Korean Beef Sloppy Joes

This recipe for Korean Beef Sloppy Joes is a unique twist on the classic sloppy joes by incorporating Asian flavours and ingredients in them. The fusion of flavours is a delightful change from the original flavours of sloppy joes.

Korean Beef Sloppy Joe on a plate with a jar of Kimchi in the background

Why Make These Korean Beef Sloppy Joes?

If you love sloppy joes, then you have to try these. The flavours are different from the traditional sloppy joes. If you like Korean Beef or Asian-inspired dishes, then you will love these.

This recipe adds a distinctly Asian flavour that makes these sloppy joes flavourful and different from your ordinary recipe.

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Ingredients For Korean Beef Sloppy Joes

The ingredients for this dish are all easily found in a grocery store. We find most of the ingredients in the international aisle of our local store.

  • Lean Ground Beef. In Canada, lean ground beef has no more than 17% fat. Other grades of ground beef can be used in place of lean. If using medium ground beef make sure it is well drained after cooking.
  • Onion. A small cooking onion is diced to cook with the ground beef.
  • Garlic. Minced garlic is what is used, but chopped works as well.
  • Sesame Oil. This is one ingredient you want to measure accurately. It has a very strong flavour and can be overpowering if you use too much.
  • Ketchup. This is the base of any sloppy joe sauce.
  • Hoisin Sauce. A sweet and salty sauce, this adds Asian flavour to the sloppy joes.
  • Soy Sauce. We like to use low-sodium soy sauce so we can control the sodium in the dish.
  • Beef Broth. Many recipes for sloppy joes use water, but we prefer using a low-sodium broth in its place so the sauce isn’t watered down. But water can be used instead.
  • Rice Vinegar. This acid is needed for the sauce to balance out the sweetness in the ketchup. Rice Wine Vinegar is the same thing.
  • Sriracha. We like to use sriracha because of its flavour. But any hot sauce will do and you can add as much or as little as you like.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • Hamburg Buns. Or you can use rolls or even Bao buns.
  • Sesame seeds. These are mostly for decoration. They add a touch of contrast to the meat.
  • Green onions. These also add contrast and colour to the dish. But also add a touch of flavour.
  • Kimchi. We add this to the top of the meat to add crunch. And the flavour of kimchi goes well with the Asian flavours in the sauce and meat.

Additions For the Sloppy Joes

Sesame Seeds can also be used to top the buns if you like. Lightly coat the top of the buns with melted butter and sprinkle on sesame seeds. Toast in the oven for a few minutes to brown the tops.

The kimchi can be omitted from the sandwiches. Instead, pickled red onions, pickled radishes or pickled carrots can be used to top the sandwiches.

An Asian-inspired coleslaw can also be used to top the sandwiches in place of the kimchi or to compliment the kimchi.

How to Make Korean Beef Sloppy Joes

Making these sloppy joes is easy. There are two ways we make them:


This recipe is a one-pot meal. It is easily cooked in a large skillet with a lid. This is how we make them in the winter months when it’s too cold to go outside to cook. The recipe card below is how we make them on the stovetop.

Flat Top Griddle:

This is our favourite way to make these sloppy joes. We use our Blackstone to make these in the summer. It is a very easy way to make them.

  1. Cook the beef and onions on the flat top, scraping any fat toward the grease catch.
  2. Mix all the sauce ingredients and add to the cooked beef slowly so it stays on the beef.
  3. Reduce heat to low.
  4. Cover the beef and sauce with a melting dome or large metal bowl.
  5. Heat through until sauce is thickened, stirring a few times.
  6. Toast the buns on the other side of the flat top.
  7. Top the buns with the beef mixture and kimchi.

An aluminium pan or metal pan can be used to put the meat and sauce in to cook down on the flat top as well. This will keep the sauce from going into the grease catch.

What To Serve With These Sloppy Joes

These sloppy joes can be paired with many side dishes.

  • A side salad. An Asian-inspired salad is a great side dish to serve with these. Top the salad with an Asian-style salad dressing to add to the flavours.
  • Coleslaw.
  • Fresh raw vegetables. Carrots, celery, cucumbers, sliced bell peppers and radishes.

Storing Leftovers and Reheating

If you have leftovers, they can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to three days.

The beef mixture can also be frozen in air-tight containers or freezer bags for up to two months. Thaw at room temperature before reheating.

To reheat the meat, you can heat it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes or until heated through. Or you can heat it in a pot on the stove with 1-2 tablespoons of water or beef broth, stirring until hot.

It can also be reheated on the flat top by heating the flat top to medium heat. Pour meat onto the grill and heat through, using a spatula to move the meat around while it’s cooking.

Korean Beef Sloppy Joe on a plate with a jar of Kimchi in the background

Korean Beef Sloppy Joes

Stacy and Mike
The fusion of flavours in this Korean Beef Sloppy Joes Recipe is a delightful change from the original flavours of sloppy joes.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Asian Inspired
Servings 6 servings


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • cup ketchup
  • cup hoisin sauce
  • ½ cup beef broth or water
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp Sriracha Sauce
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 hamburger buns
  • Kimchi, for topping the meat before serving
  • sesame seeds for garnish, optional


  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add ground beef and onion. Season with salt and pepper
  • Cook beef until browned.
  • In a bowl, whisk together garlic, sesame oil, ketchup, hoisin, broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sriracha.
  • Pour sauce over browned meat and turn heat to medium-low.
  • Simmer until thickened and sauce is heated through, about 5 minutes.
  • Toast buns.
  • Add meat mixture to toasted buns.
  • Top meat with green onions, sesame seeds, and kimchi.
  • Serve immediately.
Keyword sandwiches, sloppy joes


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