If you are looking for an easy ground beef recipe, this beef soboro recipe is perfect for those busy weeknights when you need to whip up a quick and tasty meal. Made with ground beef, soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and other simple ingredients, this dish is a guaranteed hit.
Japanese Ground Beef Recipes
I mentioned before in my Keema curry post the necessity of having easy ground beef recipes in my arsenal. I go through phases where I really plan out my week, and I know on Sunday night what I’ll be making for the entire week. Those are good good times and I feel really put together.
Aaaand then there’s the flip side. I’m scrambling around at 4 pm trying to figure out what I’m going to make for dinner. Want to know what we had for dinner tonight? Blueberry pancakes, bacon, and a kale and beet smoothie to make the meal healthy. I’m not even kidding.
Actually, the kids LOVE those kinds of dinners and it usually means they will just sit there and eat, instead of getting up every 5 seconds, and complaining about how they don’t like *insert basically any ingredient* every 10.
Beef Soboro Ingredients
Okay, so usually I’m in between those two extremes, and I have a decent dinner prepared. And decent dinner is really really easy when it’s this beef soboro. The ingredients are pretty pretty simply. I always have the sauce ingredients on hand, and I always have ground beef in the freezer, so this is a meal I can make anytime. It’s definitely one of my go-to’s!
Not to mention, the kids eat this one up! Well, as long as I leave the green onions off the top. Compromise, my friends.
Add this quick and easy beef soboro to your weeknight dinner list!
By the way, if you don’t have mirin and sake, they are essential for Japanese cooking, so I highly recommend getting both! You can click the link to see it on Amazon. Buy it online or go to your local Asian market!
Tips For The Perfect Soboro
- Select Quality Ground Beef: Opt for lean ground beef with a higher meat-to-fat ratio for a healthier and less greasy dish. Look for fresh, high-quality ground beef from a trusted source to ensure the best taste and texture.
- Proper Sautéing Technique: Follow the recipe instructions for sautéing the ground beef. Make sure to break it up into small, crumbly pieces using a spatula or wooden spoon for even cooking and to prevent clumps from forming.
- Season to Taste: While the recipe provides seasoning measurements, feel free to adjust the amount of soy sauce, mirin, and sugar according to your personal preference. Taste the mixture as you cook and add more seasoning if desired for a perfect balance of flavors.
- Don’t Overcook: Be mindful not to overcook the ground beef. It should be fully cooked through, but still tender and moist. Overcooking can result in a dry texture and loss of flavor.
- Flavor Infusion: For an extra burst of flavor, consider adding grated ginger or minced garlic to the ground beef during the cooking process. These aromatic additions will complement the dish and elevate its taste.
- Garnish with Green Onions: Finely chop green onions and use them as a garnish for your Ground Beef Soboro. They add a fresh, vibrant touch and a hint of mild onion flavor to enhance the overall presentation and taste.
- Versatile Serving Options: Ground Beef Soboro can be enjoyed in various ways. Serve it over a bowl of steamed rice, alongside a side of vegetables, or as a filling for tacos, wraps, or lettuce cups. Get creative with how you present and enjoy this versatile dish.
- Make Ahead and Meal Prep: Ground Beef Soboro can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for a few days. It reheats well, making it a convenient option for meal prepping or quick weeknight dinners.
- Customize with Vegetables: Feel free to add diced vegetables such as carrots, bell peppers, or mushrooms to the ground beef mixture for added texture and nutritional value. Sauté them together with the ground beef for a complete one-pot meal.
- Experiment with Spices: While the recipe calls for soy sauce, mirin, and sugar, you can experiment with other spices and condiments to suit your taste. Consider adding a splash of sesame oil, a drizzle of sriracha, or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for a touch of heat and complexity.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 Tablespoon grated ginger
- 4 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 3 Tablespoon mirin
- 3 Tablespoon sake
- 3 Tablespoon sugar
- green onion for topping
- eggs for topping
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- Combine ginger, soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar in a small bowl.1 Tablespoon grated ginger,4 Tablespoon soy sauce,3 Tablespoon mirin,3 Tablespoon sake,3 Tablespoon sugar
- Heat a nonstick frying pan over medium high heat and cook the ground beef, breaking it up into small pieces. We don't want any big chunks here! Actually, the pictures you see above are too big of chunks. I like mine a little more chunky, but that's technically not the correct way. Do what you want! You can either use chopsticks (a bundle of chopsticks is the traditional method), or a whisk to break the meat up into small pieces.1 pound ground beef
- Once the meat is nearly cooked through, add the sauce and stir until the beef has absorbed the sauce and the pan is mostly dry.
- Serve over hot rice and top with green onion and egg. I poached mine, but you can sunny-side-up it, of throw just a raw egg yolk on there!green onion,eggs,rice
34 thoughts on “Beef Soboro: An Easy ground beef Recipe for a Weeknight Dinner”
We have successfully (and fairly often) have made this recipe at home (He sometimes make as-traditional-as-he-can-achieve- ramen, Japanese curry, and tonkatsu) I don’t add an egg to this soboro recipe, but he does sometimes and loves it! At some point we’ll convince picky parents on both sides to enjoy as well, (we don’t have kids yet) but it seems to be hard convincing them that they are not crazy foods and just really tasty. Honestly this one would be a great start with my mom. Thank you- realized I hadn’t commented when I literally make this a lot.
