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30-Minute Hoisin Beef Bowls

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These easy Asian beef bowls made from ground beef, hoisin sauce, ginger and garlic are a family favorite!

asian beef bowls

When I chat with other moms about the challenge of getting a well-balanced dinner on the table every night, they often assume that my children are good eaters. Well, I’m sorry to say: wrong! One of my kids, who shall remain nameless, tortures me every night by picking minuscule specks of onions, garlic, or fill in the blank out of her food. So whenever I find a new recipe that my whole family loves, I’m not just happy…I’m ecstatic.

Enter these Asian-flavored hoisin beef bowls: not only do they appeal to kids and adults alike, they can also be made in just 30 minutes from ordinary supermarket ingredients. And the beauty of “bowls” is that everyone can create their own. Like it plain? Go for it. Want to dress it up with scallions, crunchy veggies, and cashews? Yes, please. Eating low-carb? Skip the rice and spoon the beef into lettuce cups. I promise, you can’t go wrong!

What you’ll Need To Make 30-Minute Hoisin Beef Bowls


Step-by-Step Instructions

Begin by mashing the ground beef with the baking soda. The baking soda raises the pH of the meat, helping to lock in moisture and make the beef melt-in-your-mouth tender.


While the baking soda works its magic, chop the ginger, garlic and scallions.


Then get the sauce ready by mixing together the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, tomato paste, sesame oil, sugar and red pepper flakes.


Once the beef is “treated,” brown it in a sauté pan until almost cooked through.


Add the garlic, ginger and light scallions.


Cook for a few minutes, then add the hoisin mixture.


Stir until the beef is well-coated in the sauce and cooked through.


Sprinkle with the remaining scallions and spoon over rice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, shredded veggies, chopped cashews, or whatever you like. Enjoy!


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30-Minute Hoisin Beef Bowls

These easy Asian beef bowls made from ground beef, hoisin sauce, ginger and garlic are a family favorite!

Servings: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes


  • 2 pounds 90% lean ground beef
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons hoisin sauce, best quality such as Lee Kum Kee or Kikkoman (use gluten-free if needed)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce (use gluten-free if needed)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger (see note)
  • 5 scallions, sliced, light and dark green parts separated

For Serving

  • Rice
  • Chopped cashews
  • Sesame seeds
  • Shredded veggies, such as carrots, lettuce or bell peppers


  1. In a large bowl, using your hands, mash the beef with the baking soda. Let it sit on the counter for 20-25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, tomato paste, sesame oil, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Set aside.
  3. Once the beef is "treated" and ready to cook, heat the vegetable oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Brown the beef, stirring frequently and breaking into pieces, until just slightly pink, about 5 minutes. (I don't drain the fat - there's not that much and it adds flavor.)
  4. Add the garlic, ginger, and light scallions. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, a few minutes.
  5. Add the reserved hoisin sauce mixture and cook until the beef is well-coated and cooked through, about a minute. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  6. Gently stir in the remaining scallions and spoon the beef into bowls over rice. Top with sesame seeds, chopped cashews, and shredded veggies, if you like.
  7. Note: To get this dish done in 30 minutes, chop the garlic, ginger, and scallions while the meat is being treated with baking soda.
  8. Note: Check out easy guidance on how to peel, grate, and chop fresh ginger here.
  9. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The meat mixture can be frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 347
  • Fat: 19 g
  • Saturated fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 11 g
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 32 g
  • Sodium: 979 mg
  • Cholesterol: 99 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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  • Super tasty, delicious, easy to make comfort food! We loved it!!!

    • — Tara on July 7, 2023
    • Reply
  • So good and easy! I made it with 93% turkey and was glad to see the note about skipping the baking soda step. Also added sliced mushrooms, broccoli florets and sliced red bell peppers to the cooked meat, at the same time as the garlic/ginger/scallions. Increased the sauce by half to accommodate all the veggies and it turned out just right, plenty of delicious sauce! I served it over brown rice with an easy, crunchy slaw on the side. Definitely going in my “quick weeknight meal” file.

    • — Anna McAllister on June 29, 2023
    • Reply
  • Excellent flavours! Quick and easy to make.

    • — Joanne on June 26, 2023
    • Reply
  • Yes – all 5 family members enjoyed this! It’s a rarity to be celebrated. Thanks, Jenn!

    • — Diane on June 16, 2023
    • Reply
  • This was delicious. I cooked it for my adult son. I think my grandchildren would have liked it, too. Everything always takes much longer to prepare than expected. If I had planned ahead, I would have done all the chopping and slicing a day ahead, along with mixing the sauce. I doubled the sauce recipe and added water at the end to make it juicier. It was very flavorful even with the added water. I served some butter lettuce leaves on the side for lettuce cups. I also served cole slaw on the side. Thank you, Jenn. This rice bowl is fun, versitile, and delicious and healthy. I added red pepper in same thin strips as carrots, and cilantro on the side. I’m going to add it to my recipe file.

