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Beef Bulgogi Tacos with Gochujang Lime Crema and Cucumber Kimchi Salsa

A place where you can find innovation in action is in kitchens around the world. One such innovation is the creativity found in cooking fusion foods. Fusion cooking involves taking food recipes and staples from different countries around the world and combining them in new and unique ways. This is a great way to expand flavor combinations and try foods from diverse cultures. 

If you want to explore fusion cooking, try our take on a Korean and Mexican fusion of Bulgogi Tacos with Gochujang Lime Crema and Cucumber Kimchi Salsa. Bulgogi is Korean for “fire meat,” and it is typically marinated beef, pork or chicken that is grilled or cooked quickly at a high temperature. Gochujang is a traditional Korean spicy red pepper paste that adds a bit of heat and a unique depth of flavor. Kimchi is a fermented or pickled dish that can be made with a variety of vegetables and is the perfect crunchy addition to our savory taco recipe. The addition of the refreshing crema and corn tortillas brings this dish together to create the perfect bite of flavors. After you try this recipe, you will be wondering what other flavors you should fuse for your next meal. 


Beef Bulgogi Tacos

Serves 4


1 ¼ pounds beef top sirloin, thinly sliced across the grain

8-10 corn tortillas

1 cup red cabbage, thinly shaved

2-3 green onions, finely diced for garnish

1 lime, sliced

Beef Marinade

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. grated Asian pear

¼ cup soy sauce

2 Tbsp. gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)

½ tsp. mirin

1 tsp. toasted sesame oil

½ tsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. water

½ small onion, thinly sliced

Gochujang Lime Crema

½ cup sour cream

¼ tsp. garlic powder

1 Tbsp. gochujang 

1 tsp. fresh lime juice

¼ tsp. aji-mirin (optional)



Place the beef marinade ingredients in a medium-sized bowl with the thinly sliced beef top sirloin and thoroughly mix together. Marinate in the fridge for two hours and remove from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before cooking to come to room temperature. 

While you are waiting for the meat to come to room temperature, mix the gochujang lime crema ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. 

Cook the marinated beef in small batches in a medium-sized pan over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. Do not overcrowd the pan with meat while cooking. Once the meat is cooked through with a bit of caramelization on the edges, remove from the pan and set aside. Continue batch cooking the remaining beef.

Heat corn tortillas in a medium-sized pan over medium heat for about 30 seconds on each side. 

Assemble tacos by placing a layer of bulgogi on top of the tortillas and then adding the red cabbage and gochujang lime crema on top. Finish with the cucumber kimchi salsa and garnish with green onions and lime wedges. Serve immediately and enjoy!

NOTES: You can substitute the top sirloin with ribeye or flank steak. 

You can substitute any pear variety for the Asian pear.

Gochujang and gochugaru can be found at most grocery stores in the Asian food section.

Try topping bulgogi tacos with crumbled queso fresco and guacamole.

Cucumber Kimchi Salsa


3 Persian cucumbers

1 Tbsp. kosher salt

2 green onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ jalapeno, diced

½ Tbsp. gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)

1 Tbsp. rice vinegar

1 tsp. fish sauce

½ tsp. sugar



Rinse cucumbers and discard trimmed ends. Cut the cucumbers into 1/8-inch thick round rondelle slices or coin-like shapes. Place cucumbers in a medium-sized bowl and coat with the kosher salt. Allow cucumbers to sit for 20 minutes. Rinse cucumbers in a colander with cold water and squeeze out the excess liquid. Dice cucumbers and place in a medium-sized bowl with the remaining ingredients and thoroughly mix everything. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. It will last for about 7 days in the refrigerator. Enjoy on top of bulgogi tacos or try adding it to other dishes like burgers, fried rice, sandwiches and more!

NOTE: For more heat add additional diced jalapenos. ::

About Author

Amy Krause

Amy is the Rochester artist behind A. Krause Studio. Her work explores self care advocacy, mental health awareness, social justice issues and cultivating kindness. Her work is available on Etsy ( and Instagram (akrausestudio).

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