Bulgogi-Inspired Beef Quesadilla

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 25 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Beef Marinade:

10 ounces soy sauce

1/2 cup gochujang chile paste 

3 ounces sesame oil 

2 ounces sesame seeds 

2 ounces white vinegar 

1 ounce mirin 

1 Asian pear, coarsely chopped 

2 pounds ground beef 

Pickled Onions:

1 red onion, sliced thinly

1 cup white vinegar 

1/4 cup sugar 

1/4 cup kosher salt 

To serve:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

12 slices American cheese 

Six 10-inch flour tortillas 

1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded 


  1. For the beef marinade: Add the soy sauce, gochujang, sesame oil, sesame seeds, white vinegar, mirin and Asian pear to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour over the ground beef in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  2. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, then add the beef mixture and brown until cooked, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. For the pickled onions: Add the onions, vinegar, sugar and salt to a small saucepot and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let cool completely, then strain and reserve.
  4. To serve: Heat a large cast-iron pan over medium heat and melt a couple of tablespoons of butter. Place 2 slices American cheese in a tortilla, then add the ground beef, pickled onions and iceberg lettuce and fold closed. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make 5 more. Brown the filled tortillas in 2 batches in the butter, adding butter as needed, until golden and crispy on both sides, about 4 minutes per side.