
Ground meats are often a solid value. The secret to a deliciously saucy Korean Beef bowl isn’t the meat, it’s the sauce. Salty, flavourful and slightly sticky, you can swap ground beef for ground pork, chicken, turkey or even grilled Tofu for a lighter take.
Savoury, Spicy Kimchi Noodles
Big, fat juicy noodles are always a hit. There’s something profoundly satisfying in slurping them up. Udon noodles are chunky, wheat-based Japanese noodles. They’re often sold fresh in individual portions. Udon noodles are cheap and super fast to cook. You can toss them into soups or stir-fries, right out of the pack.
Switch up to whatever cooked, long noodle works for you for your Kimchi Noodles. Rice vermicelli, Asian egg noodles, ramen, and even linguine will work with this recipe.
Again, the flavour is in the sauce – which you’re borrowing from the Korean Beef. Reserve 2 – 3 tablespoons of the sauce and add a half-cup of finely chopped kimchi and a couple of tablespoons of stock or water. Then it’s a quick stir fry to coat your noodles with the Kimchi sauce and straight onto the table.
Asian Cooking, With Confidence
The joy of Asian cuisine is the speed that complex protein-based dishes come together. Curries and sauteed stir-fries, cook in minutes. But we have to factor in the prep time whenever we’re cooking Asian or Eurasian cuisine. Korean Beef & Kimchi Noodles is short on cooking time but long on prep.
In the kitchen the most important element in Asian cooking is organization.
Take care of all the chopping, dicing and mixing in advance. Bowl your ingredients separately, close at hand, then cook.
This way you can give the dish your complete attention and rapid-fire any stir fry or quick curry so ingredients are flash cooked, but still retain good colour, flavour, nutrition and crispness.
To Wok, Or Not To Wok
There’s a zen to using a Wok. Particularly if you have a gas stovetop for fast, immediate heat. The bowl shape makes it perfectly balanced for rapid cooking. But don’t get hung up on using a Wok.
If you’re cooking Korean Beef & Kimchi Noodles using an electric stove, particularly a ceramic top, Wok cooking is much less efficient. The heat can be inconsistent so rather than fast-frying, you boil your ingredients making for soggy, soupy results.
If you’re cooking on an electric, flat-top, like I am (like it or not), use a good nonstick, flat pan. The pan I use is a 12-inch Tefal that I picked up, on sale, for $12. It’s my go-to pan for all stir fry meals.
This way you have full contact and control of the heat which means ingredients cook quickly and evenly and the sauce stays on the food, rather than sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Eat well. Live well. Stay on budget!
Fast and budget-friendly, Korean Beef & Kimchi Noodles, an easy weeknight dinner that’ll make you feel like you just ordered take-out! This recipe has become a go-to favorite when I’m craving Asian flavours, and spicy noodles. It’s satisfying and keeps me on budget. Who doesn’t need another great ground beef recipe in the arsenal of kitchen favorites?!
- 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef (ground pork, chicken or turkey also work here)
- 1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce (see note)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon gochujang (Korean red pepper paste, any Asian garlic-chili paste, OR 1/4 teaspoon dried chilies)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 2 packages Udon noodles (individual portions)
- 8 – 10 baby Bok Choy, washed and trimmed
- 1/2 cup kimchi, finely chopped
- 2 – 3 teaspoons water
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced, divided
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds – to finish
- Prepare your sauce in a small bow or large measuring cup; combine soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, shallot, cornstarch gochujang, or garlic-chili sauce or chilies and toasted sesame seeds. Stir to combine and reserve.
- Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a wok or large pan over medium-high heat. Add ground beef, and brown, breaking apart large chunks until most of the pink is gone from the meat. Drain excess fat if necessary,
- While beef is cooking, steam your Bok Choy and reserve, warm. Substitute any Asian greens with solid nutritional value, broccoli also works well with this dish,
- Add *most* of your sauce mix, reserving 2 – 3 tablespoons for your noodles. Mix sauce well with beef, and cook until tender and richly coloured, about 3 to 4 minutes, Remove cooked Korean beef to a bowl and reserve warm while you quickly finish your Kimchi noodles.
- Add kimchi to reaming sauce. Using the same pan as the beef, add the remaining oil if needed, then add your noodles and give them a quick toss. I like to give them a little steam, so I add a tablespoon or so of water first, to make the noodles swell & get tender. Now add sauce, and about half your green onions, and quickly toss to coat.
- Serve immediately, garnished with green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.
if you want to reduce your sodium, or if you’re working with a full-sodium soy sauce reduce your soy to 1/4 cup and add either a 1/4 cup of stock (beef, chicken or vegetable) or water.
- Prep Time:20 minutes
- Cook Time:15 minutes
Keywords: Korean Beef, Kimchi Noodles