Gather around taco lovers, these incredibly tasty Korean Beef Tacos are an explosion of flavor! Made with perfectly cooked marinated beef sirloin wrapped up in a warm tortilla and then topped with a mixture of crunchy cabbage and a dollop of spicy sriracha mayo sauce to finish, these tacos are sure to be a hit in your house!
Korean Beef Tacos
This isn’t your average taco, folks! This is a delicious party in your mouth! Why!?! Because these tacos take everything that is delicious about tacos like my Chicken Street Tacos and switch things up a bit by throwing some Korean flavors into the mix. It’s like a yummy Asian-inspired cross cultural experience all wrapped up into a tortilla.
And if you’re new to Korean food then this recipe is going to enlighten your taste buds! The tender sirloin is first marinated in a flavorful blend of sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. These are popular ingredients used in Korean cooking that when perfectly blended together will make your mouth water before you even take a bite. Then the tacos are topped off with some crunchy cabbage which adds loads of texture, a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds, a bit of cilantro, and a drizzle of sriracha mayo that ties everything together!
So if you’re looking for a quick and easy taco recipe with a twist, look no further than these unbelievably delicious Korean beef tacos! You can serve these tacos for lunch, dinner, or at your next party! They pair well with other Asian dishes like my Thai Chicken Wings and Grilled Vietnamese Meatballs.
Why You’ll Love These Korean Beef Tacos
- Simple Recipe! These beef tacos are super easy! They require very little prep time and don’t call for any hard to find fancy Asian ingredients. You can buy everything you need for this recipe at your local grocery store.
- Korean Taco Twist! If you love Asian flavors and you love tacos then this dish is for you! Made with beef infused with a delicious garlicky ginger sesame soy marinade and topped off with some spicy sriracha mayo sauce, these tacos are amazing!
- Family Favorite! Make this Korean BBQ beef tacos recipe for your next taco Tuesday or family game day gathering for a fun and tasty twist on tacos! It’s a total crowd-pleaser and sure to impress your friends and family.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Beef Sirloin – This recipe calls for sirloin, but other cuts of beef such as ribeye steak and flank steak are other options.
- Soy Sauce (Low Sodium) – I always use low-sodium soy sauce to control the amount of added salt. Yet, regular soy sauce and gluten-free tamari will work too.
- Brown Sugar – Adds sweetness to the marinade, which balances the salty and umami flavors. It also helps to caramelize the beef a bit when it’s cooking.
- Sesame Oil – This ingredient is used often in Korean recipes. Make sure to use toasted sesame oil for its addictively good flavor!
- Garlic – Always use fresh garlic cloves. Store-bought already minced garlic doesn’t have as much flavor and can sometimes be bitter due to preservatives.
- Ginger – A minced fresh knob of ginger is needed to add a little zing to the beef.
- Black Pepper – Simple ground black pepper is added for a bit of peppery spice.
- Tortillas – You’ll need some small flour tortillas to make the tacos. You can also use corn tortillas if you prefer.
- Cabbage – I used both red and green shredded cabbage to give the tacos a bit of crunch. Even coleslaw mix will do the trick if you don’t want to shred it yourself.
- Green Onions – Also called scallions, they give the tacos the perfect touch of mellow fresh onion flavor.
- Cilantro – This herb is just as popular in Asian cuisine as it is in Latin cuisine and no taco would be complete without some fresh cilantro.
- Sesame Seeds – Toasted sesame seeds add another layer of texture to these tacos as well as even more sesame yumminess.
Sriracha Mayo Sauce
- Mayonnaise – You can use any brand of store-bought mayo or make your own homemade mayonnaise.
- Sriracha – This garlicky hot sauce is made from red jalapeño-hybrid chile peppers, which is what makes it so unique.
- Rice Vinegar – It’s sweeter than white vinegar and adds just the right touch of tang to the sauce. Apple cider vinegar is a good second choice.
- Honey – Helps to balance out the spiciness with the perfect dash of sweetness.
How To Make Korean Beef Tacos
This simple tasty beef taco recipe comes together in just 4 easy steps! Once the beef has had enough time to marinate for a bit it takes just minutes to make. You can even prep the entire recipe the night before if you like!
Marinate The Beef
The first step is to start infusing the beef with loads of flavor! To begin, whisk the soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and black pepper together in a large bowl. Next, add the sliced beef sirloin and toss it in the marinade until it’s fully coated. Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight. The longer the meat is left to marinate the more tender and flavorful it will be.
Cook The Beef
After you’ve given the meat some time to marinate, you can start cooking! First, heat a large skillet over high heat. Then add the beef to the pan and saute it for 5 to 7 minutes until it’s browned and fully cooked. And make sure to stir it around the pan from time to time so that it cooks evenly.
