My family LOVES tacos. I once made slow cooker carnitas on Sunday night and we ate tacos for dinner for the WHOLE WEEK. (And lunches too, if I’m being honest!)
Part of the reason we love tacos so much is because everyone can pick out their own toppings. My daughter doesn’t have to pick out mushrooms and my son can put extra lettuce. I can put all the extra sour cream and 5-minute guacamole I want!
Sometimes I want something with PIZZAZZ… something with real big kick in the butt of flavor.
That’s why we’re talking about Korean beef bowls.
You may remember that I first introduced you to this flavor combo via Instant Pot Korean beef. Friends – this is LIFE CHANGING.
I know tacos are all about the toppings, but when you start with super flavorful and incredibly moist shredded beef, YOU ALREADY HAVE A TON OF FLAVOR and you haven’t even put anything on top yet.
That’s is the perfect start to the ultimate taco experience in my opinion.
If you’ve ever made tacos before, you know that they’re EXTREMELY versatile. You have your standard toppings of course, but change just one thing and BOOM, you have a completely different flavor profile.
That’s kind of where we stand with these Korean beef bowls. This isn’t an exact recipe per se, other than starting with Instant Pot Korean beef. It’s really a template for building your own bowl – or taco, or wrap, or burrito – using what you already have on hand.
And maybe it’ll give you a small nudge to try something new to see if you like it (yep, looking at you kimchi!).
- Family likes it? Check.
- Beyond delicious? Check.
- Easy to make? Check (thank you Instant Pot!)
- Cheap? Oh yes – let’s talk about that.
Aside from the fact that tacos eliminate my people grumbling about unwanted vegetables, tacos are friendly to my grocery budget because they are CHEAP!
The most expensive part to any taco (or bowl or salad or wrap) is always the meat, but because tortillas are only so big and most people want to load up on toppings anyway, you can make a lot of tacos without a lot of meat.
As I mentioned earlier – I made a regular 3 lb pork shoulder roast on Sunday night. ALL FOUR OF US ate tacos until we were stuffed for FIVE nights. My husband even took tacos to lunch twice during the week too.
That means I paid just 41¢ in meat per person, per meal. CAN YOU EVEN GET CLOSE TO THAT AT A RESTAURANT?!
Korean Beef Bowls
Let’s break down the Korean beef bowls.
Bowl / Salad / Taco / Wrap
First, you don’t have to make this a bowl if you don’t want to. You can make these tacos or wraps or even salads! Don’t let the title stifle your imagination.
Bowl / Salad Options
- White Rice (we like jasmine)
- Brown Rice (make it in the Instant Pot)
- Coconut Lime Rice
- Cauliflower Rice
- Rice Noodles (white or brown, or even spaghetti or fettuccine if that’s what you have)
- Shredded lettuce (romaine would hold up well)
- Cabbage (finely shredded)
Taco / Wrap Options
- Corn Tortillas
- Flour Tortillas
- Cassava Flour Tortillas
- Iceberg Lettuce (or butter lettuce if it’s in season)
Instant Pot Korean Beef
Remember that we made this in the Instant Pot. I highly recommend making this earlier in the week. (maybe during weekend meal prep? Or while you’re already in the kitchen doing something else? Or even while you’re sleeping?! ← YES!)
While you’re at it, make a 2x or 3x or 4x batch and freeze in smaller portions for later. Your later self will thank you.
We all know the toppings is where the fun is at!
- Sour Cream
- Guacamole (super simple or extra creamy)
- Salsa (my homemade red salsa)
- Shredded Cheese
- Diced Tomatoes
- Shredded Lettuce
- Refried Beans (THE BEST slow cooker refried beans)
- Lime Wedges
- Pico de Gallo
Super Fun Non-Traditional Toppings
- Kimchi (SO GOOD!)
- Cilantro Lime Coleslaw
- Sliced/diced Avocado
- Green Onions
- Poached or Fried Egg
- Chopped Peanuts
- Sautéed Onions / Peppers / Mushrooms
- Pickled Jalapenos
- Grilled Corn (cut off the cobb)
- Crumbled Queso Fresco
- Diced Onions
- Thinly Sliced Radishes
- Mango Salsa
- Sriracha mayo (get my recipe in this post)
- Lime Crema
- SRIRACHA MAYO + LIME CREMA (YESSSSS!)
- Salsa Verde (find it in this recipe)
How to Build the Perfect Korean Beef Bowl
I’m not entirely sure I need to give instructions on this, but just in case you’re new to the taco/bowl/wrap/salad world:
- Choose whether it’s going to be a bowl or taco or a wrap.
Remember, just because *I* am calling this a bowl and the pictures are of a bowl, doesn’t mean *YOU* have to make a bowl. You do you, friend.
- Load up your Korean beef.
Be generous. You want that Korean (or wannabe Korean) flavor!
- Toppings galore.
Don’t even pretend to be shy here. Go crazy.
- Eat until you cannot eat anymore.
- 1 recipe of Instant Pot Korean Beef (optional: substitute ground beef for roast)
- Bowl Base:
- • White Rice (we like jasmine)
- • Brown Rice (make it in the Instant Pot)
- • Coconut Lime Rice
- • Cauliflower Rice
- • Rice Noodles (white or brown, or even spaghetti or fettuccine if that’s what you have)
- • Shredded lettuce (romaine would hold up well)
- • Cabbage (finely shredded)
- Taco Base:
- • Corn Tortillas
- • Flour Tortillas
- • Cassava Flour Tortillas
- • Iceberg Lettuce for Cups (or butter lettuce if it’s in season)
- Traditional Toppings:
- • Sour Cream
- • Guacamole (super simple or extra creamy)
- • Salsa (my homemade red salsa)
- • Shredded Cheese
- • Diced Tomatoes
- • Shredded Lettuce
- • Refried Beans (THE BEST slow cooker refried beans)
- • Lime Wedges
- • Pico de Gallo
- Non-Traditional Toppings:
- • Kimchi (SO GOOD!)
- • Cilantro Lime Coleslaw
- • Sliced/diced Avocado
- • Green Onions
- • Poached or Fried Egg
- • Cilantro
- • Chopped Peanuts
- • Sautéed Onions / Peppers / Mushrooms
- • Pickled Jalapenos
- • Grilled Corn (cut off the cobb)
- • Crumbled Queso Fresco
- • Diced Onions
- • Thinly Sliced Radishes
- • Mango Salsa
- • Sriracha mayo (get my recipe in this post)
- • Lime Crema
- • SRIACHA MAYO + LIME CREMA (YESSSSS!)
- • Salsa Verde (find it in this recipe)
- Make your Instant Pot Korean Beef and gently shred the beef.
- Choose your base: bowl, salad, taco, or wrap.
- Add your beef to your base.
- Top with your favorite toppings and sauces.