Korean (Bulgogi) Beef Tacos

Overhead shot of bulgogi taco topped with kimchi.

The flavors in these Korean Tacos are amazing! Bulgogi-style grilled beef, topped with kimchi, avocado and a creamy chili garlic aioli.

This is a recipe post that almost didn’t happen. Everything was working against me on this one. But in the end, it all came together, and I’m so happy it did because I’m super excited to share this recipe with you!

First, is the kimchi recipe. If you’ve made kimchi before, you know that it has to ferment for at least a week. So, this meal has been a while in the planning! Looking at those lovely bright jars of kimchi sitting in my fridge for the past week has been pure torture. I could not wait to put this recipe into action.

The day finally came. The kimchi had fermented in all its glory and I was ready to put it to use in some yummy Korean tacos! That morning, I went to work with thoughts of those tacos running through my head. Once 6 o’clock rolled around, I’d be in our kitchen cooking up those beauties for dinner…

Toppings for korean beef tacos - chili aioli, green onions, kimchi

When I finally made it home, I was starving and ready to get started on this new korean taco recipe. I’d marinated the beef the night before, so it was all ready to go. All I needed to do was chop up the rest of the ingredients and get those tortillas heating in a scorching hot skillet.

But then…

Where are the tortillas?

I didn’t forget to buy them, they were on the counter this morning.

Hmmm… The detective work begins. What is that shred of plastic in Sammie’s dog crate? Our usually well-behaved labradoodle had pulled the unopened pack of tortillas from the counter and devoured the entire thing while I was at work…

“Um…. Rick….? I need you to go to the store for me…”

The wonderful fiancee he is, he kindly obliged.

Fifteen minutes later, tortillas in hand, we were finally ready to go. These korean tacos cooked up quickly and we were ready to eat in less than ten minutes. They smelled so good!

| Quick pause for picture taking time. |

And then we devoured them. To date, this is still one of Rick’s favorite meals that I make.

My favorite part is the korean beef (bulgogi). It caramelizes a bit in the hot skillet and because it’s sliced so thinly, it turns out really tender. Perfect for piling into those tacos. Be sure not to crowd the beef in your skillet when you’re cooking it, otherwise it will become more “steamed” than “caramelized”. I’ve got a 12-inch skillet and I cook my bulgogi in two batches.

Note that you don’t need to make homemade kimchi for this Korean taco recipe. Although, I’ve found that I much prefer the flavor of the homemade kimchi, you can also find it at your grocery store in the refrigerated section. This is the way to go if you don’t want to plan this meal a week ahead of time. But do know that the homemade kimchi will keep in your fridge for up to a month, so it’s great to have on hand. I like adding kimchi to fried rice or as a topping for these Carnitas Taco Bowls.

Wondering what wine will pair with Korean Tacos?

  • I’m obsessed with the pairing of dry Riesling with spicy foods. This riesling wine from Pacific Rim ($12) has just a hint of sweetness that pairs perfectly with the caramelized bulgogi beef and helps to tame down the heat of the spicy kimchi and chili aioli. There’s just something about Washington wine dry rieslings that I love – they’ve got a bit of minerality to them with notes of honey, citrus and melon.

I’d love to know if you’ve ever made homemade kimchi before… It’s a cool experience to make it on your own, but it definitely takes patience. The end results are so worth it though! Whether you make your kimchi from scratch or you buy in in the store, I hope you enjoy these Korean tacos as much as we did!

Overhead shot of bulgogi taco topped with kimchi.

Korean (Bulgogi) Beef Tacos

Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: bulgogi, kimchi, korean, tacos
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 649 kcal

The flavors in these Korean Tacos are amazing! Bulgogi-style grilled beef, topped with kimchi, avocado and a creamy chili garlic aioli. 

Print

Ingredients

  • ¾ - 1 cup kimchi roughly chopped (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 avocado thinly sliced
  • 3 scallions chopped
  • Flour tortillas

Korean Beef (Bulgogi)

  • pounds ribeye steak
  • 1 ripe bosc pear
  • ½ medium red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic grated on microplane or finely minced
  • 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 optional
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 bumches scallions chopped

Chili Garlic Aioli

  • cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 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)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

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

Assembly

  1. Place bulgogi in tortilla and top with chopped kimchi, sliced avocado, green onions and aioli.

If you loved these Korean 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.

Wine Pairing for Korean Tacos:

  • With just a hint of sweetness, dry Riesling wine pairs really well with the caramelized bulgogi beef and the spicy kimchi.
Nutrition Facts
Korean (Bulgogi) Beef Tacos
Amount Per Serving
Calories 649 Calories from Fat 450
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 50g 77%
Saturated Fat 16g 80%
Cholesterol 119mg 40%
Sodium 913mg 38%
Potassium 809mg 23%
Total Carbohydrates 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 7g
Protein 37g 74%
Vitamin A 18%
Vitamin C 9.3%
Calcium 6.1%
Iron 22.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The flavors in these Korean Tacos are amazing! Bulgogi-style grilled beef, topped with kimchi, avocado and a creamy chili garlic aioli. #koreantacos #tacos #bulgogi #korean

16 comments

  1. Doniree

    This sounds SO good! And Riesling is my favorite pairing for spicy food! Oregon is producing so many amazing ones right now, too! 🙂

    Reply

    1. Erin

      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

  2. Create/Enjoy (@SuzannahStanley)

    Literally drooling!!! Oh, these sound and look so good!
    How frustrating to buy all the ingredients you need but have one of them devoured before you could use it! 😛

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Right? Luckily she’s a cutie – So I forgave her 😉

      Reply

  3. Waz

    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

    1. Erin

      I think that mushrooms would actually be an amazing swap in this recipe Waz! I hope you give it a try! Let me know how it turns out!!!

      Reply

  4. Mary

    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

    1. Erin

      Yay! I hope you love it Mary!

      Reply

  5. Summer

    Looks tasty! I am a bit intimidated by kimchee, however.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      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

  6. Kelsey

    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

    1. Erin

      That’s so funny! Aren’t raisins really bad for dogs though? I hope she was OK!

      Reply

  7. Catherine @ To & Fro Fam

    I love all the fusion ideas! It’s so fun to make food that takes inspiration from different cultures.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Me too – I think it’s so fun to try new mash ups!

      Reply

  8. Tenacious Little Terrier

    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

    1. Erin

      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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.