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Hoisin Beef Bowls

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Hoisin beef bowls are loved by adventurous and picky eaters alike! With customizable toppings, everyone gets to build their own bowl, making it a fun and tasty dinner.

Bowls with Hoisin beef and rice.

When chatting 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 whatever else out of her food. So whenever I find a new recipe that my whole family loves, I’m not just happy…I’m ecstatic.

These Asian-flavored hoisin beef bowls are a godsend: not only do they appeal to kids and adults alike, but they can also be made in just 30 minutes using 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? You do you. Eating low-carb? Skip the rice and spoon the beef into lettuce cups. I promise, you can’t go wrong!

“Yes – all 5 family members enjoyed this! It’s a rarity to be celebrated.”


What You’ll Need To Make Hoisin Beef Bowls

ingredients for hoisin beef bowls
  • Ground beef: Serves as the main protein; using 90% keeps the dish relatively lean and eliminates the need to drain any fat after browning.
  • Baking soda: Acts as a tenderizer for the beef and also aids with browning.
  • Hoisin sauce: Infuses the dish with rich, sweet, and savory flavors. Use a good-quality brand, such as Lee Kum Kee or Kikkoman.
  • Soy sauce: Provides savory, umami flavor.
  • Tomato paste: Adds depth and richness to the sauce, contributing a subtle sweetness and a hint of acidity.
  • Asian sesame oil: Imparts a distinct nutty aroma and flavor, characteristic of Asian cuisine.
  • Sugar: Balances the salty, savory, and spicy flavors by adding a touch of sweetness.
  • Red pepper flakes: Infuse the dish with a subtle heat and spice; feel free to adjust to taste.
  • Garlic, ginger, scallions: These aromatic ingredients form the flavor base of the dish.
  • Jump to the printable recipe for precise measurements

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

hoisin beef bowls sauce whisked in bowl

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

Ground beef in a skillet.

Add the garlic, ginger and light scallions.

adding garlic, ginger, and scallions to beef in skillet.

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

adding the hoisin mixture to the beef.

Stir until the beef is well-coated in the sauce and cooked through. The sprinkle with the remaining scallions.

cooked beef mixture with scallions.

Spoon the beef mixture over rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds, shredded veggies, chopped cashews, or whatever else you like!

assembling hoisin beef bowls for serving.

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Hoisin Beef Bowls

Hoisin beef bowls are loved by adventurous and picky eaters alike! With customizable toppings, everyone gets to build their own bowl, making it a fun and tasty dinner.

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.

See more recipes:


  • Jen, can I mix the ground beef and baking soda in the morning, store in refrigerator then finish everything after work? PH levels?

    • Sure, Scott, that should be fine. Enjoy!

  • I made this yesterday.
    It was surprisingly tasty.
    I will make it again.
    I added boiled broccoli and carrots as vegetables.
    It’s a good way to use ground beef.

  • Quick and delicious! Loved this!

  • Yum. We tucked right in! I served it on a bed of half couscous, half barley. And added some shredded beets to the toppings. As others have noted, it is a versatile recipe!

  • Easy and delicious. I’m always looking for new ways to use ground elk other than burgers, tacos or pasta dishes. I did the baking soda step and thought it worked fine, especially using a super lean game meat. I wasn’t sure if my husband would like it, as he’s not very adventurous about Asia-influenced dishes. He liked it, and encouraged me to make it again. I liked it a lot and can see myself making this often. Score!

    I didn’t have any scallions on hand so I thinly sliced a bunch of fresh green beans from the garden. Yum!!!

  • Another outstanding recipe by Jenn. I made this for my family of 4 adults and 3 kids and everyone thought it was delicious. I very much appreciate how easy it was to pull together for a weeknight meal. I think you could make the meat ahead as I imagine it will reheat well. I doubled the recipe by adding ground turkey for left overs. Served with diced cucumber, shredded carrots, avocado and peanuts along with the scallions. This is a definite make again.

  • Fantastic! Ignore the nasty comment someone said about the baking soda. We all loved it. I added the red pepper flakes after scooping out a serving for my daughter. I served it over a blend of rice and riced cauliflower.

  • Absolutely disgusting, my daughter threw up it tasted so bad. I used the 3/4 tsp of baking soda and it ruined the food. If you plan on doing this, use cornstarch, not baking soda. The author is a troll, instructing her readers to use baking soda. Shame on her.

    • Having made made at least 20 outstanding recipes by this gifted recipe author, I suggest this comment be deleted. “Anthony” does not sound well, let alone truthful.

    • This is another recipe going in my recipe book. Delicious!!

