Beef Recipes

Korean Tacos Recipe

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Korean Tacos
Kogi Korean Taco Recipe?  Kalbi Tacos? Has Asian fusion finally descended on the simple and delicious Mexican Taco!
Absolutely, in fact the craze started in California with a Korean taco truck and then a Baja Fresh test case in my old stomping ground of Irvine, CA.  I really love tacos and I really love Korean BBQ so why not try my own take on the new age Asian fusion tacos.  With my version I went with a shot gun approach and made a bunch of different sauces and fillers.   This enabled me to make a variety of combinations, like a taco bar.  My favorite combinations are at the end of the of the post.

Here’s my quick break down on tacos in general, they are essentially made of three very important parts:

  1. Tortilla (corn, flour) – Corn is my personal preference for tacos but you have to make sure that they are fresh.  Tortillas don’t hold for too long before getting stale and your neighborhood grocery store probably doesn’t have a high turnover rate so they get hard and stale.   I recommend finding a Mexican store and buy them there. It’s probably cheaper and since the turnover is higher it’s fresher.
  2. Filling (beef, fish,pork, vegetables, etc) – I like pork a lot for my traditional tacos and will make some pork tacos in the future but for these Asian fusion tacos, I’m going to use beef.  Korean BBQ mainly revolves around beef short ribs but you can use rib eye, boneless beef rib meat, flank steak, or skirt steak.
  3. Sauce (salsa,etc) – Salsa is a very personal matter and there are millions of salsas in the world so pick your favorite or try one of mine.  I did purchase the Kimchi directly from the store to save time and I recommend you do the same. I also made some soy based and mayo based sauces to spread over the tacos in the recipes below.

So here goes.


Difficulty Level: 5 – Some prep, some mixing, and a little cooking.
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1.25 hours
Real people serving size:4

Korean Kalbi Meat

2.5 lbs boneless rib meat (or any type of steak that’s on sale)
1 bottle Korean BBQ Kalbi marinate (I know it’s from a bottle but from my experience it’s a lot easier and taste just as good from the bottle, but feel free to use your own recipe)

Marinated the beef over night in a zip lock bag or container and flip it once through out the process.  After all the condiments and sauces are done then start cooking the beef.  I usually cook it on the grill at a medium heat, but you should be careful because the sugars from the marinate will caramelize quickly and can easily burn.  Aim for medium or medium rare depending on your preference.  The last few minutes I usually turn the fire to high to nice char on the meat.

Korean Sangchu Lettuce Salad
1 head lettuce
2 green onion
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp Korean red pepper flakes

1. Shred the lettuce into quarter inch width strips and shred the green onion to as thin as you can get it.
2. Mix the rest of the ingredients and mix with the lettuce and green onion.

cucumber salad

Red Thai Pepper Cucumber Salsa
1/2 English cucumber
2 Thai chili peppers
2 tbs rice vinegar
3 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt

1. Shred the English cucumber
2. Remove Thai chili pepper seeds and julienne
3. Dissolve salt and sugar in rice vinegar
4. Mix them together and sit for 30 minutes

Asian taco sauces

Sweet and Spicy Mayo Dressing
3 tbs mayonnaise
1.5 tbs sugar or powered sugar
1 tsp sriracha
1 tsp paprika

Mix all ingredients together and set aside. Adjust sweet and spicy as needed.

Red Onion Salsa
1 red onion
1 small yellow onion
1/2 cup cilantro
1 tbs white vinegar or rice vinegar
1/2 lime
1 tsp salt

1. Dice red and yellow onion and coarsely chop cilantro.
2. Mix in vinegar, juice of the lime, and salt and let sit for at least 30 minutes.

Roasted Jalapeno Salsa
1/2 medium Yellow onion
1 small Bell pepper
1-2 Jalapenos
1/2 head garlic
5 medium tomatoes or 1 can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon Salt
and Black Pepper to taste

1. Grill and char the onion, pepper, jalapeno, tomatoes, and garlic until black. About 25 minutes.
2. Remove all or some of the seeds from the jalapeno (depending on how spicy you want it) and remove skin from garlic.
3. Add everything in a blender with the tomatoes add a pinch of pepper and salt to taste. Blend for 30 seconds or until smooth.
4. If you want a little more of a kick add in a clove of raw garlic and blend again. You can also add more tomatoes or some water to the consistency that you personally like it.
5. Let sit for a hour or two then re-taste and season as necessary. The flavors will melt together and taste more full.

Sweet Soy Dressing
1 cup soy sauce
1 tsp vinegar
3 tbs white or brown sugar

1. Mix together, dissolve, and reduce to a thick syrup. (or just go to the Asian market and pick up a bottle of sweet soy sauce and reduce if needed)

Asian tacos

Well this one is simple warm up the tortillas in the microwave for a few seconds and lay everything out on the table. Then dig in. There’s no secret to putting together a taco but don’t get greedy as all the condiments may make the taco a little unmanageable. Try your own fillers and sauces and combinations.

My favorite combinations were:
1. Beef, Korean salad, Sweet soy sauce (nice sweet and savory flavor)
2. Beef, Sweet and spicy mayo, Cucumber salad, and Kimchi (tart spicy and creamy)
3. Beef, Red onion salsa, Roasted jalapeno salsa, and Kimchi (hot and fresh)

Good Luck and post any questions or suggestions you may have about this and other asian enticement recipes. Now go make your own Korean taco with exotic fillings today.