Korean BBQ in street taco form! Irresistible beef bulgogi on a corn tortilla topped with sweet sticky rice, kimchi, and yum yum sauce.
I could eat these tacos every. single. day. Scout’s Honor, they are my favorite taco in existence.
Some of you are hyped. Good. Some of you are like, “what’s beef bulgogi!? It sounds weird!”
Beef bulgogi is Korean BBQ. It’s when beef is thinly sliced and marinated and then, traditionally, barbecued. When marinated and sliced correctly, it is the most tender meat there is!
I’ve made these tacos a couple of times, and I started with Maangchi’s beef bulgogi recipe for the marinade. I altered it slightly based on my own tastes, and then I turned it into a Korean BBQ street taco, because tacos make everything better.
Maangchi says, “delicious bulgogi depends on three things: a good cut of beef, a delicious marinade, and the method you use to cook it.”
Let’s start with the beef. You want a good, tender cut of beef. I recommend either sirloin or tenderloin. I personally use sirloin. It’s also very important how you cut the beef. Korean BBQ is cut into very thin strips. You’ll want to cut against the grain, into no more than 1/4 inch thick strips. To figure out which direction the grain is going, look at your steak, and find the white muscle fibers that run through it. This is “the grain.” You will want to cut perpendicular to these lines, not parallel. This makes the meat more tender by breaking up the muscle fibers between strips.
Next up is the marinade. Korean BBQ marinade is like no other marinade I’ve ever seen. It uses pears! And there’s a good reason for it. Pears contain enzymes that help tenderize the meat by breaking down the proteins. Puree the pear along with onion,ginger, and garlic, and then combine with the rest of your marinade ingredients to coat the meat. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.
When the beef is done marinating, get out the rest of your taco ingredients. If you have a picky eater, I would recommend NOT putting a big bowl of kimchi right in front of them. Just sneak it into their taco and they’ll thank you later…
For the sticky rice, I use minute rice, because I have zero patience for regular rice. Get a pan hot for your steak, and then start your rice. It’s really important that you don’t overcook your meat. Remember, it’s only a quarter inch thick! For medium rare, cook on medium high heat for about 20 seconds per side.
Stuff your taco with as much beef, sticky rice, and kimchi as possible, and then top with copious amounts of yum yum sauce and some green onion. (Side bar- seriously, yum yum sauce is God’s gift to Earth.) There you have it, Korean BBQ street tacos. Enjoy!
- FOR THE MARINADE
- 1 lb sirloin
- 1 bosc pear
- 3 oz yellow onion (1 quarter)
- .25 oz ginger
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 green onion chopped
- FOR THE TACOS
- 2 cups brown rice
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- Corn tortillas
- spicy kimchi
- yum yum sauce
- Cut sirloin into no more than ¼ inch thick strips, against the grain
- Puree pear, onion, ginger, and garlic.
- Combine puree with the rest of the marinade ingredients and coat the beef
- Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour
- Put a skillet on the stove at medium high heat
- Cook rice to package instructions (Note- I use instant rice)
- Combine rice with lime juice, brown sugar, and soy sauce and keep warm
- Cook steak 20 seconds per side for medium rare (Note- this will vary depending on how thin your strips are)
- Warm corn tortillas in a skillet and top with sticky rice, beef, kimchi, yum yum sauce, and chopped green onions