Kimchi Pork Tacos

As many of you already know, I’ve gone a little crazy over Korean food the past year and my daily schedule of cooking, eating, photographing has yet to subside. I really thought I’d get “burned” out by eating Korean food on a daily basis but that hasn’t happened. Oddly enough, my passion/obsession has grown even stronger where I now find myself having dreams about it and thinking of different ways to prep and improve certain dishes (especially fried chicken). But there are times when I get a strong craving for some food from back home like artery-clogging hamburgers, indigestion-inducing pizza, animal-sized steak, and always terrific tacos (sorry, weird arrangement of adjectives I know). Thanks to a foodie friend who knows a thing or two about seriously good eats, I was treated to some Mexican goodness a few weeks ago and the lingering cilantro-bean-sour cream-spice flavors have not disappeared.  I am not sure whether I should thank him or cut ties with him for temporarily steering me away from traditional Korean food but nevertheless it was the catalyst for this fusion recipe.

Korean tacos have been around for quite a while, originally starting in California by Korean-American Chef Roy Choi via his Kogi food truck. By combining the best ingredients and flavors from both Korean and Mexican cuisine, he was able to marry both cuisines into a worldwide phenomenon. Now there are countless copycat and spin-off variations stemming from this. If you happen to live in Seoul, there are two places I highly recommend for this type of delicious fusion fare: Vatos Urban Tacos and Coreanos Kitchen. As for my Kimchi Pork Tacos, I once again used my favorite ingredient—Jeju black pork—as the main protein along with some funky mugeunji kimchi (super ripe kimchi) to give the tacos some sourness and extra kick. Add that with the fresh veggies and two types of sauce, I can say with confidence that the recipe is good to go after several unsuccessful attempts. Of course, feel free to deviate a little by choosing ingredients that suit you, but I highly recommend you stick the route with the sauces. As I’ve learned from those failed attempts, there’s nothing worse than a bad sauce to go along with your meal.  🙂

“For the first time I know what it is to eat. I have gained four pounds. I get frantically hungry, and the food I eat gives me a lingering pleasure. I never ate before in this deep carnal way… I want to bite into life and to be torn by it.”  ~ Anais Nin 


A few of my prepped toppings/ingredients for the tacos. Can’t believe I forgot to chop some onions!
Although flour tortillas are relatively easy to make from scratch, you’ll save a lot of time and mess by using pre-made tortillas like these.
Slowly cook the tortilla wraps until each side browns. In most cases, air pockets will form signaling that they’re almost finished, set aside.
Using pork of your choice (pork belly ideal), saute the pork in a generous amount of olive oil and a dash of salt n pepper until browned. Saute kimchi in a combination of kimchi liquid, olive oil, sesame oil, and sugar until soft, 10 minutes.
You can saute them separately or together, and you can even add rice to the mix. Make sure to taste and adjust accordingly.
Mixing and matching different condiments to make my own taco sauce.
Build your taco with the pork/kimchi filling and available toppings. Drizzle with taco sauces and toasted sesame seeds. Enjoy!
I messed up my first kimchi taco recipe back in Seoul but finally got them right in Jeju.
My first taco attempt with homemade flour tortillas had only one thing missing: a good sauce. At least the pictures came out okay.
Another batch from my first attempt except a burrito version.


Kimchi Pork Tacos
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2~4
  • 10 corn or flour tortillas
  • 1 lb pork chop or belly, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups kimchi, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp kimchi liquid
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 2 cups of lettuce, shredded
  • 1 cup kidney beans
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ½ cup corn
  • salt and pepper taste
  • olive oil
  • 1 bunch cilantro (if available)
  • shredded cheese (if available)
  • Spicy Sauce:
  • 1 tbsp gochujang (red pepper paste)
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce (Sriracha or Tabasco)
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (if available)
  • 1 tsp lemon or lime juice (if available)
  • Asian BBQ Sauce:
  • 1 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp lemon or lime juice (if available)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (if available)
  1. Cut vegetables into bite-size pieces, set aside with corn and kidney beans. The beans are already pre-cooked but optional if you want to heat them up for texture.
  2. Cut pork into thin slices as well as the kimchi. Cook both of them together with kimchi liquid, sugar, sesame oil, and dash of salt and pepper. Saute on medium heat for approx. 15 minutes, add more olive oil if the mixture becomes dry. Rice can also be added near the end for more filling.
  3. Meanwhile, make the two different sauces using a squirt container. Although you can mix the sauce straight up, slightly heating on a sauce pan will meld the sauce ingredients together.
  4. Heat the tortillas on a flat pan until slightly browned, no more than a minute for each side.
  5. Build your taco with the pork/kimchi filling and available toppings. Drizzle with taco sauces and toasted sesame seeds. Enjoy!




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