I’ve talked before about how we try to cook as much Korean food as we [realistically] can. It’s something that we do to keep our boys’ culture alive… but we also really, really love Korean food. That said, some days it’s just hard to get a meal on the table… so I’ve spent a lot of time over the years finding acceptable “fusion” meals for when we are craving Korean meals like bibimbap or bulgogi, but don’t have the time or energy. I stumbled across this recipe a while ago, and the first time Mini Michelangelo had it, he fell in love. His exact four-year-old words were, “It’s a little Korean, and a little American… just like me.” (Who wants to break the news to him that tacos aren’t American?) I knew then that it was a keeper. It’s since become the requested “special dinner” meal for birthdays, holidays, and “Spencer Days.” The fact that it’s a slow cooker meal is a bonus, but it makes special days that much sweeter when you aren’t slaving over the stove!


Without further rambling…

Korean Tacos


1.5 – 2 pounds of beef. I’ve used flank steak, chuck, and bottom round roast successfully. {Flank is my go to since it seems to shred the easiest, and cook the fastest… but it can be pricey! Boo.}
1 bottle (10 oz) low sodium soy sauce
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 Tbsp minced garlic
3 Tbsp minced ginger
6 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp sriracha (or 1 Tbsp Gochujang, if you have it)
1 cup water (optional)

1 cucumber (seedless recommended)
Thinly sliced red onion rounds
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
crushed red pepper flakes to taste

16 small flour tortillas
cooked white rice (optional)
cilantro (optional)
sriracha (optional)
kimchi (optional)


For the Korean beef:
To make the beef for the tacos, spray your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray and add the beef. Whisk soy sauce, sugar, and vinegar with the garlic, ginger, sriracha, and oils. Pour over the meat in the crockpot. (If the liquid doesn’t cover your meat, you can add up to a cup of water.) Cook on low for 8 hours.

For the cucumber slaw:
Slice the cucumber very thinly (I use a mandolin slice) and sprinkle with salt. Place in a colander and let sit for up to an hour over a bowl or in the sink. Shake additional water from the colander or pat with paper towels. Transfer to a bowl and toss with red onions, rice vinegar, and red pepper flakes. Refrigerate until ready to use (The longer it sits, the softer the cucumbers get.  I often make this in the morning and just pour off any accumulated liquid and toss with an additional 1-2 tsp vinegar to taste).

To serve:
Remove the meat from the slow cooker and shred with two forks on a large plate. Serve on tortillas, topped with beef, cucumber “slaw,” sriracha (optional, but adds a lot to the recipe), and  kimchi (optional). It’s not shown above, but we also serve white rice in these sometimes, making it more of a burrito. It’s a great way to mix it up!

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One last note… this is a great summer slow cooker recipe! The cucumber slaw gives it that light flavor we all look for in the warm weather, and there is no need to be in a hot kitchen! Win-win.

Recipe adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride