These Korean beef tacos are made with ground beef bulgogi and topped with kimchi, cabbage slaw, & pickled cucumbers! A delicious way to enjoy Korean tacos!
These Korean beef bulgogi tacos are so easy to make and ready in under 30 minutes! It's made with ground beef seasoned with a Korean bulgogi sauce and served on top of corn tortillas.
Add a tangy cabbage slaw and quick pickled cucumbers for crunchy texture to these Asian tacos!
Inspiration for this recipe
I had my first Korean beef taco during college when food trucks became popular. It was topped with spicy kimchi and crunchy pickled cucumbers. I was hooked ever since!
If you've never had Korean food truck tacos, you've got to make this recipe. It's exactly how I remember Korean food truck tacos but I added a red cabbage slaw for extra crunchy and color.
Why you’ll love these bulgogi tacos
- It's a delicious fusion of Mexican and Korean flavors all wrapped up in a corn tortilla for easy serving.
- A perfect balance of flavors and texture - sweet and salty from the bulgogi beef filling, tangy from the slaw and cucumbers, spicy from the kimchi (optional), and tons of crunchy texture from the taco toppings
- The beef filling is ready in under 10 minutes! No need to marinate the beef since we're using ground beef. It absorbs the sauce better and it's easier to eat.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- ground beef
- english cucumber
- red cabbage
- kimchi (optional)
- cilantro, scallions, lime - for serving
For the sauce, you'll need the following:
- regular and dark soy sauce
- brown sugar
- sesame oil
Step by Step Instructions
- Place the thinly sliced cucumbers in a bowl and add the salt.
- Let it sit for about 10 to 15 minutes until the salt draws out the liquid.
- Rinse the cucumber if it's too salty and gently squeeze out the excess liquid. Add the sesame oil and set it aside.
- Place the shredded red cabbage in a bowl and add the rice wine vinegar, sugar, and salt. Toss it to combine and let the cabbage wilt and absorb the dressing.
- Heat your pan on medium high heat and cook the ground beef until it's almost fully cooked. Then add in the sauce and chopped onions.
- Saute everything together until the beef is fully cooked.
- Arrange the corn tortillas on a plate and spoon the Korean bulgogi beef on top. Add the cabbage slaw, pickled cucumbers, and optional kimchi. Then garnish with sesame seeds, cilantro, and scallions. Serve with lime wedges on the side.
Frequently Asked Questions
In addition to the pickled cucumbers and cabbage slaw, you can serve it with pickled radish, pickled jalapenos, or pickled carrots. Other good toppings would be sliced avocado, corn relish, or sriracha.
Store the ground beef filling, slaw, and cucumbers separately in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days. The cucumbers and slaw may release more liquid over time. Drain the excess liquid before serving.
Other Korean Recipes to Try:
- Spicy Korean Radish Salad
- 15 Minute Korean Beef Bowl
- Korean Dried Zucchini Side Dish
- Kimchi Fried Rice with Spam
- Instant Pot Korean Short Ribs
Korean Beef Bulgogi Tacos with Slaw and Pickled Cucumbers
Korean beef filling:
- 1 lb ground beef
- ¼ cup white onion - - chopped
- 1 Tablespoon avocado oil
Korean beef Sauce:
- 3 Tablespoons brown sugar - - packed tightly
- 2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic - - minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger - - grated
- ½ Tablespoon Korean red pepper flakes - - (optional for spice)
- ½ Tablespoon gochujang - - (optional for spice)
Red Cabbage Slaw
- 2½ cups shredded red cabbage
- 1½ teaspoons rice wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 large english cucumber - - thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- corn tortillas
- ½ cup cilantro leaves
- 1 Tablespoon toasted white sesame seeds - - for garnish
- 2 stalks scallions - - chopped for garnish
- 1 lime - - cut into wedges
- ½ cup kimchi - - (optional) chopped
Make the pickled cucumbers
- Add the thinly sliced cucumbers and sea salt in a medium sized bowl and toss it around. Let it sit for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the salt draws out some of the liquid from the cucumbers.
- Gently squeeze the cucumbers to draw out more liquid and give it a taste. If it's too salty, rinse it under water and gently squeeze out the water. Add the sesame oil and gently toss it together. Set it aside.
Make the red cabbage slaw:
- In a large bowl, mix together the shredded red cabbage, rice wine vinegar, sea salt, and sugar. Let it sit until the cabbage starts to wilt and absorbs the dressing.
Make the beef filling:
- Mix all the ingredients for the Korean beef sauce in a small bowl and set it aside.
- Heat a pan on medium high heat and add the oil and ground beef. Break the beef apart into small pieces. When the beef is almost fully cooked, add the chopped onions and the sauce. Continue to cook for about 3 more minutes or until the beef is fully cooked and the onions have softened. Remove from the heat.
Assemble the tacos:
- For serving, spoon the Korean beef bulgogi on top of the tortillas and add the red cabbage slaw and pickled cucumbers. Top with any of the following - kimchi, sesame seeds, scallions, and cilantro leaves. Serve with lime wedges.
✎ Recipe Notes
- Gochujang is a sweet and spicy Korean red pepper paste so if you plan to add more than 1 Tablespoon of gochujang, reduce the brown sugar by a third.
- Other toppings for Korean tacos:
- pickled radish
- pickled carrots
- pickled jalapenos
- corn relish
*Nutritional information is an estimate, calculated using online tools.
Seriously so good - this was my first time trying a Korean taco. The combination of flavours - amazing! I highly recommend making all of the different components as it is a taste sensation!!
Our new family favorite! My wife went crazy for this - she LOVED it. Don't skip the pickled cucumbers - they add an amazing texture and flavor to these Korean tacos. Cheers for a great recipe!
Thanks for trying it out Robert! So glad you and your wife loved these Korean tacos!
Jamie, these were seriously amazing!! I loved everything about them. The colour of the filling was fantastic. This is making it on our weekly meal planning!
This was a new way to enjoy tacos and they were epic. The whole family loved it!
We really loved the pairing of the korean beef with cucumber and cabbage. the fresh vegetables in the taco was delicious!
These tacos are spectacular! They are so tasty and are just like street food. Thanks so much for the recipe, it's a winner.
I honestly have to say, this is one of the tastiest meals I have ever eaten.
The flavours are incredible. The slaw and pickled cucumbers are such a tasty addition.