      Anthony, I think you should check your baking soda or measuring spoons. Something went awry for you with this recipe. I use baking soda in several recipes without it affecting the food negatively.

    • Anthony, I am surprised you had difficulty with this recipe. I was able to make this for my family and I not very good at cooking.
      My family loved this meal.
      Most of Jenn’s recipes are excellent.
      I don’t know why you would say Jenn is a troll. She’s one of the nicest people and replied to my e-mail about a recipe my mother made that I have now found.
      Sometimes when I mess up a recipe I simply dump the meal and don’t blame the recipe maker. Perhaps you should do the same?

    • I realize I’m late to the party commenting 2 years later…

      No Anthony SHAME on YOU for needless name calling, and such a ridiculous comment. You must have had a terrible day, failed to follow instructions,and resorted to using Once Upon A Chef as a punching bag.

      Something tells me Jenn doesn’t personalize such nonsense.

      Giving 5 STARS because as with everything else on this site, it clearly deserves it!
      Thank you Jenn 😊💗

      • — Lisa on April 18, 2023
      • Reply
    • Baking soda has been used for hundreds of years in Chinese cooking. Jenn is not the first one to use it. Shame on YOU! The author is not a troll. If there was a problem, it is specific to you, your baking soda quality, your daughter or possibly a problem with other items in the dish. This happens to be an excellent recipe so your comments are rather harsh.

      • — Barbara on June 11, 2023
      • Reply
  • Can this be made with ground chicken instead of beef?

    • Hi Victoria, I think it’ll work with ground chicken – skip the baking powder though. I’d love to know how it turns out!

    • Victoria, I made this last night with ground lamb and it was delicious! I added some Szechuan pepper that ground and left out the sugar. I’m sure the chicken would be wonderful as well!!

    • I’m wondering if I’d like to double this recipe if I’d double the baking soda as well ? I would really like to make 1 1/2 the recipe but that would be too confusing with the amounts, it’s a definite winner for my family but with hungry teenagers I find that it’s just barely enough for us. Thanks!!

      • — D on March 20, 2023
      • Reply
      • Yes, I’d double the baking soda as well (and so glad your family likes it)!

        • — Jenn on March 20, 2023
        • Reply
  • Just finished eating this delicious meal. Jenn has another hit for this family, will add to my rotation. Just sent the recipe to my sons who are going to love it. So easy packed with so much flavor. Thank you Jenn!

  • Great!!!! My husband and kids loved it. They asked me to add it to our meal rotation, which with such picky eaters is a huge complement. Thanks!!

  • I paid good money to take a cooking class when I lived in Taiwan, but I really learned how to make Asian food from Jenn Segal after I moved back to The States. I would not be embarrassed to make this dish for any of my friends from Asia.

  • I love one-bowl dinners and this one is so tasty and comes together quickly. I have been making these regularly for a few years now and my family loves them. Great for a weeknight dinner.

  • Great flavor and so easy to make. This is perfect for a busy weeknight.

  • Hello – I have been making this recipe on the regular for several years. It is as quick and delicious as you say it is. I add more veggies, of course, and always wish I had doubled it so we could have more leftovers than we do! The tip with the soda/beef at the start is very valuable! Thank you for all your great recipes!

  • Really great, basic, easy, delicious recipe. We serve with all the shredded fresh vegetables and a fried egg on top.

  • This is a family favorite. Hits the spot when we are craving Asian flavors. Comes together quick on a week night. Easy to add steamed snow pea pods and other veggies. I have only ever made it with beef, but may try ground turkey next time.

  • Amazing recipe
    I did add a few veggies , mushrooms, zucchini,more carrots…
    It’s simple and delicious ..sauce is very tasty .
    I even tried with ground turkey and it was good.
    Great recipe …
    Nathalie B

  • Easy to make and so tasty! One of my new favorite recipes. I will try adding veggies while cooking the meat and doubling the sauce.

    • — Theresa Soffiotto
    • Reply
  • These Asian beef bowls are the bomb! So incredibly easy to put together and absolutely delicious. My almost 2 year old devours it. Husband loves this dish as well and he’s on the picky side.
    I follow the recipe exactly except for the amount of meat which I split in 2 because we love the sauce so much. Freezes well too which is so convenient. I definitely think adding cashews on top is a must as the crunch adds a nice touch. I used high end hoisin as suggested. We have added this dish to our monthly rotation. Love Jenn’s recipes and she is my default “go to” person when searching for a new dish to try out. I know for a fact that said dish will be a success as long as I follow her instructions. Takes so much anxiety away, which means I would be confident making one of her recipes for the first time when having guesrs over for a dinner party! Love that!

