Korean-Inspired Sloppy Joes and Quick Pickles

Ground pork and beef are mixed with new ingredients like pears, sesame oil and gochujang to create this quick, easy, Korean-inspired take on the old favorite sloppy joe. The Quick Korean Pickles add a sweet crunch that rounds out the sandwich.
Save Recipe
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Share This Recipe



1 seedless English cucumber or 4 small Persian or Kirby cucumbers

About 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar 

2 tablespoons superfine sugar 

1 tablespoon gochugaru Korean chili flakes or chili paste 

1 1/2 teaspoons salt 

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil 

1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds 

Sloppy Joes:

1 Asian pear or Bosc pear

1 onion, red or yellow 

4 cloves garlic 

1 inch ginger root 

Neutral oil, such as peanut or safflower 

1 pound ground beef 

1/2 pound ground pork 

Salt and pepper 

1 tablespoon soy sauce 

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, Lea and Perrins preferred brand 

1/3 cup gochujang Korean paste, Mother in Law's preferred brand

1 cup beef or chicken stock 

1 tablespoon light brown sugar 

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil 

4 to 6 soft large hamburger rolls, Big Marty's preferred brand

4 scallions, whites and greens, chopped 

2 green chilies, fresh finger or jalapeno, or pickled jalapeno peppers 


  1. Gather your ingredients.
  2. For the pickles: Thinly slice the cucumber 1/4 to 1/8-inch thick. In a bowl, whisk up rice wine vinegar, sugar, chili flakes, salt and sesame oil. Add sliced cucumbers and toss.
  3. For sloppy joes: Peel and grate the pear on a wide tooth of box grater. Peel and chop the onion and slice or grate the garlic and ginger.
  4. Heat a skillet over medium-high to high heat. Add the oil, 2 turns of the pan, then add the meats and brown and crumble. Season with salt and pepper. Add pear, onions, garlic and ginger and stir a couple of minutes to soften. Add soy sauce, Worcestershire, chili paste, stock, sugar and sesame oil. Bring to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Serve beef on rolls with scallions and fresh or pickled chili peppers and quick pickles.

Cook’s Note

You can also serve sloppy lettuce wraps with same recipe.