Korean Tacos with Homemade Salsas

One of my favorite tacos out there when I first took a bite into one and with love of fusion cooking is the Korean taco. If you’ve ever had Korean food before it’s sweet, savory, vinegary and mighty tasty. Mexican food on the other hand is tart, fresh and fulfilling. Why not mix the two and have a great marriage? Here we go with an awesome recipe you will love to make for yourself and/or your family tonight. I guarantee it will be a hit!

What we want to do first is make the marinade. I’ve tried the overnight version and the 4 hour version and to me there isn’t a difference. You’re going to be cutting the meat up just like you would carne asada but you’ll be cooking it in it’s own marinade. Here’s what you’ll need:

I forgot to picture the kiwi so here it is.

To work with a blender, you’ll want to pre cut your ingredients so the blender doesn’t have to work too hard. I’ve broken a few blenders in my day because I overworked it. You don’t want to break your blender. The liquid you add in your blender will also help move the items around. Remember this when working with salsa which we will discuss right now.

Everybody in the pool!

While you wait for your meat to marinate in the refrigerator, you can prepare an assortment of salsas. Before you I have prepared 4 different kinds. You don’t have to use all 4. One or two will do the trick. For the Korean taco recipe itself, I usually make a spicy mayo sauce but I have omitted this. I felt that this particular recipe did not need it but if you still would like to use it it’s basically:

3 T Mayo
1 1/2 T powdered sugar
1 T sriracha
1 tsp paprika

The first salsa is pretty basic. It’s tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, red onion, white onion, cilantro, 1 small jalapeno, 1 lime, salt

The second salsa is a tomatillo salsa. It’s tomatillos, white onion, cilantro, lime, 2 cloves roasted garlic, 1/2 c of water and salt. The best way to bring out the flavor to this salsa is to roast or grill the tomatillos. The tomatillos will begin to char and soften. To roast garlic, basically put garlic in foil with some olive oil. Wrap it up and put it on the grill. The garlic is done when the tomatillos are done.

The third salsa is a guajillo chile salsa and probably my favorite one to put on a taco because of the heat and it’s flavor. There is a series of steps you need to take in order for this salsa to work. It pretty much borders the tomatillo salsa with the same ingredients just that you add reconstituted dried chiles. As you’ll see in the pictures below you’ll be roasting the guajillo chiles and reconstituting them in boiling water to soften them, blend them and then adding the tomatillo salsa to it.

The fourth salsa is as basic as the first. It’s tomato, avocado, cilantro, lime, salt.

I will go ahead and let the pictures do the explaining…

The finished product!

Korean Tacos
Printer-friendly PDF version

Korean Tacos

by mjbarias


● 3lbs cubed beef
● 1 small onion quartered
● ½ Asian pear quartered
● 1 kiwi quartered
● 8 garlic cloves
● ¼ c chopped ginger
● ½ c brown sugar
● ½ c sugar
● 2 T sesame oil
● ¾ c soy sauce
● 1 ½ c water
● ½ small cabbage julienned
● ½ c vinegar
● 2 T sugar
● ¼ c vinegar
● 2 T sugar
● ¼ tsp salt
● ½ cabbage julienned


Prepare marinade with onion, asian pear, kiwi, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce and water. Working with a blender works best if you pre cut ingredients beforehand. I marinate everything and anything in 1 gallon plastic bags. Once you cube up beef you will be using, pour marinade in the plastic bag and marinate 4 hours or overnight.

Drain some of the liquid and use a hot wok. No oil is necessary and allow the marinade to dry up with the beef during the cooking process. Once the beef begins to caramelize and soak up all the liquid, you’re done.


Quinoa & Arugula Salad

Since it’s still summer, I wanted to create something fresh, with a little bite and incredibly delicious. I fell in love with this salad I had recently ate at a local restaurant. I figured why spend the money on a restaurant quality salad when i can make something similar at home? I’m one of those that won’t order a salad if I’m super hungry but this was something I wanted to try. It’s very easy to make and you can make it any day of the week! So get to the grocery store and pick up these ingredients!

You’ll want to start with 2 cups of water to 1 cup of quinoa. This measurement will yield at least 3 cups of cooked quinoa.

With a particular grain, you’ll want to rinse with cold water. Use a fine mesh strainer.

Add the quinoa to boiling water and salt. Fluff up the quinoa with a fork.

Next you’ll want to toast up some pine nuts.

Now on to julienne the fresh veggies. Armenian cucumber is treated just like a regular cucumber. The difference is the skin is a bit more palatable (no bitterness) and the seeds are smaller as you don’t need to scrape them off. They are perfect as is.

Now champagne vinegar is a bit expensive. For a 6.8 fl oz bottle it cost me about $10 at the grocery store. You can find it in the salad dressing aisle. If you can’t find it, white wine vinegar will suffice.

Now that you have your items ready to go, it’s time to assemble.

Spoon over dressing before you add the feta and you’re set!

Quinoa & Arugula Salad
Printer-friendly PDF version


● Quinoa
● Baby arugula
● Pine nuts
● Sun dried tomatoes
● Red onion
● Feta cheese
● Armenian cucumber
● Champagne vinegar
● Extra virgin olive oil
● Salt
● Fresh cracked pepper


In a pot of 2 cups of boiling water add 1 cup of quinoa on a medium to medium low heat. Add a pinch of salt and cook for about 15 minutes and fork quinoa to tenderness. In a sauté pan toast a ½ cup of pine nuts under a medium flame and set aside. Start to julienne the red onion, Armenian cucumber and sun dried tomatoes and set aside.

In a separate bowl for your dressing add 2 tablespoons of champagne vinegar to about a ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil with a pinch of salt to taste. Dressing should be slightly thick but have a good tartness to it.

Begin to build your salad with baby arugula, quinoa, pine nuts, Armenian cucumber, sun dried tomatoes, red onions and feta cheese on top. Spoon over champagne vinaigrette and add some fresh cracked black pepper.