These are seriously the best Korean beef tacos EVER. Super simple to make, the tender beef + quick slaw + amazing sauce is a flavor explosion you’ll be dreaming about for a long time.

There are some meals you eat simply to sustain necessary life, and then there are those meals. You know the ones. The meals you eat that haunt your every waking moment, the meals you could eat day in and day out and still want more, the meals that become the new standard for every other meal you’ll ever eat. 

Korean beef tacos with slaw and sauce on white platter.

Please tell me you know what I’m talking about. 

These crazy, crazy, crazy good Korean beef tacos definitely fall into the latter category. They are so incredible, you guys. I’ll be sad if you don’t find a way to experience the deliciousness as soon as possible. Like maybe today would be good?

Platter of Korean beef.

The succulent, flavorful beef bathed in simple but dramatic flavors is the definite star of the show. Tender and caramelized, it’s whoa-good. And dangerously easy to keep snitching piece by piece from the pan. Perhaps the disclaimer on this recipe should be: you might get an end result of assembled tacos if you have more self-control than Mel. 

What Type of Beef is best?

I highly recommend flank or skirt steak for this recipe. Both are great cuts of beef for marinading and slicing thinly. 

You could experiment with beef short ribs or other types of steak (like sirloin or round), although the beef may not be quite as tender. I like to cook the marinaded steak in a skillet (cast iron or nonstick), but I’ve included a quick note in the recipe for how to turn this into a grilling opportunity.

Holding one Korean beef taco with slaw and drizzled sauce.

Although that crazy good Korean beef is the star, it definitely gets a run for its money thanks to the quick slaw and sauce to end all sauces. Both take mere minutes to throw together and the grand combination of tortilla + tender beef + tangy veggie slaw + spicy creamy sauce is exactly why I cannot stop thinking about this meal. 

Just looking at these pictures, I’m struggling to type up coherent thoughts, because all I really want to do is make sure these Korean beef tacos are staring me in the face tonight for dinner. 

Let’s talk about that sauce

That creamy, spicy sauce is so tasty you’re going to want to drizzle it on EVERYTHING.

It’s already made an adapted appearance in this quick and easy banh mi flatbread recipe, and I can’t guarantee we won’t see it in at least 100 other recipes before this blog has lived its full life. It’s a testament to me how a few, simple, pantry-staple ingredients can combine into something so completely magical. 

Top down view of four Korean beef tacos with slaw and sauce on white platter.

These Korean beef tacos are a total explosion of flavor and texture. I’m not the only one who goes bananas over them, either. The last time I made them, I was fighting my 12-year old for the privilege of cleaning up dinner so the last bits of beef in the skillet could be “cleaned up” unnoticed. 

While the list of ingredients may seem daunting, I promise that everything comes together super fast. Both the quick slaw and the sauce to end all sauces can be made in advance. And since the beef marinades for at least 4 hours (or up to 24 hours!), it means that when you’re ready to put it all together, it happens very, very quickly (20 minutes or less).

I’m excited about every single recipe I post here on this blog, but I cannot wait to hear what you think of these Korean beef tacos. I hope they rock your world like they’ve rocked mine. 

Top down view of Korean beef tacos with slaw and sauce on white platter.

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Korean beef tacos with slaw and sauce on white platter.

Crazy Good Korean Beef Tacos

4.73 stars (235 ratings)


Korean Beef:

  • ½ cup soy sauce, I use low-sodium
  • ¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, light or dark
  • ¼ cup toasted or regular sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger or ginger paste
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic, about 4-5 cloves
  • 2 pounds flank or skirt steak, cut into thin 1/4-inch slices across the grain
  • 1-2 tablespoons oil, for cooking

Quick Slaw:

  • 4 cups shredded napa, red or green cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded or grated carrots
  • 1 cup chopped cucumbers
  • ¼ to ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oil, like avocado or olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sriracha, to taste

Sauce to End All Sauces:

  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

For serving:

  • Corn or flour tortillas
  • Avocado slices
  • Fresh lime wedges


  • For the beef, whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, sesame oil, ginger and garlic until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Place the sliced beef in a shallow dish (like a 9X13-inch pan) and pour the marinade over, tossing to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
  • When ready to cook, heat the oil in a cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot and rippling. Dump in the steak and marinade and cook, turning the beef, until sizzling and cooked through. If you want the beef more caramelized, only add half the steak at a time and cook in a single layer and then repeat with remaining beef. Remove the steak from the pan to a plate or dish and simmer any remaining sauce in the pan until caramelized and slightly thickened. Pour the sauce over the beef.
  • For the slaw, in a large bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, and cilantro. In a small bowl whisk together the lime juice, soy sauce, olive oil, salt and pepper (start with a pinch of each and add more to taste, if needed), and sriracha. Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve (it can be made 4-6 hours in advance).
  • For the sauce, stir together all the ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve (it can be made several days in advance).
  • For serving, place cooked steak in tortillas and top with slaw, sauce, avocado slices (optional), and serve with fresh lime wedges (also optional).


For a Grilling Option: leave the steak whole/unsliced and marinade. Grill the steak to desired doneness, let rest for 10-15 minutes, slice thinly across the grain. Pour marinade into a pan and simmer on the stove for 10-15 minutes (add a couple teaspoons of cornstarch prior to simmering for a thicker sauce). Serve sliced steak with the sauce.
Slaw: we like to load our tacos up with the slaw. Like, lots of it. If you don’t think you’ll pile on as much and don’t want leftovers, you could halve the slaw ingredients.
Serving: 1 Serving, Calories: 503kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 37g, Fat: 30g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 100mg, Sodium: 1693mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 13g

Recipe Source: Korean beef adapted from this recipe at Food Network, slaw from my own brain, amazingness sauce from allrecipes