Korean-Style Beef & Cabbage Tacos


This Korean-flavored steak tacos recipe uses cabbage in three ways: a crisp cabbage leaf acts as the shell, sautéed cabbage is part of the filling and pickled cabbage tops off the tacos. You can prepare most of the ingredients ahead, so all you have to do is assemble the steak tacos when you're ready to serve.

Cook Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
Additional Time:
2 hrs
Total Time:
3 hrs 30 mins
4 servings


  • 4 cups sliced napa cabbage (sliced crosswise)

  • ¾ cup rice vinegar

  • ½ cup water

  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • Pinch of salt

  • ¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

  • ¼ cup rice vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

  • 2 scallions, finely chopped

  • 1 ½ tablespoons minced fresh ginger

  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1-2 teaspoons chile paste, such as sambal oelek

  • 1 pound skirt steak or flank steak, trimmed

  • 1 cup water

  • ½ cup brown basmati rice

  • 1/4 teaspoon canola oil plus 1 1/2 tablespoons, divided

  • 1 medium red cabbage

  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • Pinch of salt

  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger


  1. To prepare pickled cabbage: Place napa cabbage in a large bowl. Combine 3/4 cup rice vinegar, 1/2 cup water, 1 tablespoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, crushed red pepper and salt in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the salt is dissolved, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Let cool for 2 minutes. Pour over the cabbage and stir well. Cover and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, for least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

  2. To marinate steak: Combine soy sauce, 1/4 cup vinegar, sesame oil, scallions, 1 1/2 tablespoons ginger, sugar, garlic and chile paste to taste in a shallow glass dish. Add steak, cover and marinate in the refrigerator, turning once or twice, for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

  3. To prepare filling & cabbage shells: Combine 1 cup water, rice and 1/4 teaspoon canola oil in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir well, reduce heat to maintain the barest simmer, cover and cook until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, 40 to 50 minutes. Set aside, covered.

  4. Remove the outermost leaves from red cabbage, cut the head in half through the core and remove the core from each half. Peel leaves from each half and select 8 good-looking ones to use for the taco shells. Thinly slice enough of the remaining cabbage to get 4 cups.

  5. Heat the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and a pinch of salt; cook, stirring frequently, until softened and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the sliced red cabbage and 1 tablespoon ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage starts to wilt, about 5 minutes more. Set aside.

  6. When you're ready to cook the steak, preheat a grill to medium-high. (Or position an oven rack 3 to 4 inches from the heat source and preheat broiler to high.)

  7. Remove the steak from the marinade; reserve the marinade. Grill (or broil), turning once, 6 to 7 minutes for medium-rare skirt steak or 9 to 12 minutes for medium-rare flank steak. Transfer to a clean cutting board, tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.

  8. Add the marinade to the red cabbage mixture in the skillet and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the liquid is almost evaporated, about 4 minutes.

  9. To serve, divide the rice and the red cabbage mixture among the cabbage shells. Very thinly slice the steak against the grain and divide among the tacos. Top each with about 2 tablespoons drained pickled cabbage.


Make Ahead Tip: Pickle cabbage & marinate steak (Steps 1 & 2) up to 1 day ahead. Prepare rice (Step 3) & cabbage filling (Step 5) up to 2 hours ahead.

People with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity should use soy sauces that are labeled "gluten-free," as soy sauce may contain wheat or other gluten-containing sweeteners and flavors.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

450 Calories
19g Fat
40g Carbs
30g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 450
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 40g 15%
Dietary Fiber 6g 23%
Total Sugars 11g
Added Sugars 5g 10%
Protein 30g 61%
Total Fat 19g 25%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol 74mg 25%
Vitamin A 2101IU 42%
Vitamin C 83mg 92%
Folate 84mcg 21%
Sodium 728mg 32%
Calcium 119mg 9%
Iron 5mg 26%
Magnesium 97mg 23%
Potassium 1038mg 22%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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