Korean-Style Bulgogi Beef Tacos

My husband and son share an insatiable appetite for Korean barbeque--and an equally strong dislike of the lettuce leaves traditionally used to wrap the beef. One night, inspired by Korean food trucks, we decided to experiment with our own version, wrapping marinated Korean bulgogi in hot corn tortillas--they were an instant hit, filled with crisp, spicy sweet cucumber, creamy avocado, crunchy scallion, and a punch of gochujang, a Korean hot pepper paste.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
1 hr
Total Time:
1 hr 45 mins
12 tacos



  • 2 pounds rib-eye steaks

  • ½ yellow onion, cut into chunks

  • ½ Asian pear, peeled and coarsely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled

  • 1 (1/2 inch) piece ginger root, peeled

  • ¼ cup sake

  • ¼ cup soy sauce

  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Cucumber Salad:

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon white sugar

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 2 teaspoons gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes), or to taste

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 5 small cucumbers, cut into 1/8-inch slices

  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

  • 12 (6 inch) white corn tortillas

  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced

  • 5 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste), or to taste


  1. Trim excess fat from beef and slice very thinly across the grain. Transfer beef to a container.

  2. Place onion, pear, garlic, ginger, and sake in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and black pepper. Pulse until marinade is well mixed.

  3. Pour marinade over beef. Gently massage beef for a minute or two. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

  4. Mix vinegar, sugar, garlic, gochugaru, sesame oil, and salt together in a large bowl. Add cucumbers and green onions and mix gently by hand. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

  5. Remove beef from refrigerator about 20 minutes before cooking.

  6. Heat canola oil in a cast iron pan over high heat. Cook beef in batches, one layer at a time, stirring until nicely browned, about 3 minutes. Avoid overcrowding beef, or it will end up steaming instead of browning. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

  7. Heat tortillas in another skillet, about 1 minute. Transfer to a serving platter and cover to keep warm. Serve beef bulgogi with the tortillas, cucumber salad, and avocado, green onions, and cilantro as garnishes. Drizzle gochujang over tacos, mixing it with a little water if too thick.

Cook's Note:

Substitute honey for the sugar if preferred.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

268 Calories
13g Fat
26g Carbs
12g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 268
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g 17%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 27mg 9%
Sodium 560mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 10%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 12g
Vitamin C 7mg 37%
Calcium 60mg 5%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 433mg 9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

You’ll Also Love