These Korean Sloppy Joes are the perfect spicy twist on the traditional sloppy joe. Made with Korean spicy flavors and topped with a quick and yummy pickle topping. These are perfect for sliders, burger buns, lettuce wraps, or rice bowls.
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I love Korean flavors and love incorporating them into my favorite meals. Like these Korean Chicken Wings made in my air fryer and this Kimchi Fried Rice. So you can imagine my excitement when I saw Rachel Ray making these Korean Inspired Sloppy Joes on her tv show, 30-minute meals. Let me just say, I was dying to try out the recipe and it became an instant hit in our house.
I’ve adapted it to fit our taste, using fish sauce where Rachel uses Worchestire and some other tweaks and changes. Either way, this recipe is straight genius and a perfect twist on a traditional American classic.
Be warned, this recipe is spicy, depending on the spiciness of the gochujang (Korean red chili paste) you use in the recipe. The pickle topping helps quite a bit but this recipe is definitely more for the grown-ups.
How to Make Korean Sloppy Joes
This is a two-part recipe where you will need to start by making a quick pickle and then head over to the stove to make the meat mixture. This recipe needs the pickles on top to bring out the dynamic flavor of the beef and pork mixture. We left off the pickles once and realized how necessary they are for this recipe.
First, use a mandolin and slice your cucumbers thinly and place them in a bowl or mason jar. Add rice vinegar, granulated sugar, chili flakes, salt, and sesame oil and pour over the pickles. Shake or stir until the mixture is combined and the pickles are covered. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator.
Next, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. I like to use my 12 inch cast iron as it’s large enough to easily hold all the meat in this recipe. Add your ground beef, ground pork, onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook until the meat has browned and is no longer pink. Drain off excess grease.
Then add your soy sauce, fish sauce, grated pear, gochujang, chicken broth, brown sugar, and sesame oil and stir. Cook for about 2-3 more minutes until the sauce is heated through.
Place on sliders, hamburger buns, or in lettuce wraps. Top with pickled cucumbers and enjoy.
- An apple can be subbed for the pear if you can’t seem to find one.
- If you have leftover meat, freeze it for later.
- The pickles can last on the fridge for a few weeks. It’s great on salads, sandwiches, or on their own as a snack.
Looking for more quick weeknight meals? Try these out:
Watch this video tutorial and see how I make these sloppy joes from start to finish.
Korean Sloppy Joes
- 2-3 small Persian cucumbers thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- 1 tsp sesame oil
Korean Sloppy Joe Meat
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 4 green onions chopped, whites and greens separated
- 1 Asian pear or Bosc pear cored and grated on large side of box grater
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 inch ginger root grated
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1/3 cup gochujang Korean paste
- 1/4 cup Beef or chicken broth
- 1 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mini slider buns, large hamburger rolls, or lettuce wraps
- Place sliced cucumbers, rice vinegar, white sugar, chili flakes, salt, and sesame oil in a bowl or mason jar. Stir to combine. Set aside in the refrigerator.
- Heat a large 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, pork, chopped yellow onions, white parts of the chopped green onions, chopped garlic, and grated ginger. Stir and cook until the meat is cooked through and no longer pink. Drain any excess grease.*
- Then add your soy sauce, fish sauce, grated pear, gochujang, broth, brown sugar, and sesame oil and stir. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until the sauce is heated through. Top with green parts of green chopped onions.
- Place on sliders, hamburger buns, or in lettuce wraps. Top with pickled onions and enjoy.
Recipe Adapted from Rachel Ray.