    • — Frenchiecookingmama
    • Reply
  • Quick, easy, and very good. Also saves well.

  • Love it! I could eat this everyday. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  • I have made this recipe repeatedly since I first found it sometime in 2019, and now it’s gotten to where it has become a “comfort food” for me. I love it because it freezes well (there’s only one of me), is very tasty as-is (no tweaks), and nicely versatile. When I need something warm and comfortable, this not only is that but leaves me feeling that way. I’ve also found that doubling the sauce works well for saturating the rice and extending the tastiness profile.

    Highly recommend this recipe!!

  • So good! I usually use ground turkey and add in some veggies (carrots, cauliflower, red bell pepper) while it simmers. Make the sauce exactly as written. Top w crushed peanuts and sometimes serve over just chopped romaine lettuce. Really yummy.

  • Excellent. Thank you. Tenderizing ground beef with baking soda really did make a difference! Followed directions exactly and it was wonderful.

    So many topping extras you can use.

    Again, thanks.

  • Has anyone tried this with steak, rather than ground beef? The flavor was great, but I’m not a huge fan of ground beef with Asian…just doesn’t go well together for me. I also might try serving this over soba or rice noodles, rather than rice, since my kids love noodles.

    • — Melissa Bilsky
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! I’ve been using a different recipe because I didn’t see this on here until the other day and of çourse your version is better! I like to put sesame seeds and furikake seasoning on top!

    This recipe isn’t found when you type hamburger or rice bowl into search, needs tagging!

    • I second that suggestion! Made this dish a few years ago; so delicious! We gently press down the cooked rice into a lightly oiled skillet and cook the bottom to a light crisp, then top it off with the meat, assorted veggies (we like cooked spinach or bok choy, shitake mushrooms, shredded carrots and cucumbers), sauce and a fried egg. Even my Japanese husband, whose work takes him all across Asia, loves it; a take on Korean bibimbap! So, we had a hankering for it the other day but I couldn’t find my printed recipe anywhere. Knew I had found the recipe here, so put every word I could think of into the search box (rice, rice bowl, Asian, Asian bowl to name a few) and nothing came up! Finally did find it bookmarked in my recipe folder. Phew! Highly recommend this delicious, quick and easy, very tasty dish!

      • — Sandra Tatsuno on November 11, 2022
      • Reply
  • This was quite good and my family loved it. Only giving 4 stars because OUAC has set the bar so high in general, and this wasn’t my favorite. The flavor was good but wasn’t as punchy as I expected it to be–a little bland even. Like I said, was a pleaser, but I don’t think I’ll be adding this to my go-to rotation. Made as written.

  • This was soooo amazing! I even made extra sauce and added it to chicken and lo mein noodles for the kids. It was better than most of what we get when we go out for Asian food! I added carrots and zucchini in during the cooking process and added fresh jalapeños at the end. So tasty!

    • — Michelle Nicholson
    • Reply
  • Delicious. Followed recipe as written but without sugar as others suggested. Topped with slivered carrots, cabbage, green onion greens and cashews. Great flavors and textures. Hubby highly suggested to add this to meal planning. Thanks for great recipe.

  • I made exactly as directed we liked it very much except next time I will not add the sugar as it was a little too sweet for my taste. Otherwise it was very good and very easy.

  • This was so good and so easy to put together! I left out the red pepper flakes so that my toddler could try it and she had multiple bites!

  • What do you think of adding the fried egg on top?

    • Sounds great! 🙂

  • Made this recipe after it was highly recommended by a fellow “Jen” fan. It was fantastic and he suggested adding a fried egg on top!

  • Hi Jen,
    I’m wondering if shrimp would work well with this recipe? Or what should be changed to make the flavors work? Thanks!

    • Hi Meg, While I’ve never tried shrimp here, I think it could work. You won’t need the baking soda but everything else can remain the same (cook time for the shrimp may be less so keep a close eye on them). Please LMK how it turns out!

  • This is a family favorite. Absolutely delicious and so easy to make. I like using ground chicken breast to change it up a bit. I also like to add a medley of grilled veggies and some diced cucumbers. Fantastic!!! I give it a 10 out of 5!

  • I can’t even remember how I originally stumbled upon your website here, but I’m sure thankful I did! On behalf of so many people who have also been blown away by the recipes you’ve been so kind to share, THANK YOU! I’ve tried many of your recipes and once again, this was a major hit! We substituted ground chicken this evening simply because we had beef last night and omitted the sugar and it turned out amazing. Thank you so much, Jenn, for sharing your talents with us!

