Korean Tacos

Primal korean tacos aviaryKorean tacos are a culinary twist that’s been around for a while now, using a tortilla as the delivery system for the bold flavors of Korean cuisine. This Primal recipe for Korean tacos is intensely delicious and hits all the right notes: sweet, spicy, fresh, crunchy, meaty.

Let’s start with the ribs. They’re simmered in a sweet umami sauce made from tenderizing fruit (kiwi and pear) plus ginger, garlic, scallions, and coconut aminos. The meat is scooped onto a small tortilla and topped with refreshing daikon radish and carrot slaw. It only takes a few bites to devour these Korean tacos, and you’ll definitely want more than one, so put several on your plate.

About the tortillas…you’ve got three choices: you can sneak in a corn tortilla, make Primal tortillas, or make cassava flour tortillas (* pictured in photos). Want to skip the tortillas? That’s great, too. The short ribs and slaw also make a delicious salad.

P.S. Korean gochujang mixed with Primal Mayo makes a delicious, spicy sauce for Korean tacos.

Time in the Kitchen: 30 minutes hands-on cooking, plus 2.5 hours to soak and cook the ribs

Servings: 4 to 6



Korean Short Ribs

  • 3 pounds short ribs (1.4 kg)
  • 6 scallions, chopped
  • 2-inch/5 cm piece ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 an Asian pear, cored and peeled
  • 1/3 cup coconut aminos (80 ml)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (2.5 ml)


  • 1/4 head Napa cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 a daikon radish, grated (about 1 cup/100g)
  • 2 small carrots, grated
  • 2 jalapenos or other hot peppers, chopped or thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (15 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil (30 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (1.2 ml)



Put the short ribs into a bowl of cold water. Soak 30 minutes. Drain the ribs and rinse under running water.

In a food processor, puree scallions, ginger, garlic, kiwi, pear and coconut aminos.

Scrape the purée into a heavy-bottomed, wide pot or Dutch oven with a cover. Add the salt and 3 cups water, and put the pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, then add the ribs to the pot and lower the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot.

Simmer about 2 hours. The meat should easily fall apart with a fork when done. When the meat is cool enough to touch (or it can be made one day ahead), shred or thinly slice the meat from the bones.

While the meat cooks, toss the Napa cabbage, daikon radish, shredded carrots, and jalapenos in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, oil and salt. Pour over the slaw. Add more salt to taste. Set aside in the refrigerator.

Right before serving, heat a little oil in a skillet and fry the meat briefly to crisp up the edges.

Serve the shredded meat and slaw on tortillas, or in a bowl as salad.

Korean Tacos 2

About the Author

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

8 thoughts on “Korean Tacos”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. PF Changs has “tacos” made with jicama slices. I am one who has refused to give up corn tortillas for my Mexican fix, but I would totally eat jicama “tortillas” with this recipe.

    1. I’ve also been to a place that used thin slices of daikon radish, which worked really well too, especially since daikon is often used in kimchi too

  2. This may be a stupid question, but, is cassava flour the same thing as cassava starch? Can they be used interchangeably? That’s a creative idea for primal or paleo tacos.

  3. What is the purpose of soaking the meat in water before cooking? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a recipe call for that before.

  4. This looks delicious. I have just had to Google jicama – not sure it is available in the UK, but I will look out for it.

    1. I Googled it too – seems like it’s a leguminous plant but people don’t eat the beans, they eat the tuber.