Korean beef stew is hearty, comforting, and savory. It’s packed with tender, flavorful pieces of beef and colorful veggies in a savory, umami broth. The best part is that it’s made in a slow cooker, so you can come home to a delicious, nourishing meal that smells absolutely incredible.
Stew beef: Stew beef is one of my favorite, affordable cuts of beef. When cooked on low heat for a long period of time, you end up with these super flavorful, tender chunks of meat. Make sure your stew beef is thawed before mixing in with the sauce and onions.
Onion: I used white onion, but yellow would work, too. I love the flavor that the onion gives to the broth. No need to spend time chopping this onion to a dice, simply slice and the slow cooker will soften them nicely.
Brown sugar: A little bit of sweetness from brown sugar is a necessity with many salty, Asian marinades and sauces. The flavor is subtle, but it definitely wouldn’t be the same without.
Soy sauce: An essential piece to an umami-flavored broth, like this one. I used regular soy sauce (not reduced-sodium).
Beef broth: I like to use Orrington Farms broth base. It has really good flavor and I like to have the broth base on hand at all times instead of buying cartons of broth that end up going bad in my refrigerator.
Rice vinegar: Just a splash of rice vinegar adds a nice bit of acidity and sweetness to the broth to complement the salt, fat, and heat.
Sesame oil: A small amount of sesame oil adds a nice little boost of flavor to the broth as well.
Spices & aromatics: Ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes elevate this broth even more. If you can, try to use fresh garlic and ginger–I think it always makes a difference. Red pepper flakes give a touch of heat to the stew.
Cornstarch: Towards the end of cooking, cornstarch is added to a small amount of reserved broth to make a slurry, then added back to the slow cooker to thicken the broth slightly.
Stir-fry vegetables: In this recipe, I used a bag of mixed stir-fry vegetables so that I could get a nice variety of flavor and texture, yet not have to buy multiple kinds of vegetables and chop them myself. These frozen bags of vegetables are so convenient!
Green onions: Chopped green onions are a fun way to garnish this stew and add a little fresh crunch to it.
How to Make Korean Beef Stew
- Make the sauce. Start by mixing the sauce (brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, beef broth, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes) right in the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Add the beef and onions. Add the stew meat and sliced onions and stir well before closing the lid and setting to cook on low for 8-10 hours.
- Add cornstarch and veggies. One to two hours before the beef is done cooking, use a measuring cup to scoop up about 1/4 cup of the broth in the slow cooker. Transfer this to a small bowl or glass jar and whisk in the cornstarch with a fork. Add back to the slow cooker and stir well. Then add in the frozen vegetables, stir, and cover. Program to cook on high for the remaining 1-2 hours.
- Serve and enjoy! This delicious Korean beef stew can be served over rice or on its own. Garnish with chopped green onions for a little crunch.
Notes & Tips
Substitutions & Additions
- Feel free to substitute any kind of frozen vegetables. This would also be delicious with frozen broccoli.
- This stew has a little bit of heat from the red pepper flakes, but overall it is a mild spice level. If you like more heat, you can double the amount of red pepper flakes. If you do not like spice, you can omit the red pepper flakes.
- If you don’t have rice vinegar, you can substitute with white vinegar.
- If you don’t have beef broth, you can substitute with vegetable broth.
- If you can’t find stew beef, you can use a whole chuck roast and cut it into 1-inch cubes.
What to Pair with Korean Beef Stew
- I love to serve this stew over white rice. To make things easiest and fastest, I usually use instant rice and cook it in the microwave–so simple!
- This dish would also be so good served with this Korean Cream Cheese Garlic Bread.
- If you’re feeling adventurous, try serving these chewy rice cakes, called Tteokbokki, as a side. You can find a frozen version of these at Trader Joe’s.
Storage & Reheating
This korean beef stew reheats really well. Store in the refrigerator for up to five days. Reheat covered in the microwave, stirring frequently. You can also freeze it for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator for a day or two, then microwave to heat before eating.
Other Recipes You Might Like…
Korean Beef Stew
- 2 lb stew beef
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp minced ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 20 oz bag frozen stir-fry vegetables
- green onions, chopped for garnish
- In a slow cooker, combine the brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, beef broth, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Whisk well with a fork.
- Add the stew beef and sliced onions to the broth mixture in the slow cooker. Set to cook on low for 8-10 hours.
- One to two hours before stew is done cooking, carefully ladle about ¼ cup of the broth from the slow cooker into a small bowl or glass jar. With a fork, whisk in the cornstarch to make a slurry. Add this back to the slow cooker and stir to mix in. Add the frozen vegetables at this time as well. Program to cook on high for the remaining 1-2 hours.
- Serve over rice and top with chopped green onions.
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