  • All 4 of us absolutely love this recipe. Easy to make and I had all the ingredients in the pantry. Keep up the great job.

    • — Anna M Candelaria
    • Reply
  • I wanted to make something asian tasting and my husband was too hungry to wait long, so I found this on the internet and it looked good. Well it was great! we loved it! I never know what to do with Hoisin sauce and I had just enough left for the recipe and found that with the additions, that was a taste that we loved. Finally something easy and quick that tastes better than my usual. I used baby bok choy and red peppers and sweet onions and a few broccoli as the veg. It’s not often my husband will get up from the table and say, it’s a keeper, when I try something new.

    • My husband says that every time I make a Jenn Segal recipe- which is all I make now. The woman works magic! I do not miss the days of crossing my fingers and hoping the family likes dinner. If you’re gonna put in the time, you want high praise and amazement, right? Lol

  • This is one of my very favorite, go to recipes. Its fast, easy, keeps well and my family loves it. I have also made it with turkey and even the beyond meat products. It tastes best with beef but is still great with either turkey or beyond meat (recommend the burgers versus the packaged product). I top with cabbage and carrots so these bowls are a complete meal!

    I really like l heat so I tend to add a tablespoon or of sriracha to this as well.

    Jen I wondered does the nutrition information include a sprinkling of cashews? Thanks!!

    • So glad you like this, Robin! No, the nutritional info doesn’t include the “for serving” options.

  • We loved this dish! I only had 1 pound of beef but supplemented with broccoli, zucchini, onions, and red peppers. I still made the same amount of sauce and everything was perfectly coated. We will definitely add this quick, easy, delicious meal to our rotation!

  • Hi! This has become one of our favorite meals. I was planning to make it tonight and had a bunch of groceries delivered with all the ingredients. Alas, they did not deliver the hoisin sauce. Can you think of any decent substitute? – Jane

    • That’s frustrating, Jane! You can make your own hoisin sauce. There are several recipes online that you can browse. This one looks good and gets good marks (please keep in mind that I haven’t tried it myself). Hope that helps!

  • I made this for dinner tonight and it was a wonderful meal, my husband raved about it. It will be on our list of favorite meals. Thanks Jenn.

    • — Pamela Harriman
    • Reply
    • Jenn,
      I’ve made this recipe before and it’s delicious. I would like to make it for my daughter who has a tomato allergy. Can you recommend a substitute for the tomato paste? Or can I just leave it out?

      • Hi Vivian, I think you can get away with omitting the tomato paste (and glad you like it)!

  • Great flavor, easy and quick.

  • Adding yet another Once Upon A Chef recipe to my favorites list – this one is awesome! I follow a pretty low fat diet so I’m always looking for ways to modify good recipes. I made this with extra lean ground turkey – I didn’t use any of the vegetable oil as it releases so much moisture when it cooks. I added a few cups of chopped cabbage coleslaw mix and some matchstick carrots along with the sauce at the end, love the added volume and crunch this gives, not to mention the fibre. Served on top of a 50/50 blend of jasmine rice and cauliflower rice. So satisfying!!

  • So easy and a hit with everyone in the family! Love that you can throw fresh veggies on top. Has become a staple recipe for us!

  • I’ve made this recipe a couple times and both my mom and husband LOVE it! I did make some changes but that’s what’s so good about it. Works well with changes too. The first time I made it with the beef and baking sofa and loved it. I ended up putting veggies I had planned on topping it with, into the meat mixture so that it was easier for mom to eat. Left some raw for hubby and I to add on top too. That one I felt needed a bit more hoisin sauce. Last night I basically did it the same but with ground turkey (no baking sofa). It was delicious too. I top it with peanuts, sesame seeds and crunchy deep fried onions. Mom says it’s her favourite dish and is enjoying leftovers as we speak

  • I served this beef mixture with Jenn’s Szechuan Green Beans on top of rice. Killer results. Beyond yummy!

  • Very good. I do a lot of food preparation so I can take breakfasts and lunches to work (the cafeteria is truly awful). This recipe freezes very well in single serving portions (I even froze the portions with sliced green onion on top) and, after thawing in the fridge, its easy to reheat in the microwave. Pre-cooked white rice (my own, frozen then thawed) is also nuked. Then I just top the rice with the beef and add whatever condiments I want. Very tasty and filling too. This is a keeper recipe for my workplace menu planning. Thanks much!

    • Hi Debra, What other OUAC recipes do you make to freeze to take to work?

      • — Julie on July 13, 2023
      • Reply
  • Big hit with my family.

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