Spicy Korean Tacos

4.50 from 4 votes

These Spicy Korean-inspired tacos are so delicious, you may never eat the classic version again!

When you think tacos, your mind might not immediately jump to Korean food. Once you’ve tried these Spicy Korean Tacos, however, that is sure to change! These food truck inspired ground beef and sesame tacos combine all of your favorite punchy Korean flavors with a refreshing red onion, carrot, and cabbage slaw. Forget about traditional Southwest tacos for a moment. Spice up taco night with this mouthwatering recipe!

Spicy Korean Tacos For Your Next Taco Night

Spicy Korean Tacos

Taco Tuesday, Taco Thursday…how about tacos any (or every) day? I really don’t care what day it is. If there are tacos involved, I’m in.

In this super simple taco recipe, we used ground beef but if you’re avoiding red meat, you could definitely use another type of meat, like ground turkey or chicken. For those of you who are skipping the meat, we can offer a vegetarian option. Firm tofu is delicious in tacos, especially when it’s pan-fried until it becomes brown and crispy. Whatever you use, it will taste delicious, so long as you don’t omit the fresh ginger and garlic. Those ingredients are absolutely essential for creating the right flavor profile. Kimchi is also an essential ingredient in these tacos, balancing the sweet and salty flavors with the perfect level of tangy, probiotic-packed flavor.

If you struggle to handle the heat, feel free to grate some cucumber into the slaw to create a cooling effect. On the flip side, if you want to make things spicier, go to your local Asian supermarket or look online for gochujang. Gochujang is a sweet and spicy fermented paste made up of chili powder, glutinous rice, soybeans, garlic, onions, and salt. It is usually gluten-free, but you’ll want to check the ingredients list to be sure. If you’ve never tried this delicious Korean hot pepper paste, you might be pleasantly surprised.

Throwing A Taco Party?

Spicy Korean Tacos

Taco parties are the perfect way to host a large number of guests. They eliminate the stress associated with picky eaters or ranges of dietary requirements. These Spicy Korean Tacos have a distinctive flavor, and they taste great with a range of toppings. That allows everyone to get creative! If you just love garnishing as much as I do, feel free to sprinkle chopped green onions or cilantro onto the tacos along with the sesame seeds.

Got friends or family who are low-carb? Luckily, taco recipes are super easy to adapt for low-carb eaters. Although they’re not-so-traditional, you can take inspiration from these Korean BBQ Cabbage Cups and lay out some lettuce leaves. That will allow your guests to customize these Spicy Korean Tacos to fit their dietary needs.

Spicy Korean Tacos

4.50 from 4 votes

Spicy Korean Tacos

These tacos will add plenty of spice to your meal, with all kinds of flavors giving you a food truck experience right in your own home!
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Yield 4
Serving Size
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Korean


  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 pound ground beef extra lean
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger minced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 12 small corn tortillas lightly toasted (if desired)
  • 1/2 cup kimchi
  • 1 small red onion sliced into very thin strips
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage Napa cabbage works best, green or purple can be substituted
  • 2 limes cut into wedges
  • 1 tablespoons sesame seeds


  • Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet one medium heat. Once hot add the ground beef - breaking the beef into small pieces as it cooks. When the beef is mostly cooked, ad the garlic and ginger, cook for about one minute or until fragrant. Stir in the brown sugar, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer, cook (simmering) for about 3 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by about half. Remove from heat.
  • Place the corn tortillas on a flat surface. Spoon the beef into the center of each, dividing the beef between each of the tortilla shells. Top with the kimchi, onion, carrot, and cabbage. Squeeze one wedge of lime over each and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 540kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 398mg | Potassium: 630mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 2744IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 140mg | Iron: 4mg |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 9
Keywords Budget-Friendly, Quick and Easy

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Looking for more creative taco night ideas? We’ve got Vegan Breakfasts TacosShrimp Tacos with a sweet, tangy slaw, and tacos for our gluten-free friends, like these Mango and Black Bean Tacos.

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