Portobello Bulgogi Korean Tacos

Beef bulgogi Korean tacos are one of my favorites. Try this vegan twist using meaty portobello mushrooms, which soak up all the delicious marinade. 

With Halloween next week, this month's Recipe Redux theme is a scary one. They've got us dusting the cobwebs off those spooky spices we're afraid to use and conquering our cooking fears. Cue the Jaws theme!

This was a tricky challenge for me. As someone with an extensive spice collection and a close, personal relationship with each and every one, at first glance, none of my spices seemed all that intimidating. There are plenty of things that intimidate me, but spices are just not one of them. Every jar is already on regular rotation in my kitchen. Well, except for caraway, which I once bought for a cabbage recipe forgetting that it is the third most disgusting thing on the planet (right behind papaya and mealy red apples, of course).

I had to do some digging, but finally I stumbled across a bottle of gochugaru. Less intimidating name - Korean chile powder. I bought it to make a kimchi cucumber pickles, then completely forgot about it after getting buried in the back of a cabinet.

Gochugaru is made from sun-dried chili peppers which are ground into flakes. It has a hint of sweetness and smokiness that truly make it unique. You could substitute red chili flakes or a dash of cayenne, but really, you can't! If you ever plan on cooking Korean food, you should definitely pick up a bottle.

One of my favorite Korean dishes is bulgogi, grilled strips of beef that have been marinated in the most delicious sweet, spicy and salty sauce. Since I made this dish on National Mushroom Day, I decided to substitute portobello mushrooms. They have a similar meatiness plus their texture soaks up all the yummy marinade. To throw another twist in it, I turned it into a taco, although I suppose I am about four years behind on the whole Korean taco trend.  But hey, it's delicious and delicious never goes out of style!

Portobello Bulgogi Korean Tacos

Makes 8 tacos



  • 6 medium-large portobello mushroom caps, cleaned and sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar or coconut sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon gochugaru


  • 1 bag of shredded cabbage
  • 1 large carrot, shredded on the large grates of a cheese grater
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

Other ingredients: 

  • 8 corn tortillas


  1. Two to four hours before cooking, whisk together all the marinade ingredients for the mushrooms. Add portobellos and toss to combine. Refrigerate and marinade 2-4 hours.
  2. When ready to cook, heat the grill to medium-high. Place the mushrooms evenly on the grill or toss into a grill pan if you have one. Reserve the marinade. Cook about 10 minutes total, flipping halfway.
  3. While the mushrooms cook, pour the reserved marinade into a small pot. Set to medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Boil about 10 minutes total until reduced to a thick syrup. Set aside.
  4. Warm the tortillas. Spoon slaw on the bottom of each tortillas. Top with mushrooms and reserved sauce.