You just gotta trust me on this one. Take all of the ingredients listed in the recipe, throw them in a slow cooker, turn it on low, and wait 8-10 hours.
Taco night just got a massive upgrade with these Slow Cooker Korean Beef Tacos. You will be making these more than once.
Bonus – this recipe freezes amazingly well and you don’t need to pre-cook anything 🙂
Slow Cooker Korean Beef Tacos
I suppose the most amount of work you will have to do with this is to cut up the ginger and veggies, but if you get pre-cut and ready ingredients, everything is dump and go.
From start to finish, this only took me 15 to get into the Instant Pot in the morning before the kids got up, making it an easy slow cooker recipe in my book!
Oh – and don’t be afraid of the jalapeno. It really adds much more flavor than it does spice, and you can start with less the first time and add more next time you make it.
And yes, I say next time because I have no doubt you’ll love it! I’ve made this several times, and it’s never been too spicy for me or my kids- just satisfying for all.
I don’t even know what else to say. This recipe is an A+.
And if you like this one, you might be interested in 40 other slow cooker dump recipes that are AMAZING!
Slow Cooker Korean Beef Tacos
- 2-3 lbs. Beef Chuck Roast
- 1/3 cup honey or brown sugar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 onion diced
- 5 cloves garlic minced or pressed
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar (seasoned or not) white wine vinegar will do
- 1 Tbsp fresh ginger grated or minced (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
- 1/2 jalapeno minced (optional)
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- Place everything in the slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
- Shred and serve in tortillas and top with slaw (see below)
When choosing the meat for your Slow Cooker Korean Beef Tacos, opt for a well-marbled cut like chuck roast or brisket.
These cuts break down beautifully over the lengthy cooking process, resulting in tender, flavorful meat. It also turns into shredded beef so easily!
Avoid leaner cuts, as they can become dry when cooked for extended periods.
If you’re looking to make a leaner version, a trimmed sirloin or flank steak can work as well but keep an eye out for dryness.
You may need to cook it for less time or ensure more liquid in the pot.
Plus, you can use this recipe outside of the slow cooker- you can use the sauce as a marinade for sirloin or flank steak and cook them on the grill, and make tacos that way!
For the full Korean Beef Taco experience, I recommend using warm, soft corn tortillas, which pair perfectly with the savory beef.
Corn tortillas have the right balance of toughness and flexibility to hold the juicy meat without falling apart, but they also have such a slightly sweet taste that’s so good for Korean tacos.
But feel free to eat with flour tortillas if you prefer- it still tastes great!
Remember, when heating your tortillas, do so on a hot skillet for about 30 seconds on each side or until they get a little char, which will add a delightful smokiness.
Keep them wrapped in a cloth until it’s time to serve to retain their warmth and pliability.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can make your own tortillas at home with masa harina flour, water, and a touch of salt.
Homemade tortillas elevate the dish by offering a fresh, authentic taste that store-bought ones can seldom match.
For the slaw mix, I used a bagged shredded cabbage slaw mix and just added some salt, pepper, lime juice, and a bit of rice vinegar (aka rice wine vinegar, they’re the same thing).
Slaw adds some nice crunch to the Korean tacos, besides getting some more nutrition by adding veggies to the dish.
Or make a fresh swap with a combination of thinly sliced Napa cabbage, grated carrots, and daikon radish to bring a crunchy freshness that complements the rich flavors of the beef.
For the dressing, a quick whisk of sesame oil, lime juice, and a dash of fish sauce can lend your slaw that distinctively Asian flavor profile that ties in perfectly with the Korean beef.
Don’t hesitate to toss in a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds for an added nutty crunch or cilantro for that classic taco taste.
The key to a tantalizing Korean beef taco is in its sauce— rich, slightly sweet, with a gentle heat.
Traditionally, the sauce consists of soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger.
However, you can tailor it according to dietary needs or taste preferences-.
For example, I like more sesame, so I add more oil or sometimes sesame seeds right to the sauce as well as on top of my tacos.
Kelan liks some spice, so he’ll add more jalapenos to his bowl or red pepper flakes when he’s feeling it.
For those watching their sodium intake, substitute regular soy sauce with light or low-sodium soy sauce to cut down on salt without losing the umami depth.
If you’re looking to lower the sugar content, consider swapping brown sugar for coconut sugar or a slight amount of honey to maintain the sweetness while reducing the glycemic index.
Those with gluten sensitivities can opt for tamari, a gluten-free soy sauce alternative, to achieve a similar flavor profile.
And not everyone has rice vinegar hanging around or will use a whole bottle- so feel free to substitute it for white vinegar.
Whatever substitutions you make, ensure a balance of flavors to preserve the signature taste that makes these tacos a hit.
You mix the sauce together before you put it in the pot, so that’s your chance to tweak it and make it sweeter and more savory to match your tastes.
What if I don’t have a slow cooker? Can I make this recipe in a Dutch oven or pot?
Absolutely! If you don’t own a slow cooker, you can use a Dutch oven or a heavy-bottomed pot instead.
Cook beef on the stove over very low heat or in an oven set at 275°F (135°C) for the same amount of time as you would in a slow cooker.
Make sure the lid is tight to keep the moisture locked in.
Not only that. but you can use your Instant Pot as a slow cooker, too- you can pop them into the Instant Pot, set it on low, and forget it for 8 hours!
Can I use a different cut of meat for this recipe?
While a chuck roast or brisket is recommended for optimal tenderness and flavor, you can experiment with other cuts of beef if you prefer.
Just be mindful that leaner cuts might not be as juicy and tender after slow cooking. You want to pick a meat with a good amount of fat to render.
Is there a non-beef alternative that works with this recipe?
Yes! For non-beef eaters, boneless chicken thighs are a great alternative because they remain juicy and take on flavors well, just like beef.
Adjust cooking time accordingly, as chicken generally cooks faster- it could be closer to 6-8 hours in the slow cooker.
Preparing the jalapeno concerns me; how can I handle it without the spice overwhelming the dish?
If you’re worried about the heat, simply remove the seeds and membranes from the jalapeño before adding it to the recipe.
This will significantly reduce the spice but still give you that wonderful flavor.
If you’re worried about chopping it and having the juices get on your hands or something, you can use gloves for chopping- or even use jarred jalapenos to skip any cutting prep.
How long can I store Korean Beef Tacos in the freezer to cook later?
This is an easy meal prep recipe, that you can toss in a bag or container and toss into the freezer pretty easily.
You can store the meal in a tightly sealed container or bag for up to 3 months in the freezer.
When you’re ready to enjoy them, pop the recipe into the slow cooker and cook for 10 hours on low.
Whether you’re hosting a casual family dinner or entertaining a crowd, these Slow Cooker Korean Beef Tacos will be the centerpiece of a memorable meal.
With the succulent beef infused with bold Korean flavors, each taco is a testament to the simplicity and beauty of slow cooking.
These Slow Cooker Korean Beef Tacos are not just a meal; they’re a flavorful journey.
They promise to make your taco nights unforgettable and will surely become a staple in your culinary repertoire.
With minimal prep and a slow cooker performing the magic, you’ll wonder why you ever settled for anything less.
So, dive into this recipe, experiment with your slaw, char those tortillas, and get ready to impress your taste buds. Happy cooking!
Have you checked out my freezer meal plans, yet? I might be biased but I think they are pretty amazing! They have saved our dinner hour for years now. Check them out!