Korean BBQ Taco Recipe
These Korean BBQ tacos Kogi-style are a unique departure from the standard flavors of a regular taco. The recipe originated from the blog Food for My Family and was forwarded to me by Neil Rowe along with some adjustments that he’s made. This is how I built these along with the adjusted recipe.
To start, get some beef short ribs, about 3 pounds. I prefer the boneless style as it’s a little easier to work with. I picked up the package below at Costco–you’ll only need about 2.5 pounds if going boneless. Throw these in the freezer for 30 mins to firm them up and make it easier to slice thin. Slice against the grain in about 1/4″ strips. Drop these in the marinade for about 24 hours–I like a long marinade to make them really tender. Use your preferred marinade container, but I default to a large zip-loc bag. I can easily move the meat around, turn and view all the meat as it marinates. Just seems easy.
Make the Korean slaw, not more than an hour before eating. The lime juice and other liquids will break down the crispiness of the veggies over time. Set it in the fridge until assembly time. It should look something like this:
After the ribs have marinaded and you’re ready to eat, warm up your grill and lay the strips evenly along the grill over medium high to high heat, depending on how your grill cooks. You want to flash cook and caramelize the marinade but not burn them. About 4-5 mins on each side should do the trick. Remove from grill and cut them up into smaller pieces and wrap with foil to keep warm.
Grill the tortillas on high heat. Only need 20-30 secs per side or enough to add some “grill marks” to the tortillas. I then put them in a tortilla warmer to keep warm and steam a little more before assembly.
Assemble the tacos starting with a warm tortilla, BBQ short ribs, drizzle of Korean BBQ sauce, Korean-style slaw and top with a little (or a lot) of sriracha sauce.
Here’s the recipe
- 3 pounds flanken-style beef short ribs (boneless recommended and only need 2.5lbs without the bones, freeze for 30m, slice1/4in strips against the grain.)
- ¾ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup ketchup
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup mirin
- ¼ cup sesame oil
- 6 cloves garlic
- 6 scallions
- 2 teaspoons fresh peeled ginger
- Dash of sriracha (or more, if you like spicy)
- 3 cups Napa cabbage, chopped
- 1 cup daikon, diced into matchsticks
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 6 scallions, diced
- 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 1 tablespoon sriracha or chili pepper sauce
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 10-15 yellow corn tortillas
- Begin by cutting off excess fat from the short ribs. You can also remove the membrane under the bone side of the rib. Place in a large flat dish or in a zip-top bag.
- In a food processor, blend together soy sauce, brown sugar, mirin, sesame oil, garlic, scallions and ginger. Reserve ½ cup of sauce and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This will be reduced later to create your Korean BBQ sauce. Pour the rest of the sauce over the short ribs, ensuring all ribs are covered. Seal tightly and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
- To prepare the slaw: Place Napa cabbage, daikon, spouts, scallions and cilantro together in a medium to large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, soy sauce, mirin and sriracha. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Pour dressing over vegetables and toss to coat. Store covered in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Reduce the extra marinade ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick. Place in a serving bowl to drizzle on tacos.
- Heat your grill to 550° F or so**. The intent here is to flash cook the meat while simultaneously caramelizing the marinade. Place your short ribs on the grill. Cook for three minutes and flip. Cook an additional three minutes, wrap in foil and set aside.
- Lower grill heat to medium. Place corn tortillas on the grill. Flip after 45 seconds. Grill for another 45 seconds and remove.
- Cut short ribs into strips, avoiding the bones. Assemble your Korean tacos: Corn tortilla, barbecued short ribs, a drizzle of Korean barbecue sauce, Napa cabbage slaw and extra sriracha to match your tastes. Serve immediately.