Make The Sauce
Next, make the spicy mayo sauce by just whisking all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Keep in mind, if you want to make it more spicy all you have to do is add a little more sriracha. But if you find it’s too spicy for you, just whisk in a bit more mayo to mellow it out.
Assemble And Serve
Once the beef is cooked and the sauce is made, let’s get to making tacos! First, warm the tortillas up by toasting them over medium heat in a dry skillet or popping them in the microwave for a few seconds. Next, use tongs to divide the beef among the tortillas.
Then layer each taco with some shredded cabbage, sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, sesame seeds, and a drizzle of the sriracha mayo sauce on top. Now, garnish the finished tacos with a bit more chopped fresh cilantro and toasted sesame seeds if you like, and serve them immediately to enjoy!
Can I Use Other Types Of Meat?
Yes! You can easily make this recipe with chicken, pork, or even shrimp! It’s even possible to make a vegetarian version of these Korean tacos with tofu. All you have to do is marinate your protein of choice in the same mixture and cook it in a pan as instructed in the recipe. Yet, keep in mind that the cooking time will likely differ.
Can I Use A Different Cut Of Beef?
Absolutely! While sirloin is a good balance of tenderness and flavor, you can use other cuts like flank steak or skirt steak. Just make sure to slice it thinly for quick and even cooking.
Can I Prepare The Beef In Advance?
Yes, you can marinate the beef up to 24 hours in advance. This will help the flavors to meld together and make the beef even more flavorful.
Who Made Korean Tacos?
Korean tacos originated in Los Angeles as a Korean-Mexican fusion street food. They were created by the now famous Kogi Korean BBQ food truck, which took Korean inspired fillings like bulgogi beef, kimchi, and slaw and then layered them in a warm tortilla. As you can imagine the creation was a total hit! And now they are quite popular all over the United States and Canada.
- Marinate overnight. If you’ve got the time, let the meat marinate for hours! In fact, overnight is best and will produce more flavorful tacos!
- Cook the beef in batches. Don’t crowd the pan when sauteing the meat. It’s better to cook the meat in batches if all the sliced beef doesn’t fit comfortably in the pan.
- Don’t overcook the meat. You can still overcook meat even if you like it well done. So be sure to remove it from the heat once it’s cooked or it can get dry.
- Make and eat. For the yummiest taco experience, only make as many tacos as you plan to eat. Leftover already assembled tacos don’t keep as well.
Already assembled Korean beef tacos are best eaten right away or they can start to get a little soggy. But they will stay good in the fridge for a few days in an airtight container. You can then warm them up a bit in the microwave or eat them cold if you like.
However, the cooked beef itself will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months in an airtight container or sealed freezer bag. Then just reheat the beef as needed. Yet, if it has been frozen you’ll want to let the beef thaw out overnight in the fridge first.
Other Delicious Recipes To Try
- Asian Style Slaw
- Asian Style Pepper Steak
- Sweet And Sour Chicken
- Asian Ground Beef Noodles
- Thai Drunken Noodles
Craving More? Follow Along:
Korean Beef Tacos
For The Beef
- 1 pound beef sirloin sliced into thin strips
- ¼ cup soy sauce low sodium
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar packed
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger minced
- ½ taspoon black pepper
For The Tacos
- 8 small flour tortillas
- 1 cup red cabbage shredded
- 1 cup green cabbage shredded
- ¼ cup green onions sliced
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds toasted
Sriracha Mayo Sauce
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- In a large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, minced garlic, grated ginger, and black pepper. Add the sliced beef to the bowl and toss to coat. Marinate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
- Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the marinated beef and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the beef is browned and cooked through.
- To make the sriracha mayo sauce, whisk together the mayonnaise, sriracha hot sauce, rice vinegar, and honey in a small bowl until well combined.
- To assemble the tacos, warm the flour tortillas in a dry skillet or in the microwave. Divide the cooked beef among the tortillas, followed by the shredded red cabbage, shredded green cabbage, sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, and toasted sesame seeds. Drizzle the sriracha mayo sauce over the top of the tacos.
- Serve the tacos immediately, garnished with additional cilantro and sesame seeds, if desired.
Tips & Notes:
- Marinate Longer: For a deeper flavor, marinate the beef overnight. The longer it marinates, the more it absorbs all those wonderful flavors.
- Quality Beef: Use a good quality sirloin for best results. The quality of your meat can make a difference in taste and texture.
- Finely Slice the Beef: Slice the beef as thinly as possible for quick cooking and maximum flavor absorption.
- Heat is Key: Make sure your skillet is hot before adding the beef. This ensures a nice sear and helps to lock in the flavors.
- Dress to Impress: Don’t skimp on the Sriracha Mayo Sauce – it’s the perfect creamy, spicy addition that takes these tacos to another level.
- Customize Your Toppings: Feel free to get creative with your toppings. Add some pickled carrots or radishes for a tangy crunch or some sliced avocado for creaminess.