These Korean Beef Tacos are inspired by sweet and savoury bulgogi beef. In this modern Asian fusion twist, beef flank steak is cooked until tender and wrapped in warm tortillas.
What are Korean beef tacos?
Korean beef tacos are an Asian fusion mashup featuring Korean-style bulgogi beef served in tacos.
What is bulgogi?
Bulgogi in Korean means "fire meat" and consists thin slices of marinated meat that are grilled over a griddle or barbecue.
Typically, sirloin is the cut that is used for bulgogi.
You can find thinly sliced bulgogi beef in Korean grocery stores/supermarkets.
Why you'll love this recipe
This recipe for Korean Beef Tacos uses flank steak, which is a lean cut of beef.
You can easily substitute another cut of meat.
Using an Instant Pot (pressure cooker) cuts down the cooking time and yields tender, flavourful meat.
The flavor that permeates the Korean bulgogi tacos is savoury, sweet, juicy and delicious.
You can use the shredded meat in a variety of different ways.
Ingredients you'll need
- vegetable oil: for searing the steak
- beef flank steak: or any tough cut of meat; you can also use short rib (galbi), rib eye, sirloin or chuck roast; alternatively you can use pork or chicken
- Asian pear: also known as "apple pear," is pale yellow, very juicy and has a sweet flavour and slightly gritty texture; grated
- soy sauce: regular soy sauce will work here
- brown sugar: adds that sweet component; you can substitute with honey
- sesame oil: adds aroma
- ground ginger: or minced ginger
- ground coriander: optional
- red pepper flakes: optional, if you like it a little spicy
- shallots: are purple, small in size and look similar to onions but have a sweeter, milder taste; minced
- garlic: minced
- green onions: chopped
- tortillas: you can use white/yellow corn or flour, warmed
You can find all these ingredients at your local supermarket/Asian grocery store.
How to cook the flank steak in the Instant Pot
Rinse and pat dry the flank steak.
Press SAUTE function on the Instant Pot and wait until it's HOT. Add in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil.
Add the flank steak and sear until browned, about 3-4 minutes per side.
Push the steak aside and add in the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil.
Add in the minced shallot and garlic and sauté until softened and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
Add in the grated Asian pear.
In a bowl, combine together soy sauce, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, ground ginger, ground coriander, and red pepper flakes (optional). Give it a stir.
Pour the sauce over the flank steak and coat evenly.
Cover with the lid and set to SEALING.
Press the MEAT/STEW function and cook for 40 minutes at HIGH PRESSURE, with natural release.
Transfer the meat to a bowl and shred with a fork.
To concentrate the liquid/"jus," leave it in the pot and press the SAUTE function. Let the liquid evaporate and thicken a little.
Pour the liquid over the meat and garnish with remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil and chopped green onions.
Serve the shredded Korean beef with warmed corn or flour tortillas and your choice of toppings.
Alternative cooking method
Slow cooker/crock pot:
If you don't have a pressure cooker, you can cook the beef meat in a crock pot or slow cooker, about 4-5 hours on HIGH or 6-8 hours on low.
You will need to add additional water or beef broth (about ½ C) if using a slow cooker, as it is not seal-tight.
Choose any toppings/garnishes you like such as:
- kimchi: salted and fermented vegetables (usually including cabbage and radish); also used in my Kimchi Grilled Cheese
- avocado slices
- green onions
- purple cabbage/slaw
- sour cream
- gochujang: Korean chili pepper sauce; also used in Dubu Jorim (Spicy Korean Tofu); as an alternative you can use any hot sauce such as sriracha for a kick of heat
- lime juice
Other ways to serve the bulgogi beef
Besides tacos, you can easily repurpose the Korean bulgogi beef and use in:
Sides to serve with Korean beef tacos
- Mala Tater Tots
- tortilla chips & salsa
- cilantro lime rice
How to store
It's best to assemble the Korean Beef Tacos right before serving.
Store the Korean beef in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Divide the shredded beef into portions and wrap with aluminum foil.
Place the wrapped portions into a freezer bag and store for up to 3 months.
Expert tips & troubleshooting
For soft tortillas:
Cover the tortillas with a damp paper towel and microwave for approximately 20 seconds, so it's soft and pliable.
Keep them covered until ready to serve.
Too much liquid in the meat:
Simply press the SAUTE function and continue to evaporate the liquid, until it is almost dry.
Alternatively, you can transfer the liquid to a saucepan and concentrate it in the same manner.
Meat is not tender enough:
Put the Instant Pot lid back on, set to SEALING, press MEAT and set for 10 minutes HIGH PRESSURE, natural release.
Other recipes you may like
Be sure to check out these recipes:
Let me know if you try out this recipe -- tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below!
Easy Korean Beef Tacos (Instant Pot)
- pressure cooker (Instant Pot)
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
For the Korean bulgogi beef:
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil divided
- 1 lb beef flank steak
- 2 shallots minced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large Asian pear grated
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil divided
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- 1 green onion chopped
- 8-10 corn or flour tortillas warmed
- gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
- sour cream
- ¼ C purple cabbage shredded
- 1 avocado diced
- few sprigs cilantro
- 1 jalapeno sliced
- 1 lime quartered
- Rinse and pat dry the flank steak.
- Press SAUTE function on the Instant Pot and wait until it's HOT. Add in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil.
- Add the flank steak and sear until browned, about 3-4 minutes per side.
- Push the steak aside and add in the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil.
- Add in the minced shallot and garlic and sauté until softened and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the grated Asian pear.
- In a bowl, combine together soy sauce, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, ground ginger, ground coriander, and red pepper flakes (optional). Give it a stir.
- Pour the sauce over the flank steak and coat evenly.
- Cover with the lid and set to SEALING.
- Press the MEAT/STEW function and cook for 40 minutes at HIGH PRESSURE, with natural release.
- Transfer the meat to a bowl and shred with a fork.
- To concentrate the liquid/"jus," leave it in the pot and press the SAUTE function. Let the liquid evaporate and thicken a little.
- Pour the liquid over the meat and garnish with remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil and chopped green onions.
- Serve the shredded Korean bulgogi beef with warmed tortillas and your choice of toppings.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.