Korean-Inspired Bulgogi Ground ‘Beef’ (Vegan)

Korean Bulgogi Ground Beef

A vegan version of Korean Bulgogi Beef, substituting beef with tofu and a flavorful bulgogi-inspired sauce. It makes a mouthwatering lunch or dinner in 20 minutes.

What is Korean Bulgogi Beef? How to make it vegan?

Bulgogi Beef is a classic dish served at Korean BBQ, using grilled marinated beef in a sweet and savoury sauce. It normally uses beef strips, or ground beef then served over rice.

This recipe is a vegan version of Korean Bulgogi Beef, using tofu as a plant-based alternative. It also serves with a bulgogi sauce that is not authentic but very flavorful and mouthwatering!

What is unique about this recipe?

You’ll love this recipe because it is:

  • Quick and easy to make: This recipe comes together in 20 minutes and it’s super easy: chop, mix, throw in a pan and you are good to go!
  • Uses easily accessible ingredients: to make this recipe, you can use easily accessible ingredients like tofu, onion, green onion and typical Asian sauces and condiments.
  • Customizable: the sauce ingredients are easily adjusted to your taste and the side veggies are customizable to what you have available in the fridge.
  • Can be made in one pan: Just combine all ingredients on a pan and mix all together!
  • Perfect for meal prep: You can make this recipe ahead of time and store it in the fridge or freezer. I like to make a batch, then mix and match it with my rice/noodles and different veggies.

Ingredients and substitutions

The star of the dish is the Bulgogi sauce and the crumbled tofu can absorb the flavorful sauce. The sauce in this recipe is not a traditional Bulgogi sauce but makes a tasty, flavorful sauce using easy, accessible ingredients. If you like the spicy taste, you can add a little bit of gochujang for extra spice.

You can make the Bulgogi sauce with the following ingredients:

  • Soy sauce: adds a savory taste
  • Dark soy sauce: adds taste and color that is more similar to beef
  • Black pepper: adds a peppery taste
  • Sugar: adds a hint of sweetness
  • Rice vinegar: adds a tanginess that balances out the savory flavors
  • Minced ginger & garlic: warms and comforting aromatics that perfectly complement the dish

All in all, the sauce is a flavorful substitute for the traditional version, can be made in one pan and is weeknight friendly!

The plant-based substitute used here is tofu, but you can also use shredded mushrooms or jackfruit.

How to serve this Vegan Korean Bulgogi ‘Beef’?

You can serve this recipe with a bowl of warm rice, top with chopped green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy it with a side of veggies, like broccoli, spinach or any you have on hand. You can serve it with other Korean banchan (side dishes)

Storage tip: The recipe keeps well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days and in the freezer for up to 2 months.

If you have tried my recipe, please let me know what you think by leaving me a review on this page or tagging me on Instagram @veggieanh. I would love to see your creations!

Korean Bulgogi Beef

Vegan Bulgogi Ground ‘Beef’ (Korean inspired)

This is a plant-based take on Korean BBQ Beef using easy, accessible ingredients and can be made on one pan. Perfect for weeknight dinners!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Korean
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 400 g firm or extra-firm tofu
  • 1 onion
  • 2 stalks green onion
  • sesame seeds

Sauce ingredients

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce for color
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 tbsp room temp water

Instructions
 

  • Press a block of firm tofu until most water is squeezed out (it doesn't have to be too dry).
  • Crumble the tofu into small pieces by hand or with a fork.
  • Chop the onion into small pieces.
  • Stir fry the onion pieces for 2 minutes or until they become transparent. Add the crumbled tofu and let it sit on the pan on low heat, stir occasionally to avoid burning.
  • Meanwhile, make the sauce using the listed ingredients.
  • Pour the sauce into the tofu, mix until fully incorporated and the tofu turns into a beefy brown color.
  • Remove the tofu ground 'beef' from heat and serve with a bowl of warm rice and veggies of choice.

Video

Keyword 20-minute meal, comfort food, Korean recipes, one-pan dish, tofu, vegan

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe was amazinggg!!! I can’t wait to make it again. I made it with a side of rice and carrots. I had plenty of leftovers and decided to make some bok choy with it for a side the next day. I think this would be a good dish for those that meal prep, as that is what I plan to use it for in the future when I make it again. Thanks Anh for the recipe. This one is definitely a keeper!

    1. Thank you, it’s definitely a good idea to meal prep this!

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