This easy Keto Korean Beef is so full of flavor, your tastebuds will sing. It’s a delicious way to serve zucchini noodles, and using ground beef makes it extra fast and easy.
Pardon the interruption, folks, but you need to drop whatever you’re doing right now and put this keto Korean beef on your menu. And then you need to check your cupboard and make sure you have all the necessary ingredients.
Because this one ranks up there as one of my all time favorite easy keto meals. I knew it would be good but I was truly blown away by just how good it was.
Since I cook and bake for a living and I literally wrote the book on Easy Keto Dinners, that’s saying a lot!
It’s a perfect dish to work in some of that summer zucchini, just like Cheesy Zucchini Casserole and Keto Zucchini Bread.
Korean beef bulgogi with a keto twist
I haven’t attempted Korean food at home in a long time, not since before I was keto. In those days, I would have used bottled Korean BBQ sauce without even considering the sugar content.
With all the modifications I made to this, I won’t even pretend that it’s remotely authentic. But it does capture the spirit and flavors of the original. I recommend this article from My Korean Kitchen if you want to great tips on how to make authentic Bulgogi.
In addition to making mine sugar free, I also used ground beef rather than sliced beef. This eliminates the step of cutting up the beef and makes the recipe even easier.
And then I added some zucchini noodles to make it a full one-pan meal. Delicious!
How to prep zucchini noodles
There are many ways you can prep zucchini noodles, but for a stir fry like this I recommend salting and draining in advance.
Zucchini is a wonderful and healthy low carb pasta substitute, but if you simply add it raw, it turns your dinner into a soupy mess. It’s a common error I see in a lot of recipes.
By salting the noodles and letting them drain for an hour, you draw out much of the moisture and will have much better results. It also softens them somewhat, so they don’t need to be cooked very long.
Unlike shredded zucchini, however, you don’t want to squeeze it out as it will break up your noodles. Simply lay out a tea towel and spread your noodles on top, then pat dry with another tea towel.
How to make Keto Korean Beef
This is a fast and easy one-pan meal with fabulous flavors. Here’s how it’s done:
- Spiralize the zucchini. If you have a spiral cutter like this one, then I recommend using the plate with the larger holes for more sturdy noodles. But if you don’t, thinner noodles will work fine.
- Salt and drain the noodles. Place them in a colander in the sink and sprinkle with salt, then toss to combine. Let drain 1 hour. Then pat dry.
- Whip up the sauce. Simply add all the sauce ingredients into a glass measuring cup or bowl and whisk to combine.
- Cook the beef. Sauté the beef in a hot skillet until no longer pink.
- Stir in the sauce and the noodles. You only need to cook the noodles until they are warmed through, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Grab a plate and dig in!
Frequently Asked Questions
Sure thing! Try shiritaki noodles or hearts of palm noodles, both would be delicious. But trust me, you cannot taste the zucchini in this recipe.
Tamari is a kind of gluten free soy sauce. I prefer it over things coconut aminos for two reasons: it’s lower in carbs and has much more flavor. If you avoid soy, then coconut aminos will be fine but less flavorful.
Yes, but there are a few things to keep in mind. A brown sugar replacement like Swerve gives the sauce the proper Korean BBQ flavor. The allulose helps it thicken and become syrupy. Other sweeteners may not give you these qualities.
Sure, you can make it easily with ground or sliced chicken, or even turkey. It will still be delicious.
They do! I ate some for lunch the next day. The noodles get a little mushier but it’s still a great meal.
More delicious keto one-pan meals
Keto Korean Beef Recipe
- 1 ½ lb zucchini (you will end up with about 18 to 20 ounces)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Cut the ends off of the zucchini. Use the spiral cutter plate with larger holes to make zucchini noodles. Chop them slightly a few times to break up the long noodles.
- Place the noodles in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Toss to combine and drain for 1 hour, then pat them dry between tea towels (do not squeeze them out). Set aside.
- In a glass measuring cup, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients. Set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the coconut oil. Once hot, add the beef and stir fry until no pink remains, about 7 minutes. Break up the clumps with the back of a wooden spoon as you cook.
- Stir in the sauce and green onion and cook until the sauce has reduced and thickenend, another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the zucchini noodles, toss to combine, and cook 2 to 3 minutes to heat through.
- Garnish with sesame seeds before serving.