Add a twist to your next sloppy joe night with these Korean Sloppy Joes. This sweet and savory combination is a hit with kids and adults alike! Serve them with quick Korean pickles for an easy weeknight dinner.
30 Minute Korean Sloppy Joes
Sloppy Joes have been a favorite of parents for generations, and for good reason. Quick and budget friendly dinner options can be hard to come by, and sloppy joes fit the bill.
We adore our classic Crock Pot Sloppy Joes, but when we’re craving some variety, I love to mix up these Korean Sloppy Joes.
The flavors in this are similar to Korean Ground Beef Bulgogi, but this recipe is saucier and, well, sloppier. It’s sweet and savory, with hints of garlic, ginger, and (if your crew can take the heat), Sriracha.
You can pull this meal together in about 20 minutes. If you decide to make the pickles (which I highly recommend!), you’ll clock in at just 30 minutes for a delicious, satisfying, flavorful meal!
- Ground beef- 85/15 is best, but any if fine
- Sesame oil- I love the nutty flavor of sesame oil, and it works great in recipes with Asian flavors, but you can sub vegetable or canola oil instead.
- Garlic and ginger- These are the flavor base of many of our favorite Asian inspired recipes, including our Asian Chicken Marinade.
- Ketchup- Yes, we’re still relying on ketchup to give us that classic sloppy sauce!
- Hoisin- Hoisin is a thick Asian sauce made with fermented soybean paste. It has a really unique, complex flavor with umami, sweet, and tangy elements.
- Soy sauce- I always use low sodium. If you need a gluten free version, use tamari sauce.
- Rice wine vinegar- Rice wine vinegar is a sweeter vinegar and one I recommend keeping in your pantry for other recipes like Beef Ramen Stir Fry. If needed, you can sub white wine vinegar for this recipe.
- Worcestershire sauce- Bump up the umami with just a tablespoon of Worcestershire.
- Light brown sugar- Rounds out the savory and tangy flavors of this dish.
- Sriracha- This is totally optional, but if your family enjoys heat, Sriracha does the trick.
How to Make Korean Sloppy Joes
- Cook the beef until no longer pink, about 6 minutes.
- Add the onions and garlic and cook another 4 minutes.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients: ginger, ketchup, hoisin, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, Worcestershire, brown sugar, and sriracha.
- Simmer about ten minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened.
- Pile on buns, and sprinkle with green onions and Korean pickles, if desired.
Best buns for sloppy joe
This comes down to your personal preference, but I love a brioche or Hawaiian style bun, especially for this Asian-style sloppy joe. For classic sloppy joes, sesame and onion rolls also work well.
How long does sloppy joe keep?
This recipe makes great leftovers! Allow it to cool, then store it in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat leftovers in the microwave, then add it to buns, or try the sloppy joes over mac and cheese or in lettuce wraps.
What to serve with sloppy joes
- This Spicy Asian Zucchini is a perfect compliment to this recipe.
- The kids love when we air fry sweet potato fries or waffle fries for the side.
- These Asian Green Beans are also a hit!
More of our Favorite Sloppy Joe Variations
We love sloppy joes at our house! Here are a few of our favorite recipes.
Korean Sloppy Joes
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 cup white or yellow onion (diced small)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 inch ginger root (grated)
- ½ cup ketchup
- ½ cup hoisin
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (low sodium)
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon sriracha
- 2-3 green onions (sliced thinly)
- 4 brioche buns
- Korean quick pickles (optional)
- Add the ground beef to a large saute pan and cook until no longer pink, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Push the beef to the edges and pour the sesame oil in the pan. Then add the onions, garlic, and ginger, and cook for 4 minutes, or until starting to soften.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients except for the green onions: ketchup, hoisin, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, worcestershire, brown sugar, and sriracha.
- Simmer the mixture for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve on buns with green onions and quick pickles, if desired.