Recipe: Mama Sophia’s Koreanized Pork Tacos

SRoe_PorkTacosYum_lrLast night, not unlike most typical weeknights, I was stumped on what to make for dinner. I had some pork tenderloin in the fridge that I was originally planning to make into tonkatsu (panko-breaded pork steak), but I held off knowing that the Princess wasn’t too keen on it. Then it occurred to me—why not a simple pork stir-fry for her and pork tacos for HB and me?

Thankfully, the Princess loved the pork stir-fried with onions only, which I served with rice and her favorite green beans sprinkled with sesame seeds. She even asked for extra rice, which is unusual for her.

HB and I enjoyed the pork tacos—so much so that there were no leftovers. We had fun mixing and matching the different sauces.

Recipe: Mama Sophia’s Koreanized Pork Tacos

Pork tenderloin, sliced into thin strips
Mirin (Japanese cooking rice wine), Gekkeikan Plum Wine, or any light sweet wine
Onions, thinly sliced
Green peppers, thinly sliced
Memmi sauce
Salt and pepper (optional)
Kimchee, finely sliced
Romaine lettuce, finely sliced
Your favorite taco sauces/salsa to mix and match (e.g., we used Sriracha hot chili sauce, cho-gochu-jahng [Korean vinegar and hot pepper sauce], Ortega taco sauce)

SRoe_BasicIngredPorkTacos_lr1) Marinade pork tenderloin in mirin/wine for at least a half-hour. Slice onions, green peppers, kimchee, lettuce.

2) Saute onions in oil and add pork when onions start softening. Lightly season with salt and pepper. When pork is about halfway cooked, add a splash of memmi.

SRoe_PorkStirFry_lr3) Toss in green peppers and cook for a couple more minutes. Remove from heat.

4) Heat up tortillas, and serve the stir-fried pork, onions, and green peppers, with the taco toppings.


  • You might choose to saute the kimchee in a little oil to intensify the flavor before putting it in your taco.
  • If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, make your own rice tortillas by putting sticky rice in a tortilla press (and waxed paper to keep it from sticking to press); toast on frying pan or oven to make it slightly crispy.
  • If you don’t have kimchee on hand, you can put together a spicy cabbage slaw to use instead—cabbage, onion, rice vinegar or lemon juice, a little sugar, red pepper flakes.
  • If you like the pork even spicier, you might opt to marinade the pork in the mirin and Korean hot pepper paste (gochu-jahng), not to be confused with cho-gochu-jahng which has vinegar and has a ketchup-like consistency. However, in making the pork spicy, you’ll lose the other subtle nuances from the non-Korean sauces.
  • If you’re not a fan of pork, use chicken instead. 🙂

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