Instant Pot Ground Beef Bulgogi Bowl

Several weeks back, I was craving something a little different. I had a package of ground beef and randomly wanted to create a bowl of some sort. However, I didn't really want it to be Mexican-inspired (as so many are). With those criteria, I did an online search and found a few interesting ideas, but nothing that really spoke to me in its entirety. So, I created my own with a combination of the results that came up. I give you my Ground Beef Bulgogi Bowl!

Instant Pot Ground Beef Bulgogi

Okay, okay, okay - so it's not technically bulgogi in every sense, but more inspired by the flavors of bulgogi. I added a lot of little things that I crave and felt like it would complete the meal. Since I know how we all feel about scrolling through all the pictures and yakkity, yack; I'll go ahead and give you the recipe then talk about it a bit more. 

Ingredients

  • 1 medium zucchini
  • olive oil, salt, & pepper
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 C Korean Barbecue (bulgogi) sauce
  • 1 C pearl (Israeli) couscous
  • 1 C chicken stock
  • eggs (1 per bowl)
  • Optional garnishment: sesame seeds, green onions

Directions

  • Quarter the zucchini longways then dice. Toss the chunks with oil, salt, & pepper. Lay them out on a baking sheet and roast at 425° F for about 10 minutes. Set aside.
  • Set your Instant Pot on the Saute setting. Add about 1 Tbs of oil. Cook your ground beef and onions until no pink remains. Drain the grease and return the beef and onions to the pot. 
  • Add bulgogi sauce and let it cook into the meat for a minute or two.
  • Stir in couscous and stock.
  • Secure lid to the instant pot. Set pot to manual pressure, high for 7 minutes. 
  • While the Instant Pot is going, fry your eggs.
  • When time is up on the pot, quick release the pressure. Once the pressure is released, add your lightly roasted zucchini and mix it together with the beef mixture.
  • Place beef and couscous in a bowl and top with your fried egg(s). Optionally, you can garnish with more bulgogi sauce, green onions, and/or sesame seeds. 
  • Enjoy!
Easy Bulgogi Bowl

My Inspiration
When I first made this dish, I was simply looking for something a bit different, but still delicious. Like I said, I had the beef. I also had couscous. Knowing that those were great starting ingredients for a bowl, I did a search and found this recipe for Instant Pot Couscous with Ground Beef that made such simple work of cooking them together. Yet, it just didn't have the flavors I was looking for in a meal. With a tad more digging online, I discovered the sauce in these Korean Beef Bowls that sounded yummy. For my first, go-round with my recipe, I did use the sauce in that second link but later realized that I could buy a bottle of Korean BBQ sauce on the Asian aisle of my grocery store for convenience. That's what I used for my second attempt at the recipe, but I kept their addition of the egg and sesame seeds. Because I like to make sure there's a veggie or two in every recipe, I added the onions and zucchini. 

Recipe Details
I like to start this recipe with the zucchini by first dicing it into small chunks that work well for bite-size pieces in the bowl. Once it's chopped, I toss it with a splash of olive oil and some salt & pepper before spreading the chunks out evenly on a baking sheet and sticking it in a 425° F oven for 8-10 minutes.  I'm not a big fan of over-cooked zucchini, and I know that it will cook a bit more once it's mixed into the pot with the hot beef and couscous, so I undercook it slightly then set it aside while working on everything else.

While that's in the oven, I start on the meat. I use ground beef for this recipe, but I think ground turkey, chicken, or pork would work just as well if that's what you have on hand. Begin by selecting the saute setting on your Instant Pot. 

Add a splash of olive oil and allow it to get hot.

Then, add your finely diced onion and ground beef. Use a wooden spoon to break apart the beef and stir it as it browns. 

Once all the pink is gone from the beef, turn it out onto a paper-towel-lined plate to drain off the grease. Return the beef and onions to the Instant Pot. Stir in the Bulgogi sauce and allow it to season the meat for a minute or two. Add the couscous and chicken stock (though other stock would work fine too) and stir to combine.

Turn off the saute function on the Pot. Place and lock the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure the valve is set to seal. Set the pot on Manual, High Pressure for 7 minutes. While that cooks, fry up your eggs in some oil or butter. I have to admit that I didn't use to be a fan of fried eggs. Once we got chickens and were able to have the freshest eggs ever, I started liking them much more and now want to put fried eggs with a runny yolk on EVERYTHING!

Back to the Instant Pot. Once the time is up, quick release the valve and wait for the pressure to release and the pin to drop. Carefully remove the lid and stir in the lightly roasted zucchini. 

Scoop the meat mixture into bowls. Top it with your fried egg. You could also add a drizzle more of the Bulgogi sauce and maybe even sliced green onions and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. (I like all the toppings!)
Ground Beef Bulgogi in Instant Pot

I haven't timed this recipe, but it's QUICK and so delicious. It's also filling and easy. It really is all the things. I hope you try it. If you do, let me know what you think.

Comments

  1. Replies
    1. It is! You should definitely try it. And, If you don't have an instant pot, I'm sure it could be done in a regular pot too - just adjust the cooking time to make sure the couscous is cooked. Enjoy!!

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