Korean beef bowls with marinated sirloin, crispy cucumbers, carrots and white rice are topped with chili aioli and sesame seeds to round out a total flavor-bomb meal. Guys. I can’t quit the bowl life. Why aren’t there more bowl-style restaurants yet? The kind where you go down an assembly line of ingredients and pick every base, veggie, meat and sauce your heart desires. Maybe they can even make a poke stop out of it? Kidding. Don’t get me started.
Bowls in general are all about the layers. The base layer you typically want to be some kind of grain. I chose white rice this time, but I typically opt for quinoa, brown rice or rice noodles. You could also use lettuce if you’re opting for a lighter option, but this girl has gotta have her carbs.Now onto the veggies! There are really no rules or caps on which veggies or how many you can add. That’s the beauty of it, right? I love the idea of adding pickled veggies or kimchi to a bowl like this but I kept it simple with sliced cucumber and carrot ribbons. Mainly because the other necessary feature of a fully-equipped bowl is texture. These veggies bring the freshness, CRUNCH and as a bonus, a beautiful pop of color.
Something to also keep in mind – the wider array of colorful veggies you add, the more variety of nutrients you’re getting. Carrots are an excellent source of beta-carotene, as well as a good source of fiber, potassium and antioxidants. Pairing a vegetable like carrots that have an orange/red pigment with a veggie that has green or purple hues will ensure a wider array of vitamins and minerals.
Next up – MEAT! You could use chicken, pork or tofu in this recipe, but I opted for thin strips of top sirloin. The beef is marinated in a mix of soy sauce, brown sugar, fresh ginger, loads of garlic and a touch of chili sauce for a bit of heat. The meat marinades just long enough to help tenderize it before it is flash seared on a hot HOT skillet. Thinly sliced beef only needs a couple minutes to cook (flavorful + fast!) while the leftover sauce coats each strip like a dream.Now what some may deem the most important component of a bowl, as it has the potential to tie in ALL the flavor, is the SAUCE. This chili aioli could most closely be compared to a healthier Yum Yum Sauce. It’s ridiculously simple (only 3 ingredients) and comes together in roughly 30 seconds. It adds the perfect dose of creaminess and helps bind everything together so you can extract the PERFECT bite. <– seriously, so important.
Also worth mentioning is the need for some fresh herbs and garnishes. Green onion, basil and fresno chili pepper were the dynamic trio for this bowl, but as long as you toss in something fresh and aromatic, you’ve mastered the bowl-making business. That’s it, folks! Your crash course in assembling a bowl with texture, flavor, color and major nutritional appeal is complete. Is anyone else thinking of all the possible combinations that could be created from what’s sitting in your produce drawer? 😉
I’m just over here staring at these pictures as I count down the minutes till lunch. Beef bowls at 10AM are totally acceptable, right? Excellent.
If you make this recipe, be sure to tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations!
Korean Beef Bowls with Chili Aioli
- 1 lb top sirloin steak sliced into thin strips
- 3 1/2 tbsp lower sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp chili sauce Sriracha or Gochujang
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 cup rice uncooked
- 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
- 2 medium-large carrots grated or julienned
- 1/2 cucumber thinly sliced and halved
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
- Optional garnish: 2 tbsp sesame seeds fresh basil, chili peppers
- **Chili Aioli**
- 2 tbsp olive or canola-based mayonnaise
- 1 tsp chili sauce Sriracha or Gochujang
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- In a gallon-sized Ziploc bag, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, chili sauce, garlic and ginger. Add steak, zip the bag and rub marinade into meat, fully coating. Place in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
- Once meat has marinated, prepare rice according to package instructions either using water or reduced-sodium stock.
- Prepare chili aioli by combining mayo, chili sauce and sesame oil in a small bowl and stirring to combine. Set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tsp sesame oil. Add sliced red pepper and cook for ~2-3 minutes, tossing every 30 seconds or so, until softened. Transfer to a plate and turn up to HIGH heat. Add marinated steak and cook for ~3 minutes, tossing every 30 seconds or so. After a few minutes, add red peppers back to pan and remove from heat to avoid over-cooking (sirloin steak can get tough if overcooked).
- To assemble, spoon 1/4th of rice into a bowl, filling up one side. Add steak and red pepper mixture to less-filled side. Add carrot ribbons and sliced cucumber. Top with a dollop of aioli, sliced green onion, sesame seeds and fresh basil (optional). Serve!
Join the Conversation:
Are you also an avid “bowler”?
What else would you add to this bowl to contribute to the flavor party?
If you like this recipe, be sure to check out some of my other favorite bowl recipes: