How to make Korean-style Keema

Delicious Korean keema made with turkey mince, sesame oil, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and chili sauce. Serve over steamed rice and garnish with green onions.

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Korean keema is a flavorful dish made with minced turkey, sesame oil, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and chili sauce. It’s a delicious blend of savory and spicy flavors, with tender meat that’s perfect served over steamed rice. Garnished with green onions, it’s a satisfying and comforting meal with a Korean twist.

What is keema?

Keema is a yummy and popular dish. It’s made with minced meat, like chicken, lamb, or beef. People all around the world enjoy it.

To prepare the recipe, first, the meat is chopped into tiny pieces. Then, onions, garlic, and spices are added for flavor. The mixture is cooked until the meat is tender and delicious.

Keema can be served in many ways. Some like it with rice, while others prefer it with bread, like naan or roti.

In restaurants, you might find it as Keema curry or Keema masala. Both versions are scrumptious!

You can even make it at home easily. Just follow a simple recipe and enjoy this delightful meal with your family and friends.

Here’s a few reasons for why you’ll love this recipe

There are several reasons why you’ll love making this recipe:

  1. Flavorful and Delicious: Korean keema is packed with rich and bold flavors from sesame oil, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and chili sauce. The combination creates a mouthwatering taste that you’ll enjoy.
  2. Quick and Easy: This recipe is relatively quick and easy to make, perfect for busy days when you want a satisfying meal without spending too much time in the kitchen.
  3. Versatile: This recipe can be served in various ways. Enjoy it over steamed rice as a main dish or use it as a filling for wraps, tacos, or lettuce wraps. It’s versatile and can adapt to your preferences.
  4. Customizable: You can adjust the spice level and ingredients to suit your taste. Add more chili sauce or paste for extra heat, or throw in some veggies to make it more wholesome.
  5. Crowd-Pleaser: Whether you’re cooking for yourself, your family, or guests, this dish is sure to impress. Its bold flavors and comforting nature make it a crowd-pleasing dish.
  6. Fusion of Cuisines: This dish combines the flavors of Korean and Indian cuisines, resulting in a unique and exciting fusion dish that will add variety to your culinary repertoire.

When making Korean-style keema, there are several important questions to consider:

  1. Meat Choice: What type of meat do you prefer for your keema? Traditional keema often uses beef or lamb, but you can choose a meat that suits your taste like beef, pork, turkey, or chicken.
  2. Spice Level: How spicy do you want your Korean-style keema? Korean cuisine is known for its heat, so decide on the level of spiciness you’re comfortable with.
  3. Korean Ingredients: Which Korean ingredients do you want to incorporate? Think about using items like gochujang, gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes), soy sauce, and sesame oil for an authentic Korean flavor.
  4. Vegetables: What vegetables will you add to your keema? Consider using classic keema vegetables like peas, carrots, and bell peppers, or experiment with Korean vegetables like Korean radish (mu) or Korean zucchini (aehobak).
  5. Accompaniments: What will you serve with your Korean-style keema? Decide whether you want to pair it with rice, Korean-style pickles (banchan), or even wrap it in lettuce leaves as in Korean ssam.
  6. Flavor Balance: How will you balance the flavors? Think about the sweet, salty, spicy, and umami elements in your dish and how to achieve a harmonious balance.
  7. Cooking Technique: What cooking technique will you use? Keema is often cooked on stovetops, but consider if you want to use traditional Korean techniques like stir-frying or braising.
  8. Customization: How will you make this dish your own? Consider any personal touches or unique ingredients you’d like to add to make your Korean-style keema special.

Savouring the flavours: a culinary journey through time

Korean Keema, a flavorful dish with a rich history, originated in South Korea. Transitioning from traditional Indian Keema, the Korean version offers a unique twist. The dish combines ground meat, commonly beef or pork, with an array of vibrant vegetables. As Korean cuisine evolved, it embraced the bold flavors and spices of India, resulting in this fusion creation. In the 20th century, this recipe gained popularity, and it has since become a beloved dish enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.

The preparation involves sautéing the meat with onions, garlic, and Korean spices, creating a tantalizing aroma. Served with steamed rice or wrapped in lettuce leaves, Korean Keema offers a satisfying and wholesome meal. Today, this delectable fusion dish has found its way into Korean homes and restaurants worldwide, delighting taste buds with its harmonious blend of cultures.

Recipe variations for Korean-Style Keema

While Keema is not traditionally a Korean dish, you can create a fusion by incorporating Korean flavors. Here are some recipe variations for this recipe:

  1. Kimchi Keema: Add chopped kimchi to your Keema for a spicy, fermented kick. Kimchi’s tangy and spicy flavors will blend with the minced meat and create a unique fusion.
  2. Gochujang: Incorporate gochujang, a Korean red pepper paste, into your sauce recipe for a fiery and robust flavor. Adjust the amount to control the spice level.
  3. Bulgogi Keema: Marinate the minced meat in a bulgogi sauce (a sweet and savory Korean marinade) before cooking. This will infuse your Keema with classic Korean BBQ flavors.
  4. Korean Vegetables: Use Korean vegetables like bok choy, napa cabbage, or Korean radish in your Keema for a fresh twist on the traditional version.
  5. Korean Spice Blend: Create a spice blend using Korean spices like gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes), garlic, and ginger. Season your Keema with this blend for an authentic Korean taste.
  6. Korean-Style Garnishes: Top your Keema with Korean garnishes like toasted sesame seeds, sliced green onions, or pickled vegetables (banchan) to add visual appeal and extra flavor.
  7. Korean-Style Side Dish: Serve with traditional Korean side dishes like kimchi, pickled vegetables, or a cucumber salad for a complete Korean meal experience.
  8. Rice or Rice Cakes: Instead of serving Keema with traditional flatbreads, pair it with steamed rice or Korean rice cakes (tteok) for a different texture.
  9. Korean Noodle Keema: Incorporate Korean glass noodles (japchae noodles) into your recipe for a unique texture and flavor combination.
  10. Korean BBQ Fusion: Marinate the meat in a Korean BBQ sauce, then cook it into a Keema-style dish. Serve it with lettuce leaves to make Korean ssam wraps.

What drinks go well with Korean Keema?

Here are some drink options to consider:

  1. Green Tea: A light and soothing green tea can balance the spiciness of this dish and refresh your palate.
  2. Iced Water: Sometimes, simple is best. A glass of cold water can help cool down your mouth if the dish is particularly spicy.
  3. Soda: A fizzy soda like cola or lemon-lime soda can provide a sweet contrast to the spicy flavors.
  4. Beer: A cold beer, whether light or a Korean lager like Hite, can be a refreshing choice with Korean Keema.
  5. Soju: If you’re looking for a Korean alcoholic beverage, soju is a popular option. It’s a clear spirit with a relatively mild flavor that can pair nicely with spicy dishes.
  6. Makgeolli: This traditional Korean rice wine has a slightly sweet and milky taste that can balance the spice of this recipe.
  7. Cucumber or Citrus-Infused Water: These infused waters can provide a refreshing and cooling contrast to the dish’s flavors.
  8. Yogurt Drink: A yogurt-based drink like Ayran or Lassi can provide a creamy and cooling effect to counteract spiciness.
  9. Sikhye: This sweet rice beverage from Korea can be a delightful and unique pairing with Korean Keema.

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Korean Keema

Korean Keema

Korean Keema is a flavorful and spicy Korean twist on the traditional Indian Keema dish. It typically consists of ground meat (commonly beef or pork) cooked with various aromatic spices and vegetables such as onions, garlic, and bell peppers. The dish is known for its bold flavors, with a perfect balance of heat and savory notes. Korean Keema can be enjoyed on its own, served over rice, or wrapped in lettuce leaves for a delicious and satisfying meal.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Korean
Servings 4
Calories 545 kcal


  • Large Skillet
  • wooden spoon
  • Knife and Cutting Board
  • Rice Cooker (optional): If you’re serving the Korean Keema with rice, a rice cooker can simplify the process of cooking fluffy, perfectly steamed rice.


  • 500g minced meat turkey (beef or pork will do as well)
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil

For making the sauce

  • 4 tbsp sesame oil
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 4 tbsp chili sauce or paste


  • Green onions for garnish
  • Steamed rice to serve

Ingredients for making the rice

  • 1 cup of long-grain white rice
  • 2 cups of water


How to prepare the meat

  • Heat the sunflower oil in a pan over medium heat.
    2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • Add the minced meat and cook until browned and cooked through, breaking it up with a spatula as it cooks, around 15 -20 minutes.
    500g minced meat
  • In a small bowl, combine the sesame oil, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and chili sauce or paste to make the sauce. If you prefer a juicier meat, double the quantities of the sauce ingredients.
    4 tbsp sesame oil, 4 tbsp soy sauce, 4 tbsp oyster sauce, 4 tbsp chili sauce or paste
  • Once the meat is cooked, pour the sauce over the meat and stir well to coat the meat evenly.
  • Cook for a few more minutes, allowing the flavors to blend together.
  • Serve the Korean keema over steamed rice and garnish with green onions.
    Green onions for garnish

How to make the rice?

  • Rinse the rice: Place the rice in a fine-mesh sieve or colander and rinse it under cold water until the water runs clear. This helps remove excess starch from the rice.
    1 cup of long-grain white rice
  • Soak the rice (optional): If you have time, you can soak the rice in water for about 30 minutes. Soaking can help improve the texture of the cooked rice, but it’s not necessary if you’re short on time.
  • Cook the rice: In a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, combine the rinsed rice and 2 cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.
    2 cups of water
  • Reduce heat and simmer: Once the water reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan with the lid. Allow the rice to simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
  • Let it steam: Once the rice is cooked, remove the saucepan from the heat and let it sit, covered, for an additional 5 minutes. This allows the rice to steam and become fluffy.
  • Fluff and serve: After the steaming period, remove the lid and fluff the rice gently with a fork to separate the grains. Serve the steamed rice as a side dish or as a base for your favorite recipes.


Keyword keema, korean recipe, mince, rice noodles

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This is such a wonderful recipe. I’ve never made it before but had to try it while my kids were visiting. My oldest loved it.