Made this tonight, not exactly skilled but could still pull it off. ? Can confirm to drain the fat, used 85% lean and came out with quite a bit of extra grease, removing it helped the consistency a lot (as well as made the proper grain).
Very tasty and very simple, bonus that it makes enough for leftovers the next day. Should reheat well, too!
I didn’t have mirin, so I used Bulldog sauce with peas and diced carrots. Very delicious and simple meal that my Gma used to make.
What is Bull Dog Sauce? What ingredients does it have and what’s the flavor like. I’m always curious to try new things.
This recipe was amazing. I don’t cook with alcohol so I substituted the rice wine with rice vinegar. It was so fast to make, and my family ate it up. I don’t know how to poach eggs so i served it with a soft boiled egg like I would do for ramen. The egg yolk went really well with the meat but the meat is super tasty without the egg as well. My picky eater ate a full serving which is always a win for us!
I toyed with this a bit and it still came out fantastic. Subbed beyond meat for ground meat, and sautéed up some cauliflower rice with sesame oil and did half sticky white rice and half cauliflower rice to lighten it up a bit. FANTASTIC
Way too seeet. Do you mean 3 tsp instead of 3 tablespoon
You can definitely reduce the sugar next time if it’s too sweet for your tastes!
Whenever we have company my roommates ask me to make this dish. Making it for my parents tonight. Can’t wait until they try it. It’s so easy and so perfect. Thanks so much!
I recently discovered a newish Asian-fusion restaurant in Savannah, and absolutely loved their pork bowl so much that I wanted to find a similar recipe to make the dish at home. I found your amazing recipe, used beef like you suggested, and made it for my family. Everyone can’t stop talking about it, so I just made it again. Is it possible that it gets better every time you make it? Thanks for the lovely dish that is even better than the restaurant meal that inspired me to make it!
I ran out of ground beef so I made it with ground chicken, added some minced shiitake mushrooms and onion. It turned out great!
Can I on it ginger? Thanks!
It would be great with some ginger!
I found a similar recipe but with ground beef and tofu and fresh spinach. Will it be as tasty as this recipe? It didn’t call for Mirin or sake, I have neither.
That sounds like a completely different recipe, so I can’t really say how the tastes would compare. Sorry!
Can I ground pork? Pork soboro 🙂
After I made the soboro, I did not clean the pan and added some toasted sesame oil and ginger. Once it was heated up, I added three baby bok choy, sliced into quarters. I sautéed them a bit and then added several tablespoons of water and covered the pan with a lid to steam them. I checked on them periodically, and once they were fork tender, I removed them from the heat. I served them as a side to the beef soboro and rice – need some veggies, right? And I sprinkled Everything But The Bagel from TJ on top. Yum!
That sounds amazing! I will have to try that next time! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Just made this tonight for dinner. I folllowed the recipe to a T and it was AMAZING! Wow! This is a new favorite and will go in the permanent rotation. Thank you!
Awesome! Thanks Kate!
Tried it for diner tonight, and everyone asks for another batch for lunch tomorrow! Omitted sake because i don’t have any.
Sautéd vegetables (jicama, carrot, cabbage) to the pan after i remove the meat, adding a little sesame oil. Then i put it between rice and the soboro. Topped it with green onion and poached egg. Perfectly delish!
And the best part, it is really easy and simple to make. Thank you Alisa!
The veggies sound like an awesome addition! And thanks so much for your comment, I’m glad you liked it!
This was really good! I’ve never had Soboro before but will make it again.
I’m so glad you liked it! It’s a favorite in my home.
I had planned to make this for dinner but just realized I needed sake and don’t have any! ☹️ Is there anything else I can use? I hate changing new recipes but I can’t make it to the store.
Hey daphne, I’m sorry, this is probably way too late to reply! You could just leave it out, or maybe 1.5 times the mirin? Even if it’s not the exact same taste, I’m sure it will still be good ?.
Thank you for replying! I looked it up and read you could sub some rice vinegar I think it was so that’s what I did. We loved it! My kids and husband don’t like runny eggs so I made some scrambled eggs for them to mix in. I loved the runny egg on mine!
Perfect! I’m glad you liked it!
You can use cooking sherry in place of sake. This was delicious thanks for sharing.
Hi there! Great recipe. Do you drain and rinse the meat before adding the sauce or do you leave the juice in the meat?
Hi Samantha, if you’re using ground beef with a higher fat content, you may want to take some of the extra fat out, but otherwise you just add the sauce and simmer until the sauce is absorbed.
Thank you!!!! My family loves it. Currently in Okinawa.
Thanks Samantha! Jealous that you are in Okinawa!