Korean Tacos with Bulgogi Beef

The flavors in these Korean Tacos with Bulgogi Beef are out of this world! Topped with kimchi, avocado, and a creamy chili garlic aioli, these tacos are a make-ahead dream that pack in bold and spicy flavors.

Talk about flavor! My Korean Tacos with Bulgogi Beef are out of this world delicious, vibrant, tender, and flavorful. After you make them once, you’ll be craving them again and again.

These Korean beef tacos take a bit of planning and preparation but they’re well worth it! Homemade kimchi is a shining star in these tacos so plan to make it a week ahead of time. You can even double or triple the batch so you have leftovers to enjoy on poke, taco bowls, or with shrimp.

But you can also use store bought kimchi! Please don’t let that stop you from making this recipe!!! I quite often go that route.

Once the Bulgogi beef, kimchi, and chili garlic aioli are ready, layer the elements with cooling slices of avocado and scallions into fresh corn or flour tortillas. Enjoy the spicy bites next to freshly cooked instant pot rice and a cooling Thai cucumber salad.

Korean tacos arranged on bright pink plate next to small bowls of kimchi and aioli.

What are Korean tacos made of?

There are three elements to these rich and vibrant tacos:

Avocado slices and green onion layered in the tacos play with the flavors and help to cool down the spice. Some Korean tacos are made with chicken or pork instead of beef but I prefer the rich and tender marinated bulgogi ribeye instead.

What is Bulgogi beef?

Korean bulgogi (meaning “fire” and “meat”) beef is tender pieces of thinly sliced and marinated beef. The popular cuts used for bulgogi are ribeye, top sirloin, and brisket. The slices are marinated in a sweet and savory mix of soy sauce, ginger, brown sugar, pear, garlic, and sesame before being pan fried or grilled.

It’s my favorite part of this recipe because the meat caramelizes a bit in the hot skillet and turns out super tender. Make sure you use a large skillet (I use a 12-inch skillet) so each piece can cook evenly.

Kimchi tacos next to bowl of aioli on grey plate.

How to make Korean beef tacos

First, marinate the thinly sliced steak by adding it to a bowl with the shredded pear and onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, mirin, and sesame oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

30 minutes before cooking, take the steak out of the marinade and combine it with the scallions in a bowl. Cook the steak and scallions in a hot skillet with some oil for a few minutes.

Make the chili garlic aioli by mixing all of the ingredients in a bowl (you can do this up to 3 days ahead to save time). Assemble the tacos by layering beef, kimchi, avocado, green onions, aioli, and sesame seeds in tortillas and enjoy!

Tips and tricks

  • Leaving the raw steak in the freezer for 15 minutes will help it firm up and make slicing easier.
  • The ribeye pieces can marinate in the bulgogi marinade for as little as 2 hours or as long as 24 hours.
  • Make the kimchi at least 1 week ahead of time so it can properly ferment or use store bought kimchi instead. You can usually find it in the refrigerated section at most grocery stores.
  • The chili garlic aioli can be made and kept in the fridge up to 3 days in advance.
  • Cook the bulgogi beef in an even layer in the skillet (work in batches if the skillet isn’t big enough). Cooking too many pieces at once will steam the meat and won’t give it a nice caramelization or sear.
  • Top the tacos with cooling vegetables and sauces, like sliced radishes, slaw, chopped mango, pineapple salsa, or cilantro lime crema, to combat the heat.
  • Keep it light by swapping the tortillas for lettuce wraps!

What to serve with Korean tacos

Korean Bulgogi tacos are traditionally served with extra kimchi and rice on the side. You can include a few extra cooling side dishes, like cucumber salad, mango salsa, or daikon radish salad, to help with the heat.

Bowl of kimchi next to tacos.

Wine Pairing for Korean BBQ Tacos:

  • With just a hint of sweetness, dry Riesling wine pairs really well with the caramelized bulgogi beef and the spicy kimchi.

