Easy Weeknight Korean Beef & Sweet Potato Bowls

Food for Grownups
easy weeknight korean beef and sweet potato bowl

My weekdays are usually pretty filled to the brim. You’ve probably assessed this from the themes of productivity and goal setting on the blog. No standing over a hot stove or nine course dinners for me.

But I also hold myself to a higher standard than a simple frozen meal or a bowl of cereal (not that there is anything wrong with that!). I just get so much joy out of putting a meal on the table that I don’t want to rob myself of that. It’s a creative outlet for me. I think I probably have too many creative outlets but is that really such a bad thing?

To avoid making the same thing over and over but not creating too much work for myself, I love things that are of the make it your own variety. Whatever I have on hand – throw it in. Leftover roasted chicken? Throw it in.

The One Bowl Meal

That’s where the beauty of the meal in a bowl comes in. They are actually kind of trendy right now, which is hilarious since its the most basic thing in the world.

Basically, you choose a base. This could be quinoa, rice, riced cauliflower. For me, it’s whatever is leftover and in the fridge.

Then you choose the star of the show. I like to think of this as flavor-packed protein. Grilled steak. Roasted chicken. Crispy tofu.

Then you load it with all the good things. Anything in your fridge that is healthy, it will surely belong here with its fresh, crunchy friends. There’s usually a little chopping involved here but nothing too serious.

Then drizzle it with a sauce, either homemade or sriracha or even salad dressing. I’ve made a really yummy Mexican-themed rice bowl with a low-fat jalapeño ranch that was just perfect.

I love the idea of pairing jasmine rice, crunchy bell peppers, cilantro, chopped cashews, and a protein with store-bought peanut sauce. Or avocado and corn with quinoa and leftover chopped barbecue brisket for a southwestern flair. Or middle-eastern lentils with grilled chicken, cucumbers and tzatziki sauce.  Really, I could go on.

But for today’s recipe, we are going to focus on what was in my fridge. And that means Korean beef and sweet potato bowls.

Here goes.


Easy Weeknight Korean Beef and Sweet Potato Bowls

  • Author: Marie Bostwick
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


¾ cup low-sodium soy sauce

½ cup rice vinegar

2 TB honey

2 TB gochujang* (or more to taste)

1 inch of minced, peeled ginger

4 cloves garlic

2 TB sesame oil

1.5 lb skirt steak (this is different than flank steak)

1.5 lbs cubed sweet potatoes

¼ cup olive oil

1 TB white miso paste*

¾ tsp kosher salt

6 cups chopped, “massaged” kale

Juice of 1 lime

3 cup cooked rice (I used brown organic jasmine rice from Lundberg Farms)

2 carrots, shredded on a cheese grater

4 eggs chopped cilantro and toasted sesame seeds for topping (optional)

** You can find both the gochujang (fermented Korean Chile paste) and the white miso paste in the Asian aisle of your local grocery store.


The Marinade: Preferable the night before but at a minimum of thirty minutes before you intend to cook dinner, grab a large freezer bag and add soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, gochujang, ginger, garlic, and sesame oil. Submerge the skirt steak in the marinade, occasionally turning or stirring to make sure all surfaces absorb the amazing flavors.

The Sweet Potatoes: Preheat your oven to 425. On a parchment paper lined baking sheet, toss the cubed sweet potatoes together with the miso paste, olive oil, and salt. Roast in a single layer for about 2- to 25 minutes or until lightly charred and tender. Give them a toss a couple times throughout the cooking process so the “char” is evenly distributed.

Fire up the Grill: Skirt steak is best when it’s cooked on high heat for short time, creating a sear and locking in the flavor. Cooking it too long will make it really chewy. Throw the steak on the grill and cook for 5 minutes on each side, spooning on a little extra marinade throughout the cooking process. I like it cooked medium rare. Once you’ve achieved desired doneness, wrap in foil and let rest. Then thinly slice on the diagonal into strips.

Make the Sauce: Pour the leftover marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Reduce for 5 minutes until thickened slightly.

It’s Kale Time: In a large bowl, combine kale with lime juice and salt. Massage until wilted.

Now Put it All Together: Start with a base layer of rice in each bowl. Then divide up the steak and sweet potatoes. Add the fun toppings—fried egg, shredded carrots, kale, maybe even cilantro and toasted sesame seeds. Then drizzle with the reduced sauce. Go to town!

  • Category: Easy weeknight meals
  • Method: grilled, roasted
  • Cuisine: Korean

Keywords: bipimbap, korean beef bulgogi

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