Korean Sloppy Joes

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I may have mentioned I buy my ground beef in bulk, like 160 pounds at a time. I then divide this up into 2-pound increments and store it in the freezer. This saves me money as well as the time it takes to head down the hill and into town, but it also means I need to be creative and always be on the prowl for good uses of this beefy mother-load.

Korean Sloppy Joes check off all the good Asian flavors we love; sweet, spicy and saucy!!

I am a meat and potato girl, but I am also a big fan of burgers and beefy sandwiches. I have many different iterations of a good beef sandwich, but this week I want to share Korean Sloppy Joes. It is very much like a sloppy joe because it has all the hallmarks of a sloppy joe, being it’s SLOPPY! It’s sloppy good though!!

I have been on an Asian Food kick for a couple years now. That was preceded by many years of a Mexican Food kick. That means I am always searching for new spices, sauces and recipes utilizing Korean, Vietnamese and Thai flavors. I stumbled on a recipe for Korean Burgers inspired by Dinner, then Dessert and fell in love. I have made a few minor changes to suit the taste buds of my family and I think you will really enjoy this version of Korean Sloppy Joe.

Korean Sloppy Joes can be a messy sandwich, so just get a good hold on it and chow down, no apologies!!

This is pretty simple to make and you probably have many of these ingredients for Korean Sloppy Joes in your pantry right now. You first start by browning your ground beef in a large skillet. If your ground beef is very fatty, you will need to drain off most of the extra fat. You then add all the remaining ingredients and then cook it down a little so the sauce isn’t as loose. You want a thicker sauce that will stay with the meat. Once it has thickened up a bit, you are ready to put it on a bun. I like to serve this with a side of pickled carrot and onion and topped with Sriracha Mayo.

There are so many ways to serve this Korean Sloppy Joe. I personally fall into the burger bun category as my go-to, though you can use all different kinds of artisan rolls. Just make sure the roll isn’t so tough that when you bite into it, you push all the meat out the other side. It should be on the tender side to allow you to get a good grip on the sandwich while you are trying to stuff it into your face!!

To pickle the onion and carrot, slice both thin. I use a potato peeler to get thin slices of the carrot. You can also use a mandolin to get a thin cut. We want it thin because this allows the vegetables to pickle quicker. In a small sauce pan, add 1/2 cup vinegar, 4 T sugar 1/2 T salt and heat until sugar is melted, add onion and carrot. Simmer for 2 minutes and then remove the sauce pan from the heat and set aside until it has cooled. Then you will be able to remove the onion and carrot and place on the burger or as a tangy side.

Korean Sloppy Joes

Korean Sloppy Joes check off all the good Asian flavors we love; sweet, spicy and saucy!!
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course, sandwich, Snack
Cuisine Asian, Korean
Servings 4


  • 2 pounds ground, beef
  • 4 cloves minced, garlic
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1-1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Sriracha sauce
  • 4 soft, rolls or burger buns


  • In a large skillet, brown beef and drain if lots of extra fat, return to skillet.
  • After meat is browned, add all remaining ingredients to skillet with browned beef and mix well over medium heat. This will be a loose sauce at first. You will want to cook this down between 5-10 minutes, so that the extra water will evaporate and the sauce becomes thicker.
  • Split buns in half and top with several spoonfuls of sloppy joe mix, top with a tablespoon of the Spicy Sriracha Mayo, get a good grip and enjoy!!!


**Note: I serve this with pickled carrot and onion on the side.  Recipe is in the post. 
**Also note: recipe for Spicy Sriracha Mayo recipe is also in body of blog post. 
Keyword Korean Sloppy Joes

This has lots of deep flavors. It is rich, sweet and spicy. If I didn’t have buns available, I think this would be amazing served over a bowl of rice. I make a quick Spicy Sriracha Mayo by adding 1/2 cup Mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon Sriracha and mix together will. Chill while waiting to use. I hope you give this a try. Korean Sloppy Joes will absolutely shoot to the top of your favorites list! If you would like to try a few of my other popular sandwiches give Nashville Hot Chicken or Quick Cheesesteak Sandwiches a try. They are fabulous! Enjoy friends!

Korean Sloppy Joes are my favorite sloppy joe, do you have a favorite?


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18 thoughts on “Korean Sloppy Joes”

  1. 5 stars
    I had something similar recently from a food truck, and wondered what the flavors were. I know my family would love these, especially now that Fall is coming. So glad you provided the recipe so I can add these to our go-to dishes when the weather cools down.

  2. 5 stars
    The flavors are absolutely perfect in these sloppy joes. It is an easy recipe to follow and so delicious! A perfect meal for any night of the week

  3. 5 stars
    The photos of this recipe struck me immediately, they had already made the idea of scrumptious.
    I followed your instructions, opted for the rice, so Korean Sloppy Joes has been served over a bowl of rice. It gave it an unexpected twist! Yummy! The next sandwiches will have this filling, for sure.

  4. 5 stars
    I just made these for the family. The kids loved them, and didn’t even realize they were eating something from the East. I had some leftover yum-yum sauce and used that for my sandwich. It was indeed yum-yum


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