More Asian recipes with beef:

If you loved these Korean Beef Tacos I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

For more great recipes, be sure to follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

More taco recipes:

More Asian recipes:

Korean tacos arranged on bright pink plate next to small bowls of kimchi and aioli.

Korean (Bulgogi) Beef Tacos

The flavors in these Korean Tacos with Bulgogi Beef are out of this world! Topped with homemade kimchi, avocado, and a creamy chili garlic aioli, these tacos are a make-ahead dream that pack in bold and spicy flavors.
4.72 from 7 votes
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • ¾ – 1 cup kimchi (roughly chopped (homemade or store-bought))
  • 1 avocado (thinly sliced)
  • 3 green onions (chopped)
  • Flour tortillas
  • Sesame seeds (to garnish)

Korean Beef (Bulgogi)

  • pounds ribeye steak
  • 1 ripe bosc pear
  • ½ medium red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Fresh ginger (grated on microplane or finely minced, the same size as about 1-2 garlic cloves)
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon mirin
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 green onions (chopped)

Chili Garlic Aioli

  • cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic (grated with microplane, or very finely minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

Bulgogi (Korean Beef)

  • Place steak in freezer for about 15 minutes, which will firm it up a bit, allowing you to cut thin slices. Trim excess fat from steak and very thinly slice.
  • Using the finest side of a grater, grate the pear and onion. Combine with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, mirin, and sesame oil (optional) in a medium mixing bowl. Add thinly sliced steak, cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator, allowing to marinate for at least 2 hours, and up to 24 hours.
  • Remove steak from refrigerator approximately 20-30 minutes before ready to cook. Remove steak from marinade and combine with scallions in a bowl. Heat canola oil in large skillet or grill pan over high heat. Add steak and scallions to pan in a single layer and cook, stirring, until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes. It’s important to cook in a single layer to avoid steaming the meat. Cook in batches if necessary.

Chili Garlic Aioli

  • Mix all ingredients together until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use. Can be made up to 3 days ahead of time.

Assembly

  • Place bulgogi in tortilla and top with chopped kimchi, sliced avocado, green onions, aioli and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!

Nutrition

Calories: 649kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 119mg | Sodium: 913mg | Potassium: 809mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 900IU | Vitamin C: 7.7mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 4.1mg

This recipe was originally published in 2018. It was updated in 2021 to add new photographs and information. The original kimchi taco recipe remains the same. Enjoy!

18 thoughts on “Korean Tacos with Bulgogi Beef”

    • I agree!!! There are so many great Rieslings out there to choose from. I always like to pick up a few bottles to have on hand since it’s such a food-friendly wine!

      Reply
  1. When I first glanced at the photo, I thought they were mushroom tacos! Definitely want to try out a vegan version of this recipe because the rest of the ingredients sound like they’d be a delicious combo.

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    This sounds so delicious, and right up my alley! And we have almost everything on hand to try it, even kimchi (though it’s not homemade… thank you Whole Foods 😉

    Totally giving this a shot!

    Reply
    • You can always leave it out Summer – Or just use a really little bit at first to test it out! That’s the fun part about tacos, everyone can choose their own toppings!

      Reply
  3. This looks so delicious and I’m excited to try it!
    In college, my room mate’s dog ate an entire loaf of cinnamon raisin bread, but ignored the whole wheat bread.

    Reply
  4. We love bulgogi and make it every now and then but haven’t paired it with tacos at home. I’ll have to try it. Our dog can’t reach the counter but he doesn’t believe in eating carbs anyway. He’s super picky about food!

    Reply
    • Ha ha! Low carb doggie diet 🙂 The only food our dog is picky about is her dog food. Give her any “people food” and she’s all on it!

      Reply
  5. 5 stars
    Made this the other night for my family. I used strip sirloin steaks instead of ribeye, because they looked beautiful at the market with their marbling. Other than that, I stuck to the recipe and it was delicious and a big hit.
    Side note: For the vegetarian in my family, I substituted sliced portobello mushrooms and treated them exactly like the meat (including the marinade for 4 hours and they held up beautifully.)

    Reply

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