Monday, May 2, 2011

Korean BBQ Tacos

Cinco de Mayo is just a few days away and I was searching for a tasty, Mexican recipe. If you know me and/or my husband, it is not surprising that I wound up making something Asian.

These Korean bbq tacos were inspired by the extremely popular Kogi truck in LA. They are definitely more home cook friendly by using ground beef instead of thinly sliced steak. They are really delicious and a fun twist on your typical, homemade, ground meat taco. The coleslaw is super spicy, so be sure to taste it as you are making it and adjust the seasoning to your liking. I promise I will have a real Mexican dish coming up later in the week.

Korean BBQ Tacos
Recipe adapted from

  • For the bulgogi:
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, crushed
  • 11/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 11/2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • For the spicy slaw:
  • 1 pound Chinese, red or Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 - 11/2 teaspoons Korean chile flakes or hot red pepper flakes (I used 1 teaspoon and it was really spicy.)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup mayo (optional)
  • Warm flour tortillas, to serve
Sprinkle the salt on the cabbage and toss. Let stand for 20 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, add the soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, brown sugar, mirin and black pepper, and whisk. Add the ground beef, onions and scallions then mix gently until the sauce is incorporated into the meat.

For the slaw, mix the fish sauce, vinegar, chile flakes, garlic, ginger, sugar, scallions, mayo if using and sesame seeds in a bowl. (Be sure to taste and adjust seasoning/spiciness.)

Bring a pan to medium-high heat, and cook the meat until done and most of the liquid has evaporated, around 10 minutes.

Rinse the cabbage under cold water, then squeeze the excess water out. In a bowl, toss the cabbage with the fish sauce mixture until well-coated. To assemble, spoon the meat down the center of each tortilla, and top with slaw.