Tag Archives: Korean

Paleo & Whole30 Korean Sloppy Joes (Instant Pot or Stovetop)

This Whole30 Korean Sloppy Joes recipe is full of flavor and can be made in the Instant Pot or the Stovetop! It’s a yummy twist on a classic comfort food.

Paleo & Whole30 Korean Sloppy Joes over baked potatoes

These Korean sloppy joes combine my love for the classic comfort food with the Korean flavors I grew up on. I love making it because not only is it a fun way to enjoy a crowd favorite dish, it’s a healthy sloppy joe recipe that even kids will love. Plus, it’s a great weeknight meal because it’s so easy and quick!

Paleo & Whole30 Korean Sloppy Joes Recipe

These Whole30 sloppy joes are low in sugar, because instead of using a high amount of ketchup like in traditional sloppy joes, it uses coconut aminos for that naturally sweet but umami Asian flavor. The sauce is thickened with a small amount of starch at the end, and the result is so addicting and tastes like bulgogi if you are familiar with Korean food!

Plus, depending on your preference you can make these Korean sloppy joes in the Instant Pot or the stove top. Both methods are easy and yield the same delicious result!

how to make sloppy joes in the instant pot
korean sloppy joes served over baked potato

How to Make Sloppy Joes in the Instant Pot

While it’s way more common to cook on the stove top, making this healthy sloppy joe recipe in the Instant Pot is way less hands-on. The cooking times for both methods are comparable, but with the Instant Pot, you don’t have to stand over the meat while it’s cooking with the sauce.

You simply sauté the beef with the vegetables, stir in the sauce, and let the Instant Pot simmer everything together. No splatter of the sauce and no stirring needed. You just need a bit of extra time at the end to thicken the sauce, and these Whole30 sloppy joes are done with minimal effort.

healthy sloppy Joe recipe in the Instant Pot

Ways to Serve These Korean Sloppy Joes

I like to make a double batch of these Whole30 sloppy joes and eat them in a variety of ways, because I never get sick of them. Here are some of my favorite ways I enjoy them:

  • stuffed in baked potatoes or sweet potatoes (pictured)
  • between sliced sweet potato “buns”
  • in lettuce wraps
  • alone, with a side of veggies or salad
  • in gluten free buns (not Whole30)
  • over cooked spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles
  • alongside plantain chips to dip with
  • over cauliflower rice
  • over mashed potatoes

The possibilities are endless with this delicious and healthy sloppy joe recipe with an addicting Korean twist. Whether you make it in the Instant Pot or on the stove top, it’s a quick and easy recipe that the whole family will love on those busy weeknights!

Whole30 sloppy Joes recipe with a Korean twist

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Paleo & Whole30 Korean Sloppy Joes (Instant Pot or Stovetop)

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Korean
Keyword asian sloppy joes, easy weeknight meals, how to make sloppy joes in the instant pot, instant pot sloppy joes, kid friendly recipes, weeknight meals instant pot, whole30 instant pot recipes
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Pressure Building/Release Time (Instant Pot Method) 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 327kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 inch ginger minced
  • 2 tsp arrowroot starch
  • 2 green onions sliced, for garnish
  • Sesame seeds for garnish

Sauce

  • 1/4 pear cored and roughly chopped (or use 1/2 if you like sweeter sloppy joes)
  • 3/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 1/2 cup bone broth or beef broth or water
  • 2 tbsp sugar-free ketchup or sub with gochujang (you can find a paleo version in Korean Paleo!)
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • Optional: 1/2 tsp Korean red pepper flakes or red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients for the sauce in a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.

