These pork bulgogi rice bowls may look fancy, but they are easier than you think! Make bulgogi bowls quick and easy for any night of the week with ground pork.
This post is sponsored by the Ohio Pork Council. All opinions are my own.
Of all the cuisines in the world, I think the South Asian continent is home to my favorites. We probably dine out at such establishments more often than others and also gravitate towards the same direction when cooking at home.
We are lucky enough to have an arsenal of staple ingredients in our pantry for such cuisines, but not everyone wants to buy a bottle of mirin or curry paste to make one recipe. As such, I decided to share a recipe for pork bulgogi rice bowls that has a more approachable ingredient list, even if it’s not technically authentic.
What you need to make pork bulgogi rice bowls:
- Ground pork
- Brown rice
- Bulgogi sauce – store bought or homemade
- Green onion (aka scallions)
- White wine vinegar
- Sour cream
- Sesame seeds
Okay so you will have to buy a bottle of bulgogi sauce if you don’t want to make it yourself, but it can easily be found in the Asian section of the grocery store where you buy the rest of your groceries.
If you prefer white rice you can for sure use that instead. I love the nutty flavor of brown rice and the additional hearty element to an otherwise fairly light meal. Recipes like these bulgogi rice bowls are easy to make adjustments, as the components are assembled separately. Want to add fresh minced ginger to the ground pork? By all means, please do. Can’t handle the spice of sriracha? Add less or omit. Want to add daikon to your flash-pickled veggies? You get the idea.
What’s the difference between bibimbap and bulgogi?
Bulgogi is traditionally marinated meat, typically beef (but sometimes pork for a more economical option), that is grilled or stir-fried and served with a sweet and savory Korean BBQ sauce (not to be confused with my Asian BBQ sauce) and pickled vegetables or kimchi.
Meanwhile bibimbap is raw or lightly cooked meat served with a spicy gochujang chili sauce and sauteed vegetables and often topped with an egg. Both can be served over a bed of rice, but sometimes bulgogi is served as lettuce wraps instead.
Is the ground pork in this bulgogi rice bowl recipe traditional? No. I admit that this dish has neither beef nor a marinating step as I was trying to make something inexpensive and weekday-friendly. As an added bonus, every 3 ounces of pork comes with 22-24 grams of protein (depending on the cut). Meals with 20-30 grams of protein will help fuel your body and may help you feel fuller. This recipe uses 16 ounces of ground pork which comes to 4 ounces or 29-32 grams of protein per person, so you’re good to go.
Better still, there are over 3500 family farms in Ohio alone which raise enough pork to feed about 25 million people – Ohio has under 12 million so that other 13 million is out of state! So think of the Ohio farm families you are supporting when you buy pork at the grocery store or farmers market.
Pork facts aside, the flavor components of bulgogi are there in this dish and it does use the typical sweet and savory brown bulgogi sauce so it is a bulgogi-inspired ground pork rice bowl – or pork bulgogi rice bowls for short. Call it fusion maybe, but I call it delicious.
Speaking of delicious and nutritious meals, for more pork recipes head over to OhioPork.org!
Six years ago: Smoked Tomato Soup
Eight years ago: Midwest Loco Moco
Nine years ago: Peanut Butter & Chocolate Yogurt Covered Pretzels
Eleven years ago: Sweet Potato Kale Pizza with Rosemary & Red Onion
Twelve years ago: “Don’t Judge Me” Mac & Cheese
- 1 cup brown rice, uncooked
- 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar, divided
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 small cucumbers, cut into ribbons using a peeler
- 2 medium carrots, peeled, shredded, and divided
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 tsp sriracha
- 2 tsp olive oil, divided
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 green onions, sliced and whites and greens separated
- 16 oz. ground pork
- 2 Tbsp sesame seeds, divided
- 8 oz. bulgogi sauce
- In a medium saucepan, add brown rice and 1-1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Keep covered but remove from heat until ready to serve.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine 1-1/2 tablespoon vinegar with sugar and a pinch of salt. Stir in cucumber ribbons and half the shredded carrots. Set aside.
- In a small bowl combine the sour cream and sriracha. If needed, stir in a teaspoon or two of water to acquire a pourable consistency. Season to taste with salt. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat one teaspoon of olive oil over medium-high head. Add remaining carrots and cook until tender, about 1 minutes, then push to the side of the skillet.
- To the same skillet, add another teaspoon of oil. Add scallion white and cook until tender, about 1 minute. Add ground pork, breaking it while it cooks until no longer pink about 5 minutes. Stir in half the sesame seeds and remaining vinegar and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the bulgogi sauce, bring to a simmer, then remove from heat.
- Divide the rice between four bowls, top with pork mixture, pickled cucumber, a drizzle of sriracha cream, green onion, and sesame seeds.
Source: Adapted from Hello Fresh Pork Bulgogi Rice Bowls.