Korean-style grilled beef and vegetables on crisp tortillas make a delightful Asian-inspired meal.

Tammy Ljungblad/Kansas City Star

You’re no doubt familiar with the many authentic Mexican-style tacos available at local taquerias, including al pastor (layers of adobo-marinated meat), al carbon (grilled meats), de guisados (casseroles), carnitas (pork cooked in its own fat) and charrales (fish).

Korean tacos, however, are less common.

The fusion delicacy originated in California under the auspices of Kogi, a Los Angeles-based taco/Korean barbecue truck that has attracted a legion of loyal Twitter followers and Facebook fans. This Korean-style Grilled Beef and Vegetables on Crisp Tortillas uses ready-made kimchi available in the refrigerator section of some supermarket produce sections. Using low-sodium soy sauce further reduces the amount of sodium in this recipe.

Plan ahead: The meat needs to marinate for 4 to 8 hours.

Serving tip: If desired, top each tortilla with 2 to 3 tablespoons of finely shredded romaine lettuce or Napa cabbage, then top with sliced meat and grilled vegetables.


Makes: 6 servings

  • 1½ pounds boneless beef sirloin or top round, cut about ¾-inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1¼ teaspoons sugar, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon pepper, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne, or to taste, divided
  • 6 thin corn tortillas, about 6 inches in diameter
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 red or green peppers, seeded and quartered
  • 1 sweet onion, cut in ½-inch slices
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 6 tablespoons kimchi, drained

Place meat in a zip-top bag. Combine rice vinegar, garlic, sesame oil, ¼ teaspoon sugar, ¼ teaspoon pepper and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne.

Pour marinade over beef, seal and marinate in refrigerator for 4 to 8 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place tortillas flat, in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Spray corn tortillas with nonstick cooking spray. Bake 5 to 6 minutes or until crisp. Combine remaining 1 teaspoon sugar, ½ teaspoon pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne. Blend in soy sauce and lime juice. Set aside.

Preheat grill to medium-high or allow coals to burn down to white ash.

Drain meat and discard marinade. Grill meat 5 to 7 minutes per side or until meat thermometer registers 160 degrees for medium doneness.

Meanwhile, spray both sides of peppers and onion slices with nonstick spray and grill 3 to 5 minutes per side or until charred and tender.

Remove meat and vegetables to a cutting board, cover with aluminum foil and allow to stand 5 to 10 minutes.

Remove charred pieces of skin from peppers. Slice peppers and onions into thin strips. Cut meat across grain into thin strips. To serve, place a crisp tortilla on each plate.

Arrange meat strips over tortillas, then top each with about ¼ cup sliced, grilled vegetables and 1 tablespoon cilantro. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons lime juice mixture each. Top each with 1 tablespoon kimchi.

Nutrition per serving: 349 calories (45 percent from fat), 17 g total fat (6 g saturated), 84 mg cholesterol, 20 g carbohydrates, 28 g protein, 310 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber.

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