Instant Pot Method

  • Turn on the Instant Pot and press Saute. When it indicates that it's "Hot," add avocado oil.
  • Add ground beef and onion, and cook while breaking up the meat until it's no longer pink, about 6-7 minutes.
  • Add garlic and ginger, and sauté for 1 more minute.
  • Hit Cancel, then put on an oven mitt to carefully remove the pot to drain the excess fat. I poured it over a colander then placed the meat back in the pot.
  • Return the pot to the Instant Pot and stir in the sauce.
  • Cover with lid and set the pressure valve to Sealing. Cook on HIGH for 6 minutes.
  • Once it beeps to a finish, let it naturally release pressure for 10 minutes before opening the lid.
  • Place the Instant Pot back on Saute and stir in arrowroot starch.
  • Let it simmer and thicken for 5 more minutes, then remove from heat. Taste, then add more salt if needed.
  • Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds before serving.

Stove Top Method

  • Heat avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add ground beef and onion, and cook while breaking up the meat until it's no longer pink, about 6-7 minutes.
  • Add garlic and ginger, and sauté for 1 more minute.
  • Drain the excess fat into the sink over a colander.
  • Add the sauce and stir together well. Continue to stir while cooking for 6-7 minutes and the sauce is reduced.
  • If there's too much liquid, stir in arrowroot starch and simmer for up to 5 minutes until thickened.
  • Taste, then add more salt if needed.
  • Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving – makes 5 | Calories: 327kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 1242mg | Potassium: 578mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 0.8% | Vitamin C: 3.7% | Calcium: 2.4% | Iron: 20.7%
What Great Grandma Ate / Jean Choi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Regarding other affiliate links and affiliate relationships: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.

Essential Ingredients for Korean Paleo Cooking

Find all the essential ingredients for Korean Paleo cooking to make the most delicious and bold flavored dishes in the cookbook, Korean Paleo.

Necessary Ingredients for Korean Paleo Cooking

Hi friends! If you’ve been following me on Facebook or Instagram, you’ve probably seen that my very first cookbook, Korean Paleo, is finally published and out in the world! It’s pretty much all I’ve been talking about and I’m so excited to share my favorite recipes I grew up with you guys.

While all the recipes are 100% grain free, gluten free, and made with real food, there are several special ingredients for Korean cooking that give this cuisine its wonderfully bold and umami flavor. You may not be familiar with all the ingredients, and some you may not even have heard of before, so I thought I would go through some of the necessary staple items to stock up on so you can cook from the book with ease.

Essential Ingredients for Korean Paleo Cooking-6

Before I start, I encourage you to have an open mind when cooking any cuisine that’s new to you. You may feel uncomfortable about handling certain ingredients, but keep in mind that they are what give the wonderful taste to so many traditional dishes and these cooking methods have been passed down from generation to generation!

Avoiding Processed Ingredients in Korean Cooking

Cooking Korean Paleo is slightly different than just Korean. There are some minor substitutions to make so the dishes are grain free and gluten free.

While traditional Korean cooking is quite healthy and anti-inflammatory with various fermentation methods, many sauces and condiments these days are made with wheat flour, corn, high fructose corn syrup, and shady preservatives to cut down on time and cost.

So while the ingredients that I used in Korean Paleo are shortcut-free, they are so much healthier, cleaner, and won’t give you digestive issues if you have food sensitivities!

Essential Ingredients for Korean Paleo Cooking-pin

Essential Ingredients for Korean Paleo Cooking

You can find most of these ingredients if you have an Asian or Korean market near you. But in case you don’t, I am including links to where you can purchase them online! No matter where you are, I love that we all have relatively easy access to so many unique flavors with online shopping.

You can find a detailed list of all the special ingredients on pages 185-187 of the cookbook in the section called “Stocking Up Your Korean Paleo Kitchen.”

Condiments

Apple cider vinegar (or coconut vinegar): Koreans usually use rice vinegar in their cooking, which I give the option to use in the cookbook. Rice vinegar is actually quite harmless, but if you are ultra sensitive to grains, the 2 types of grain free vinegars that most resemble the slightly sweet taste are apple cider vinegar and coconut vinegar.

Coconut aminos: If you’ve been cooking paleo for a while, you probably have coconut aminos in the kitchen! It’s an amazing soy sauce substitute that’s made from the sap of the coconut and has a slightly sweeter flavor than soy sauce (used in SO many Korean dishes) without grains or gluten.