    • — Janet on June 15, 2023
    • Reply
  • It was wonderfully rich and tasty. My husband loved it. I would probably add a half tablespoon of sambal orek or Sriracha next time since he likes extra spicy. It was a hit!

    • — Nadeshiko on June 14, 2023
    • Reply
  • Just made this tonight, flavors are wonderful just as written.
    Had a little trouble tracking down gf hoisin sauce, but Wegmans own brand has no wheat! Yea!
    Tonight on rice, maybe tomorrow on gf ramen noodles.
    Just spicy enough for me!
    Thanks Jen, another winner!

    • — Mary Glassman on June 13, 2023
    • Reply
  • Can you make this chicken instead of beef? What part of chicken would be best if you can.

    • — Dion on June 11, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Dion, I think this would work with ground chicken or turkey (not extra lean) – skip the baking powder though. I’d love to know how it turns out if you use one of these!

      • — Jenn on June 12, 2023
      • Reply
  • I used the recipe last night. Everyone loved it! Yet another great recipe from Once Upon A Chef. Thank you.

    • — Martha Reed on May 2, 2023
    • Reply
  • Delicious recipe! Made this last night and everyone enjoyed it! My son who is picky with meat even ate all of it! Thank you for sharing!

    • — Julie on May 2, 2023
    • Reply
  • I have made this several times & it was a hit.

    I browned the meat today to use tomorrow. I forgot to treat it. Is it too late if it is already browned?

    • — Marie on April 29, 2023
    • Reply
    • Yes, it’s too late if it’s already been cooked – sorry!

      • — Jenn on May 1, 2023
      • Reply
  • This was yummy! Next time I’ll cut back on the hoisin by a T and add a T of sriracha and maybe up the red pepper flakes. It was a tad too sweet and could use more heat IMO. Also as another reviewer suggested, I added some chopped up water chestnuts for texture. I will definitely do this again, adding the whole can next time.

    • — Kathy on April 16, 2023
    • Reply
  • I’ve made this at least 6 times because it’s a winner every time. I add raw veggies when the meat is cooking (celery, red pepper, a little broccoli) because that’s just how we roll in this house. I try to remember to add canned water chestnuts, too, but I usually forget.
    I make twice as much sauce as called for to be sure everything is well coated, then serve over rice. Don’t skip treating the ground beef first; it matters.

    • — Chris on February 28, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hi Jennifer,
    I just wanted to wish you and your family a happy Hannakah. You have been a part of my family for quite a few years now. There are very few special meals that don’t have at least one of your recipes (there are usually more).
    I appreciate the time you spend making us better chefs and making our families happy. It has also been a joy to see your children growing up.
    All the best for 2023.

    • — Sheila on December 20, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sheila, Thank you for such kind words — you made my day! Happy holidays to you and your family. 💗

      • — Jenn on December 20, 2022
      • Reply
  • This was a perfect dinner recipe! I went to the website because I had a pound of ground beef and found this recipe. I had everything on hand and it came together quickly and easily! Thanks Jen!

    • — Anne on December 14, 2022
    • Reply
  • I think this might be my favorite Once Upon A Chef recipe, yet! And that is saying something! Really excellent, flavorful, and fresh. Will be a regular on our rotation. Thank you!

    • — Ali on December 6, 2022
    • Reply
    • Also, I served with a quinoa/ brown rice blend the first night, then reheated the leftovers and served over a slaw for lunch the next day. So yummy and good!

      • — Ali on December 6, 2022
      • Reply
  • Amazing flavor. Quick to prepare. Will surely make it again

    • — Nean on November 22, 2022
    • Reply
  • Could you make this with beef tenderloin?

    • — Doreen on November 12, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Doreen, I wouldn’t recommend it. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on November 13, 2022
      • Reply
  • I don’t eat meat. If I wanted to make this with something such as impossible “meat” would you still treat it with the baking soda?

    • — Melissa on November 6, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Melissa, If you’re going to use a meat alternative, you can skip the baking soda step. I’d love to hear how it turns out with the substitute!

      • — Jenn on November 7, 2022
      • Reply
  • Really quite tasty and so very easy! Totally recommend these for a relatively healthy and quick meal.

    • — Tiana on June 16, 2022
    • Reply
  • Just made this. Delicious! My husband and I are going to tweak because kids are grown and gone…..I will definitely increase the red pepper, and possibly (because we love salt) more soy. I served it with carrots, radishes, lettuce and cashews. Because I like to make a recipe, for the first time, exactly as written, I did serve with rice. Delicious. Trying to lose weight, though…..if served on shredded lettuce would be great.

    • — Lin J Quinn on June 9, 2022
    • Reply
  • So simple and delicious! Only substitution I made was red curry paste instead of tomato paste because it’s all I had. Good way to use ground meat! Thanks again for another great recipe!

    • — Heather on May 23, 2022
    • Reply
  • Made this tonight and it was very tasty! My picky eating daughter ate the whole bowel!

    • — Amber on February 16, 2022
    • Reply

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