Korean Shredded Beef Tacos

I have to admit that I had a particular section of the world in mind when I picked World Cuisines as this month’s Kitchen Bootcamp challenge.  Though I love to eat it, I have a really difficult time preparing Asian dishes.  In fact, my husband and I were discussing that just the other day as we were out for lunch and he ordered an Asian salad because, as he put it, those are flavors that I just don’t “work into the menu” very often.

I think my fear of cooking Asian dishes is two-fold.  I’m not always sure what they’re supposed to taste like. Sure, I’ve had my share of Central PA Chinese takeout, but I’m sure that’s about as Chinese as the Olive Garden is Italian… Probably even less. So, I have trouble picking out recipes because I’m afraid they won’t be something that we’ll like.

I also find myself very intimidated to cook, but especially to post recipes that are taken from Asian cuisines… There are so many other bloggers out there who do know how to properly cook authentic dishes, and can do it much better than I will… No contest! I’m afraid to completely botch a traditional dish and offend someone.

So, this month I’m forcing myself to step outside of my comfort zone a bit… And, today I’m going to share a recipe with you that was inspired by the challenge.  I’ll let you know right off the bat that it’s not authentic… It’s a recipe that I developed using ingredients that were readily available to me (and that I already had on hand).  It was, however, inspired by the Korean tacos that are oh-so popular in food trucks all over the country right now. Granted, I have never actually had a chance to try them.

I saw a recipe for the Kogi-inspired tacos over at Food for My Family a few weeks ago, and that’s what got the ball rolling on this dish.  With the help of the section on Korea in The Professional Chef and another recipe for Korean barbeque marinade from Savory Sweet Life, I managed to figure out the general flavor profile and turn the recipe into a slow cooker recipe for shredded beef. I topped the shredded beef off with a quick cabbage slaw, and it was an easy and delicious dinner… One that can be prepped well ahead of time, I might add!

It’s not authentic (and I don’t even begin to pretend that it is)… Using my slow cooker allowed me to try some new flavors while relying on the convenience of a technique that I’m already familiar with. That’s how I roll!

We really enjoyed my version of the tacos, and I’ll certainly make them again.  If you’re looking for more authentic recipes, however, I’d suggest giving the recipes from Shaina and Alice a try… They are truly rock stars. I think my recipe is a bit more like karaoke!

Korean Shredded Beef Tacos
(Serves 6-8)

For the shredded beef:

  • 2 pounds beef roast (I actually used flank steak, but any cut that is good for roasting will work)
  • 5 green onions (white and green parts), thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

For the cabbage slaw:

  • 1/4 head of cabbage (about 1/2 pound) thinly sliced
  • 2 large carrots, shredded
  • 3 green onions (white and green parts), thinly sliced
  • Handful cilantro (about 2 tablespoons), chopped
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • Hot pepper sauce or sriracha, to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)

To complete the tacos:

  • Tortillas
  • Toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • Lime wedges (optional)

Begin by searing the beef on all sides in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Transfer the beef to the slow cooker.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the green onions, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes.  Pour the mixture down over the beef in the slow cooker. Cook on low for about 6 – 8 hours, until the beef is tender and pulls apart easily.

Meanwhile, prepare the cabbage slaw (this can be done the night before, if desired). In a large mixing bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots, green onions, and cilantro.  In a separate microwaveable bowl, combine the rice vinegar and brown sugar.  Microwave for about 30 seconds and then stir to make sure the sugar has dissolved completely. Whisk in the lime zest, lime juice, canola oil, dark sesame oil, and hot pepper sauce. Pour the sauce down over the cabbage mixture and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour prior to serving.

About 30 minutes before serving, remove the beef from the slow cooker, and use two forks to shred it and pull it apart. Return the shredded beef to the slow cooker and continue to cook with the lid off for an additional 30 minutes.

If desired, top the shredded beef with some toasted sesame seeds, and serve with warm tortillas and lime wedges.

Please Note – The link to The Professional Chef provided in this post is an Amazon Affiliate link.

22 Responses to Korean Shredded Beef Tacos

  1. I love that you stepped out of your comfort zone for this one Jen. It looks amazing and I’ll bet all the flavors of each ingredient, shines through. I thank you for posting this because I think I’ll be stepping out of my comfort zone with this one too. YUMMY!

  2. This looks awesome! I love how nothing seems to be over powering anything else.

    I love slaw on my tacos – and anything with sriracha wins my vote.

  3. That looks delicious. There’s a new Korean BBQ restaurant close to my apartment, but these would be wonderful (and a $ saver!) to make at home. Thanks!

  4. This beef was amazing – I couldn’t get my husband to stop eating it out of the crockpot before dinner! Thanks for an awesome recipe!

  5. Looks delicious. And I’ve been looking all around for an Asian-flavored shredded beef. This one looks more authentic than many.

  6. Found your awesome blog while looking for a Korean beef recipe. My daughter’s Karate school, owned and operated by a wonderful Korean woman here in South Jersey, is having their 1 year anniversary party tomorrow. Everyone is to bring a dish. I am a foodie and Mexican is one of my favorites. Originally wanted to bring my grill and prepare those Kogi tacos you referred to, but realize that will not be practical for this. SO, I thought HEY, I could do a little fusion and use your beef recipe for taquitos! Wee!! I know this is going to be great and taquitos are fantastic finger food for everyone. Thank you! Now, off to give you a follow on Twitter ~ Have a great day!

  7. […] Before we moved to South Carolina for school, we were lucky enough to work on a unit (we were ICU nurses) with some amazing people who became great friends. Luckily for us, several of them share our love for food and cooking. Along the way, one recipe sort of became known as “the recipe,” and got passed around and around via email. We got it from Mike, who got it from Christy, who got it from… someone? As best I can tell, the recipe actually originates with the blog, My Kitchen Addiction. […]