Slow Cooker Korean Beef

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Amazing and flavorful beef that slow cooks to tender melt in your mouth perfection! This will be one of the best meals that you will make!

When I started to do some research on a Korean Beef recipe, I found that the recipes are pretty similar to this Korean Ground Beef and Rice BowlsSlow Cooker Mongolian Beef or Korean Ground Beef Stir Fry.  What they have in common is unbelievably flavorful beef that is quick and easy to make and enjoy!

Korean beef over rice in a bowl with two black chopsticks.

Slow Cooker Korean Beef

Slow Cooker Korean Beef first posted when my youngest sister had just left for college in Korea. We had a fun little going away party for her where I served this Korean beef and it was amazing! The flavors were out of this world and it was a huge hit at the party.  As soon as it came out of the slow cooker we couldn’t stop eating it. The flavor is absolute perfection.

Cooking the flank steak low and slow made it so tender.  The sweet and spicy sauce soaked into the meat and made every bite explode with flavor!  This recipe instantly became a favorite here on the blog and in my family. It was definitely one of the best things that I have ever had!  No wonder it quickly became so popular!

Ingredients for Korean Beef:

The ingredients in this slow cooker beef come together so well and you are going to love the flavor of this beef. It thickens up as it cooks and coats the chicken perfectly. Top with some sesame seeds and green onions and you will have a meal that you will make again and again!

  • Flank Steak: Cut in thin slices against the grain to make it tender and juicy.
  • Cornstarch: To thicken the sauce.
  • Sesame Oil: Great Asian flavor and it will help other flavors soak into the beef.
  • Garlic Cloves: Minced, these will give right flavor to the sauce.
  • Soy Sauce: Adds a rich sweet and savory flavor.
  • Beef broth: Liquid to cook the beef and adds a bit of flavor.
  • Brown Sugar: Sweetness to balance out the other savory and spicy notes.
  • Onion chopped: Adds moisture and deep flavor.
  • Red pepper flakes: Add at the end of the cook time for a less spicy version. The red pepper spice will get stronger as it cooks.
  • Garnish: Sesame seeds and green onions

How to Slow Cook Korean Beef:

This melt in your mouth tender beef takes only minutes to get started in a slow cooker.  Simply cut your steak into strips, fill your crock pot with all the ingredients, and sit back and enjoy the delicious smell of dinner cooking!

  1. Prepare flank steak: Cut flank steak into thin strips. In a ziplock bag add flank steak pieces and cornstarch. Shake to coat.
  2. Combine ingredients in slow cooker: Add sesame oil, minced garlic, soy sauce, beef broth, brown sugar, onion, and red pepper flakes to the slow cooker. Stir ingredients. Add coated flank steak and stir again until coated in the sauce.
  3. Cook for high 2-3 hours or on low 4-5 hours until cooked throughout and tender.
  4. Serve: Plate flank steak over rice and garnish with green onions.

Korean beef meat in the slow cooker being stirred with a wooden spoon.

Tips for the Most Tender Beef:

I love cooking beef in the slow cooker because it cooks the meat so well. It is one of my favorite ways to cook it.  The juicy beef gets so tender it falls apart in your mouth. That’s great news for a meat that can sometimes turn tough and dry when it cooks!  Here are my expert tips to make this the best Korean beef you have ever made!

  • Slicing flank steak: The easiest way to slice your beef is to cut it when it is very cold.  Cut against the grain.
  • Variations: Add broccoli in at the end of the cook time for a nice crunch.  Or add it in about halfway through cook time for softer brocccoli.
  • Serving ideas: Serving with rice is a classic favorite.  However, if you are watching your carbs you may want to try cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles instead.  Add a colorful Asian Salad for a complete meal.

Storing Slow Cooker Beef:

After buying flank steak at the store you can refrigerate it for 3-5 days.  If you are not ready to cook this delicious recipe right away you will want to freeze it until you are ready to cook it.  Before freezing it, place extra airtight wrap around the store bought packaging to reduce freezer burn.  The uncooked meat can stay frozen for 6-12 months.

Once you have cooked your perfect slow cooker beef, you will not want to miss the delicious leftovers!  Eat them within 4 days if you are storing it in the refrigerator or 3 months if you decide to freeze your leftovers.

