Recipe: Korean Bulgogi and Mushroom Tacos
Bulgogi is one of the most-iconic Korean dishes, and being Korean, I can say that I’ve eaten my fair share (and then some) of this delicious marinated-meat dish. While it’s normally prepared with thinly sliced sirloin and rib eye, I used lean ground beef in this recipe. It’s an excellent option when you are pressed for time, as it eliminates the need for slicing the beef and decreases the marinade time. The marinade not only tenderizes the meat but also imparts the perfect combination of sweet and savory to the flavor profile.
Double or triple the bulgogi recipe and you can enjoy it throughout the week by adding it to salads, grain bowls, pizza, burritos, quesadillas and much more. You can also freeze whatever you don’t cook (with the marinade and all) in individual, freezer-safe Ziploc bags.
One of my favorite ways to incorporate more nutrients into my ground beef dishes while cutting back on calories, fat and sodium is replacing some of the meat with mushrooms. Simply chop the mushrooms to resemble the texture of ground beef and you won’t even notice the difference. Mushrooms are an excellent source of important nutrients, including niacin, riboflavin, potassium and selenium. They’re also the only source of vitamin D in the produce aisle, and I love that they’re non-fortified.
The salad is super-easy to whip up and adds a lovely freshness and crunch to the tacos. Drizzle a bit of the gochujang sauce on top and experience the melodious harmony of sweet, salty, sour and umami flavors come to life!
Korean Bulgogi and Mushroom Tacos
Makes 4 to 5 tacos
Prep time: 15 to 20 minutes; Cook time: 10 minutes; Total time: 30 minutes
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar (or honey)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 pound grass-fed lean ground beef
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, diced
Five 6-inch corn tortillas
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon fish sauce or salt
1 to 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar (or honey, if preferred)
1 bunch of lettuce (romaine, green or red leaf; I used green leaf), roughly chopped
1 bunch of green onions, sliced thinly lengthwise
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons Korean fermented hot pepper paste (gochujang)
1 tablespoon sugar (or honey, if preferred)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon water (or more if you prefer a thinner consistency)
Combine the first five ingredients to make the marinade. Add the beef and mushrooms, and marinate for at least 30 minutes. Cook in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Combine garlic, fish sauce, rice vinegar and sugar in a small bowl. Pour into a larger bowl, add lettuce, green onion and red onion and toss everything together. Drizzle in sesame oil and sprinkle sesame seeds. (Note: As with many Korean dishes, you can easily adjust the recipe by adding more vinegar, sugar or salt to taste. So be sure to taste as you go!)
In a small bowl, mix all the gochujang sauce ingredients.
For taco assembly: On a warm corn tortilla, pile some meat mixture and salad. Drizzle as much or as little of the sauce as you desire. Enjoy!
Per serving (1 taco): Calories 356; Fat 16 g (Saturated 3 g); Cholesterol 56 mg; Sodium 457 mg; Carbohydrate 28 g; Fiber 3 g; Sugars 8 g; Protein 22 g
Min Kwon, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian who specializes in food sensitivities. She has a passion for translating the science of nutrition into real-life, applicable advice and tips. In her healthy food blog, The Adventures of MJ and Hungryman, she focuses on sharing simple yet healthy recipes made from wholesome, REAL foods.