Paleo Doenjang on page 177 of Korean Paleo

Doenjang: This is a Korean version of miso paste. While Japanese miso paste is usually fermented with another grain other than soybeans, a true, authentic doenjang only uses soybeans and salt. The process of making doenjang is quite labor intensive so it’s extremely difficult to find a clean version (the only ones I found are this one and this one). Feel free to purchase them if you can consume fermented soy. But if not, I have a 100% grain free version on page 177 of the cookbook that tastes a lot like the real deal!

Fish sauce: High quality, fermented fish sauce is packed with umami and adds such an amazing flavor to so many dishes in the cookbook. The ingredients should just be fish and salt, with no other fillers or sugars. The only brand I recommend that’s high in quality with an amazing taste is Red Boat.

Essential Ingredients for Korean Paleo Cooking-pin

Gochugaru: Since many Korean dishes have some level of spiciness to them, gochugaru, Korean red pepper flakes, are used quite often and this is something you definitely have around if you are making Korean food often. There are two types of gochugaru: coarse flakes and fine powder. You can use coarse flakes in most Korean cooking to add flavor to dishes. The fine powder version is used to make gochujang in the cookbook, spicy and slightly sweet red chili paste that’s also ubiquitous in Korean cooking.

Gochujang: A thick and sticky red chili paste used in marinades, soups and stews, sauces and more, gochujang is made with fine gochugaru, glutinous rice, and some kind of sweetener. This is one of the higher quality ones I’ve seen, but for a truly grain free version that tastes just like the real deal, you can make your own on page 174 of the cookbook.

Saewoojeot: With this one, I really want to emphasize you to keep an open mind. Saewoojeot is basically tiny shrimp that’s been salted and fermented and it adds a ton of flavor to dishes, much like fish sauce. It should have just 2 ingredients: shrimp and salt. I couldn’t find anywhere online where you can order it, but you can easily find clean versions at Asian markets. If you don’t have access to these markets, just substitute saewoojeot with fish sauce in your cooking! This is what it looks like:

Essential Ingredients for Korean Paleo Cooking

Other Special Ingredients for Korean Paleo Cooking

Dried Anchovies: Called myeolchi in Korean, dried anchovies are used in so many different ways in Korean cooking and they come all different sizes as well. The kind you need to cook from Korean Paleo is  the large dried ones, which are used to make stock for soups and stews. It adds such a unique depth of flavor, and many soups and stews wouldn’t taste the same without it. While it may look a little freaky if you’ve never handled it before, you actually don’t eat it whole in my recipes, and it’s just simmered in stock for flavoring then discarded afterwards.

Essential Ingredients for Korean Paleo Cooking

Seaweed: There are actually 3 different types of seaweed used Korean Paleo so it can be a bit confusing. Here’s how I label each in the cookbook, and what they are referring to so you can choose the correct kind in the recipes:

  • TwiGak (Sweet Fried Kelp Chips) on page 167 of Korean Paleo

    Dried kelp (or dashima in Korean and kombu in Japanese): These are thick and flat large sheets of seaweed that come in a big rectangle in various sizes. They are not easily bendable and you have to cut them with kitchen shears to break them up. A large piece of it is used to a delicious and flavorful stock by simmering it in water with spices and dried anchovies. I also have a delicious and crunchy snack called TwiGak (Sweet Fried Kelp Chips) on page 167 of the cookbook!

  • Dried seaweed (or mareun miyeok in Korean and wakame in Japanese): This is a different type of seaweed than kelp. While kelp is thick and flat, mareun miyeok is thin and stringy and comes shriveled up. You soak it in water before using it and it’ll expand in size and soften. You then using it to make soups like Miyeok Guk (Seaweed Soup) on page 67 or in side dishes like Miyeok Muchim (Seaweed Salad) on page 122 of the cookbook.
  • Dry unseasoned seaweed sheets (or gim in Korean or nori  in Japanese): This is probably the type of seaweed you may be the most familiar with. The roasted and flavored versions that are cut into mini rectangles are quite popular these days as seaweed snacks (I have a homemade version on page 129 of the cookbook!), but they can be used for various recipes as seasoning, for Korean sushi (page 15 of the cookbook, and more. You can purchase these online.