Korean beef in a bowl with black chopsticks.

 More Amazing Slow Cooker Beef Recipes:

Slow Cooker Korean Beef

4.82 from 11 votes
Amazing and flavorful beef that slow cooks to tender melt in your mouth perfection! This will be one of the best meals that you will make!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 6 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ pounds Flank Steak
  • ¼ cups cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons Sesame Oil
  • ½ teaspoons mince Garlic Cloves
  • 1/2 cups Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • ¾ cups Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup onion chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • sesame seeds and green onions for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Cut flank steak into thin strips. In a ziplock bag add flank steak pieces and cornstarch. Shake to coat.
  • Add sesame oil, minced garlic, soy sauce, beef broth, brown sugar, onion, and red pepper flakes to the slow cooker. Stir ingredients. Add coated flank steak and stir again until coated in the sauce.
  • Cook for high 2-3 hours or on low 4-5 hours until cooked throughout and tender. Can serve over rice and garnish with green onions.

Notes

Updated on August 5, 2020
Originally Posted on October 19, 2015

Nutrition

Serves: 6

Calories338kcal (17%)Carbohydrates34g (11%)Protein27g (54%)Fat10g (15%)Saturated Fat3g (15%)Cholesterol68mg (23%)Sodium1224mg (51%)Potassium485mg (14%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar27g (30%)Vitamin A25IU (1%)Vitamin C1mg (1%)Calcium51mg (5%)Iron2mg (11%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Asian American
Keyword korean beef, slow cooker korean beef
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. Thanks for the recipe! I used it as a base to make Korean beef for my son’s class – for a culture lesson. I used top round (London broil) as it was on sale and was easy to cut into thin slices. With a double batch, I only used about 1/2 a cup of sugar (combination of brown and honey) I also added some ginger and green onion. To avoid an overly heavy sauce (o was trying to keep this slower to bulbogi) I only added a little corn starch up front. When the beef was tender I removed it from the crock pot, strained the sauce into a sauce pan, added some garlic and green onion to freshen up those flavors, and reduced it by about half. Then I thickened to a glaze with corn starch and strained it back over the beef. After reheating in the crock pot at school the next day, my son added fresh green onion and toasted sesame seeds.

  2. Looking to make this dish and was wondering how to get the beef broth? I don’t have any time to make it so are there any suitable substitutes/easy ways to make it?

    1. You can purchase the beef broth at the store in the soup section or even purchase bouillon cubes and quickly make it yourself. Hope that helps!!

  3. Four hours on low and it burned. So disappointed.

    Of the stuff I was able to rescue the sauce was chalky because of all the corn starch.

    1. So sorry to hear! What size was your slow cooker? It shouldn’t have burned after four hours. But slow cookers do vary.

  4. I am the asian..meal maker here..General Tao..etc..my husband ..Jacques made this for us for tonight and it is delicious..I checked the sauce and suggested he add some water..towards the end..I often have to do that w/ various recipes..it was perfect..coated everything deliciously..and we will make it again and again!

  5. I substituted pork for the beef and chicken broth for the beef broth. Served in a rice bowl with veggies. Would definitely make it again

  6. I made this today. I carefully read through all of the comments before I started and made notes of the comments that seemed numerous. Here is what I concluded after reading the comments:

    * most people thought it seemed to thick and gloppy
    * many thought it was too sweet
    * many commented that they flavor was blah
    * was too salty

    So I kept those comments in mind as I prepared the dish. My changes were to reduce the brown sugar to half the amount, reduce the cornstarch to half the amount and to add more garlic and chopped onions, add black pepper and red pepper flakes. (I wanted to also add fresh ginger but didn’t have any). I also reduced the amount of soy sauce and replaced that liquid with a bit more broth and water.

    As far as the thickness of the sauce, I would say halving the cornstarch was a good move. Maybe a little bit more than half would be a good amount. It was like a nice silky gravy texture. I can’t imagine adding the full amount of cornstarch – that would be way too thick and clumpy I would think.

    The taste was just ok. It was flavorful but I thought the sesame oil was overpowering. It would be a bit better with less sesame oil but maybe that’s just a personal preference. I think some fresh ginger would have been lovely – but just a little.

