Sometimes it’s the most random things that will inspire the recipes that I create for this little blog. Other times it’s something I’ve eaten that I just HAVE to recreate before I go crazy. This time it was the latter. I know I mentioned the Food Truck Frenzie we went to in yesterday’s post, but hubs and I have been on a serious asian-flavor kick since then.

Okay, so that food truck I was telling you about served up these DELICIOUS Korean Short Rib tacos. They were so GOOD… we’re talking, “it’s all you can think about” good.  

PROBLEM: Said food truck is based in Miami (like 2 hours away), so I wouldn’t be eating those tacos for a very long time.

SOLUTION: Make my own! (that’s always my solution)

I scoured the blogosphere for a good asian short rib marinade, and found a simple and tasty looking one over on Jolenes blog, plus a wicked simple cucumber slaw over on Jaden’s site! OFF I went to the grocery store to buy my supplies…

I waltzed on over to the meat department and… [SCREETCH] WTF? Turns out short ribs are expensive, yo! At a more palatable $2 a pound, the cheapo in me decided to go with the back ribs seeing as I figured the crockpot can tenderize even the toughest of meats. I crossed my figers knowing NOTHING about back ribs (besides the fact that they are cheap) but hoping that my faith in the Crockpot would prove itself true! 

I put the ribs into the Crockpot, dumped on the marinade, turned it on low and let er rip! 8 hrs later, I asked the hubs to pull the ribs out and start shredding the meat; he took the tongs and grabbed on to a rib hoping to lift the rack out of the crockpot and well, the bone came out but left everything else haha it was THAT tender! So removing the bones and shredding the meat took all of 5 minutes! Holla! My experiment was an epic success!

This recipe is EASY (hello Crockpot) and incredibly flavorful. It makes a ton, but the leftovers re-heat amazingly. Serve for a crowd or make for a dinner on Sunday night and use for lunches throughout the week. It’s UH-MAZING.

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Crockpot Korean Beef Tacos

Yield: 6-8 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes

Makes for EXCELLENT leftovers!

Ingredients:

For the Cucumber Slaw:
2 hot house cucumber (the wrapped seedless kind)
4 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
2 pinches of salt
crushed red pepper flakes to taste

For the Korean Beef:
6 1/2 pounds (roughly) beef back ribs (you can use short ribs, but they are WAY more expensive)

1 1/2 cups low sodium soy sauce
1 2/3 cups packed brown sugar
10 cloves garlic, grates
4 tablespoons grated ginger
6 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons canola oil (or other mild vegetable oil)
1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

For the tacos:
16 small flour tortillas
bean sprouts
cilantro
sriracha (for some H.E.A.T.)

Directions:

For the Cucumber Slaw:
Slice cucumbers as thin as you can get them (I used a mandoline slicer to help, but it's not necessary) and place in a bowl. Add the rice vinegar, sugar, salt, and crushed red pepper; toss to combine. Set aside until ready to use. You can make these the night before if desired!

For the Korean Beef:
Spray a 7 quart slow cooker base with non-stick cooking spray and add the beef back ribs. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients until combined; pour over the ribs. Cook on low heat for 8 hours. I rotated the ribs on my lunch break and also used a turkey baster to do a quick baste on the ribs with (the majority of the ribs will be submerged in the sauce & juices). When ready to serve, take out of crockpot, remove bones, and shred.

For the tacos:

Warm taco shells in the microwave (or my personal favorite - on the grill... just a few seconds each side). Add shredded beef, cucumber slaw, bean sprouts, and cilanto. If you are feeling extra frisky, drizzle on some sriracha for a nice kick!

Cucumber Slaw from: Steamy Kitchen
Korean Beef adapted from: What's Cookin Chicago