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Korean Beef Sloppy Joes

A grownup version of your favorite messy sandwich.

A Sloppy Joe is a sandwich that’s easy to love. There’s something comforting about its casual messiness, and the saucy flavor seems to always hit the spot. These Korean Beef Sloppy Joes have all those enticing features – a messy but comforting bite, a sweet and savory flavor that’s hard to step away from – but they do it in a way that’s a little more elevated. They’re grown up Sloppy Joes, if you will. With an Asian twist.

While your traditional Sloppy Joe relies mostly on ketchup for its sweet and tangy flavor, this mixture also includes ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sriracha. The ketchup brings the sweetness but there’s also nuttiness from the sesame, umami and saltiness from the soy, and some zing and zip from the ginger, vinegar, and sriracha. In other words, there’s a lot more layers of flavor than your basic tomato-based Sloppy Joe.

Want more good news? That delicious beef mixture is also great served over rice or spooned into lettuce cups and it only takes you fifteen minutes to throw together. I like to make a big batch of this and then use it in different ways the next few nights. Have a messy, sloppy sandwich the first night, a rice bowl the next, and some healthy lettuce wraps to finish it off!

Serves 4

5m prep time

10m cook time

Rated 4.5 out of 5
Rated by 8 reviewers
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 brioche rolls or hamburger buns, for serving
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef until cooked through.
  2. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then stir in ginger, sesame oil, ketchup, water, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sriracha, and cook until the liquid reduces and sauce thickens, about 5-6 minutes.
  3. Spoon mixture onto toasted buns and top with green onions. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Dinner Then Dessert.

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