    The sweetness was right on. Like I said above, I put in half the amount of brown sugar and I cannot imagine more. I definitely suggest reducing the sugar.

    Maybe I just chose a bad cut of meat but my meat ended up kind of dry. I cooked on low for about 5-6 hours. I think I bought flank steak. I made sure to slice it against the grain. I would have liked it better if the meat were rare and maybe pan seared. One thing I noticed though – your pictures make the sauce look so glossy and clear. My sauce had a nice texture but was dull brown and looked like gravy. Not glossy at all.

    This was my first time making Korean Beef in the crockpot and I loved trying this recipe! I appreciate you posting it and I also appreciate all the helpful comments. I don’t know if I’d make this again but I sure learned a lot from making it.

  7. I made this for the family at the weekend and we all loved it. I followed the recipe precisely and will cut the sugar down a little bit next time. Other than that it turned out perfectly. Thank you for a delicious recipe

  8. Picture is amazing and encourage me to try it. I follow the recipe to a “T” but it’s to clummy and thick. I think it’s better to omit the 1/4 cup of corn starch to coat the beef but rather add 2 tbsp of corn starch with water at the end to thicken the sauce.

  9. We enjoyed this very much, having read the previous comments, I reduced the sugar to 1/4 C, felt it maybe needed a little more than that, also I stirred it a few times over the cooking time (approx 4 hours) and this may be the answer to others “goo” problems? I would say this recipe is very much a personal taste thing, needing adjustment for individual preferences, and I will definitely cook this again and tweak a little, thanks for this recipe

  10. I felt I was getting diabetes eating this, and I cut half the sugar out of the recipe. It has potential, but I’d for sure remove a lot of the sugar and perhaps add freshly grated ginger. The taste/ingredients is very similar to Mongolian beef.

  11. Suuuuuper pleased. I’m leaving a review mostly for the sake of the change that I made: I’m never able to afford flank or skirt steak, and I had been shamefacedly avoiding some bottom round steak in my freezer, which is a tough cut and hard to find good recipes for. But I trusted my instincts with this one, and man, it did not disappoint! I ended up making a double recipe because of the amount of steak I had, but otherwise I tried to limit any adjustments I made. For a little more depth, I added in about a tablespoon of ginger paste and a dash of sriracha, and I always toast my sesame seeds first for a little extra smokiness. I also cut back on the amount of brown sugar (I used a 1/2 C total, for a double batch), as other reviewers suggested, and I found it still plenty sweet and delicious.

    I followed the recipe to a T, otherwise, and I found that after a couple hours, my steak did have that glossy glaze on it; I wonder if it’s because I cook on high heat instead of low? Anyway, I sacrificed that lovely glaze in favor of a longer cook time. Since bottom round is tough, I wanted it to cook longer (four hours on high, to be exact) to become extra tender, so I threw in an extra half-cup of water, which gave me a delicious gravy-like sauce, but I lost the sheen. Well worth the sacrifice! The sesame and green onion give this a perfect finish. I served it with frozen jasmine rice from Trader Joe’s, a staple in my freezer. I couldn’t have asked for an easier or more worthwhile recipe for an otherwise frustrating cut of meat! Thank you! I can’t wait to freeze the rest and see how it thaws out; I anticipate great things.

  12. Made this tonight! Soooo good. I reduced the sugar to 1/4 cup though and I’m glad I did. 🙂 3/4 cup seemed a little excessive to me, but if you like sweetness I guess…not quite my tastes though!

  13. Hi! I wanted to try this recipe for tonight but to make it for 8. Should I double ALL ingredients? I know sometimes it doesn’t work that way.
    Thanks!

  14. made this yesterday and I wasn’t a huge fan. I definitely overcooked it so I’m pretty sure that was one of the biggest issues (so I thought) until I read that others were having the same problems that I was:
    -gooey and gelatinous
    -not super tasty

    -I did use honey instead of sugar, reduced-sodium soy sauce instead of regular.
    -I ended up cooking it for about 6 hours on low but I should have done it for the recommended time.
    -maybe if you use too much or overcook corn starch it turns into a super gooey gelatinous mess? I’m wondering if gluten free flour would work

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