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 beef 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…
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.
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 fiance 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.
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.
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 Beef Tacos as much as we did!
If you loved this Korean Taco recipe I would appreciate it so much if you would give it 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.
Korean Taco Recipe
Korean (Bulgogi) Beef Tacos
- ¾ - 1 cup kimchi (roughly chopped (homemade or store-bought))
- 1 avocado (thinly sliced)
- 3 scallions (chopped)
- Flour tortillas
Korean Beef (Bulgogi)
- 1½ 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
- 1½ tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 bumches scallions (chopped)
Chili Garlic Aioli
- ⅓ 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
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.
- Place bulgogi in tortilla and top with chopped kimchi, sliced avocado, green onions and aioli.