I have no idea how Korean this recipe is. Maybe 8%. All I know is that this is a really delicious & simple recipe. If you’re Houstonian, this recipe is a copycat of the beloved & famous Oh My Gogi’s quesadillas & tacos.
I was inspired to make this because Kaykay banned me from going to their food truck at 9pm (their opening time) because he says they are too “unhealthy” for a late-night meal. He really knows how to suck the fun out of life. Fortunately, a simple Google search led me to several recipes so I can make it at home (before 9pm, of course).
This has quickly become one of my go-to meals when I know I’m going to have a busy week because you can cook the beef and eat it throughout the week in taco or quesadilla form. It’s easy prep and most ingredients are something you’d already have in your pantry. And oh how the tables have turned – this is also now Kaykay’s favorite meal too. Apparently because it’s homemade, it’s not unhealthy anymore.
The choice between making quesadillas or tacos out of the Korean beef is entirely up to you. I prefer tacos and Kaykay prefers quesadillas so I make both each time since the recipe for the beef is the same. The tacos feel a little lighter because it uses corn tortillas and less cheese and the quesadillas are heartier and heavier because of flour tortilla & more cheese. In the end, you can really customize this however you want!
Recipe adapted from Damn Delicious.
KOREAN BEEF QUESADILLAS/TACOS
For the Beef:
- 4 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
- 3.5 tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark)
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Pinch ground ginger
- 3 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound grass-fed/grass-finished ground beef
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame seeds
For the Sriracha Mayo:
- 1/4 cup Mayo
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha, or more to taste
- 1/2 lime, squeezed
- Pinch of salt
For Tacos or Quesadillas:
- Corn and/or Flour tortillas
- Non-stick cooking spray, canola or olive oil
- Shredded Monterey Jack & Cheddar cheese, mixed
- Yellow onions, diced
- Cilantro, optional
- Red cabbage chopped, optional for tacos
- Gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes), optional but highly recommended
For the Beef: Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ground beef and cook until browned, about 4-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks. Drain excess fat*. While the beef is cooking, in a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and ground ginger. Once the beef is cooked and the fat is drained, stir in the soy sauce mixture until well combined, allowing to simmer until heated through, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in sesame seeds. Set aside.
For the Sriracha Mayo: Whisk together mayo, sriracha, lime juice, and salt. Set aside for now.
If making Tacos: Heat up two corn tortillas in a pan with a little bit of cooking oil spray for each taco (yes, double up the tortillas for each taco) over medium-low heat. Remove tortillas from heat and build as you wish. I like to add about 1-2 spoonful of Korean beef, a drizzle of Sriracha mayo, diced yellow onions, shredded red cabbage, cilantro, shredded cheese and a sprinkle of the Gochugaru Korean pepper flakes.
If making Quesadillas: Heat up both sides of a flour tortilla in a pan with a little bit of cooking oil spray over medium-low heat. Add a layer of shredded cheese all over the tortilla. Then on one half of the tortilla, add ground beef and diced onions. Fold the tortilla in half and continue to heat up for 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted and tortilla is slightly crispy. Cut the quesadilla in half and drizzle with Sriracha mayo and garnish with cilantro and Gochugaru Korean pepper flakes.
If you have leftover cooked beef and want to save it for the next several days, store in an airtight container in the fridge. From my experience, this stays good for about 5 days if stored properly.
*When draining excess fat out of meat, I like to pour the fat into a heat-proof glass container and store it until it cools down then dump it in the trash. Do not drain excess fat down your sink!