Thursday, April 5, 2012

Crockpot Korean Beef Tacos

After being out of town for the weekend and attempting navigation through ballpark & restaurant menus, I invited a few girlfriends over for dinner & wine last night. I was ready for an easy meal that still combined warm comfort & fresh spring crunch!

I found this recipe a while back on Pinterest and my friend Tammy at iEatNeat has also tried them. My house smelled great throughout the day! Around 6 hours I checked on the meat and got so worried when it seemed it wasn't falling apart yet, so I left it alone until it hit 8 hours and magic happened. All the fat just fell off & the meat shredded beautifully! While you are shredding the meat, I definitely recommend taking about 1 1/2 cups of the liquid left, straining off the fat and simmering it in a saucepan to reduce to a thicker glaze. Then you can pour back over meat.

Crockpot Korean Beef Tacos:
  • 5 lbs beef short ribs (can also use chuck roast or back ribs)  I used chuck roast
  • 1 bottle (10 oz) low sodium soy sauce    I only used 6 oz soy sauce and the rest water
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar      I only used 3/4 cups
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced      
  • 4 Tbsp ginger, grated
  • 6 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp sriracha or chili pepper flakes
  • 1 cup water (optional)    
For the Cucumber Slaw:
  • 1 cucumber (seedless recommended)
  • Thinly sliced red onion rounds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • crushed red pepper flakes to taste
Fixings for the tacos:
  • 16 small wheat tortillas
  • cilantro
  • bean sprouts
  • Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • Sriracha 


  1. To make the cucumber slaw, slice the cucumber very thinly and sprinkle with salt. Place in a colander and let sit for up to an hour over a bowl or in the sink.
  2. Shake additional water from the colander or pat with paper towels.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and toss with red onions, rice vinegar, and red pepper flakes. Refrigerate until ready to use (leftovers get less and less crunchy as they sit but it can be made ahead, just pour off any accumulated liquid and toss with an additional 1-2 tsp vinegar to taste, if necessary).
  4. To make the Korean beef for the tacos, spray your slow cooker crock with non-stick cooking spray and add the ribs.
  5. Whisk soy sauce, sugar, and vinegar with the garlic, ginger, sriracha, and oils.
  6. Pour over the ribs in the crockpot. (I thought the liquid level looked a little low so I added ~ 1 1/2 cups of water.)
  7. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  8. (optional but I recommend it) Remove 1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid and skim the fat from the top. Pour the liquid into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer while separating the meat from the bones. Reduce the liquid by about half and pour over the shredded meat.  I took all the meat out and let it drain while I was shredding it and poured out all the extra fatty liquid.  Then had meat in a new dish and poured glaze over.  I think it just depends on how much liquid you end up with...
  9. To assemble, serve the shredded meat on warmed tortillas topped a spoon of cucumber slaw, cilantro, bean sprouts, sriracha and a dollop of yogurt.
Suggestions for extra meat: wrap in a rice spring roll wrapper with veggies or cucumber slaw, toss it on a salad or freeze for later. 

Adapted from  My Life as a Mrs. and Confections of a Foodie Bride.  

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