Kimchi: Probably the most popular and famous Korean food of all, kimchi is eaten alone or can be used in so many different recipes. Be cautious when you purchase kimchi from a store. Many of them are thickened with rice or wheat flour, and sometimes contain questionable sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup and MSG as well. Your best best is to make it at home using clean ingredients. I have a delicious quick kimchi recipe on page 173 of the cookbook that’s flavorful and packed with probiotics. If you don’t want to make your own, you can try this brand.

Nigari for tofu making: You need these special salt flakes to make just one recipe from my cookbook, paleo Hemp Tofu on page 181. While it’s not necessary if you are not a fan of tofu, tofu is used quite often in Korean cooking and it was one of my proudest moments to be able to make tofu without soy or any grains. Nigari is used to firm and solidify the tofu and this is the cleanest version I found that works really for my recipe. And don’t forget to grab this tofu mold which is the exact one I used to make my paleo tofu!

Grab Your Copy of Korean Paleo!

I hope this list of ingredients for Korean paleo cooking was helpful for you to start cooking from my book! I know you may not be familiar with some of these ingredients, but purchasing them and trying them out in various recipes is the quickest way for you to get over your fear of using them and you’ll be familiarized with them in no time. I think you’ll love all the different and interesting textures and flavors that they impart.

Essential Ingredients for Korean Paleo Cooking

If you have any questions about the ingredients or the cookbook, leave me a comment below! I’m happy to answer any of your questions. And if you end up cooking up from Korean Paleo, please share on social media with the hashtag #KoreanPaleoCookbook!

Grab Your Copy of Korean Paleo!

What Great Grandma Ate / Jean Choi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Regarding other affiliate links and affiliate relationships: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.

Paleo Slow Cooker Korean Oxtail (Kkorijjim)

This fall-off-the bone Paleo Slow Cooker Korean Oxtail, or Kkorijjim in Korean, is so easy to make yet so incredibly flavorful and nutritious.

Paleo Slow Cooker Korean Oxtail (Kkorijjim)

I know the weather is warming up, but until it’s fully spring, I decided to bring you another super cozy and comforting dish I grew up on. This Paleo Slow Cooker Korean Oxtail, or Kkorijjim in Korean, is just a taste (pun intended) of the types of recipes you’ll find in my Korean Paleo cookbook and I think you’ll love this braised dish that is slightly salty and sweet at the same time.

While the traditional Korean oxtail recipe takes a bit more steps to make, using the slow cooker makes it so much simpler and easier with the same fall-off-the-bone results. If you’ve never cooked with oxtail before, don’t be intimidated! It’s the same as cooking with any other cuts, but the meat is quite tough so you need to cook it low and slow for a long time. Once it’s done, you’ll find that it’s so flavorful and delicious, and packed with all the beneficial collagen.

Paleo Slow Cooker Korean Oxtail (Kkorijjim) Paleo Slow Cooker Korean Oxtail (Kkorijjim)

What I also love about this recipe is that braising oxtail for a long time basically creates a bone broth liquid that’s extremely nutritious. If you end up with leftovers and you chill this Korean oxtail, you’ll find that the liquid gels up much like high quality bone broth does. Make sure to drink every last drop of it and not let all those nutrients go to waste, especially if you are using high quality grass-fed and pasture-raised meat which I highly recommend.

I guest posted this Paleo Slow Cooker Korean Oxtail (Kkorijjim) recipe on Lauren Geertsen’s blog, Empowered Sustenance, so go check it out there. I hope you love it as much as I do!:

CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE! Paleo Slow Cooker Korean Oxtail (Kkorijjim)

What Great Grandma Ate / Jean Choi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Regarding other affiliate links and affiliate relationships: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.