Home » Recipe » Recipe: Korea Asada – A blend of Bulgogi and Carne Asada
Recipe: Korea Asada – A blend of Bulgogi and Carne Asada
Korean Steak Plated 4

Recipe: Korea Asada – A blend of Bulgogi and Carne Asada

Reicpe: Korea Asada, a blend of Bulgogi and Carne Asada

Korea Asada South Bay

The South Bay is a mixing pot of Korean and Mexican immigrants. This dish is inspired by my old stomping grounds.

I grew up in the South Bay of Los Angeles, a melting pot of whites, Mexicans and Koreans. I was exposed to a variety of cultural food from both my own mixed ethnicity family, Korean and Mexican neighbors. These two ethnic groups had a very similar meat dish. The Mexicans called it carne asada and my Korean friends had a version called Bulgogi. This recipe combines elements from both of these dishes and combines it with my Grandma’s Southwest inspired recipe. 


Focus on Key Ingredients

Korean Pear – The Korean Pear is different than your typical European pear, such that it is more crunchy and have a melon floral notes. The enzymes in Korean pears also act to break down the connective tissues in tough meat, making it a great add in to a marinade.  Korean pears also help to create a nice crust on cooked meat. 

Korean Steak Korean Pear

Korean Pear


Jeju madarin– This is a variety of Mardarin oranges produced on the semi-tropical island of Jeju, south of Korea. This is essentially the Hawaii of Korea. They are sweet and just slightly acidic, perfect for a marinade.

Jeju Mandarin Orange

Jeju Mandarin Orange


Hatch Chile Powder – The taste and aroma of dried Hatch chile is unique to the American Southwest and provided a deep, smoky flavor layer and delayed spiciness to a dish. My grandmother would use a similar dark New Mexico chili powder in her Carne Asada. 

Hatch Chile Powder

Hatch Chile Powder


Ingredients for Korea Asada marinade 

Southwest Korean Steak Mise en place

Korea Asada Marinade Mise en place

    • 1 Melissa’s Produce Korean pear (cored and diced)
    • 3 Melissa’s Produce Jeju Mandarin oranges
    • 1/2 Sweet Brown onion, chopped
    • 4 Melissa’s Produce Key limes, juiced
    • 3 Garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 Shallots – diced,  greens and whites separated
    • 1/2 Bunch cilantro, chopped 
    • 2 Tablespoons Kikkoman low-sodium soy sauce
    • 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
    • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil


Ingredients for meat and grilling

Korean Steak carne asada steak

Use a skirt steak, sliced 1/2 thick, just like you would for carne asada

    • 1 pound carne asada (skirt steak cut in 1/2 inch slices) – ask your butcher to slice
    • 2 Tablespoons peanut oil
    • 2 Tablespoons Melissa’s Produce Hatch Chili powder (or Dark Chili powder)

Instructions – Korea Asada

1) Coursely blend diced Korean Pear, shallots, garlic and cilantro, set aside in marinade pan

2) Finely blend JeJu oranges and combine in the marinade pan; mix

3) Add soy sauce, fish sauce and toasted sesame oil, juice of three key limes; mix

     – Reserve 4 tablespoons of marinade before adding meat

Korean Steak Marinade

Korean Steak Marinade


4) Place carne asada into the marinade, cover and let refrigerate overnight (best) or minimum 2 hours.

Korean Steak Marinade Final

Southwest Korean Steak Marinade Final


5) In lined grill pan, turn heat to high and apply two tablespoons of peanut oil

6) While pan heats, remove meat from marinade and shake off excess moisture (o.k. to have plenty of the thick marinade mixture on steak)

7) When pan begins to lightly smoke, place steak on pan. Be sure to allow steaks to lie flat on the pan.

If too much liquid collects in the pan, drain and continue cooking. 

8) Sprinkle the Hatch chile powder over the meat.  Add onions and cilantro on top of cooking steak.

Sear the steak  on high heat with peanut oil.

Sear the steak on high heat with peanut oil.


9) Let steak cook 4 minutes on one side,the steak should be caramelized and browned on one side.

10) Flip the steak and cook another 2 minutes. Again, drain pan if needed. I aim for medium-well meat. 

Note: BBQ or gas grill also works great for this recipe

Cook the Korean Steak on high heat until caramelized

Cook the Korean Steak on high heat until caramelized


Carrots and Spinach Side – Ingredients

Korean Steak Sides Mise en Place
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 6 carrots, quartered
  • 1 Shallot (greens and whites)
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 4 cups of Korea Asada marinade (see above)

Instructions – Carrots and Spinach Side

1) While meat is cooking, prepare the carrots

2) Add 1 tablespoon of peanut oil to pan, turn heat to Med-High

3) Add Carrots,  garlic and shallots (green and white segments) to hot pan and toss with oil

4) Season carrots with salt, pepper

Sauteed Carrots to service Korean Steak

Saute carrots until tender and brown


5) When carrots are browned and tender, add baby spinach and four tablespoons of reserved marinade

6) Cook until spinach is wilted

Roasted Carrots with Spinach

Roasted Carrots with Spinach



Serve the Korea Asada with the browned onions and fresh cilantro, garnish the plate with a quartered lime and carrot side dish.

Korean Steak Plated 4

Korea Asada Plated

About Tom Holmberg

Tom grew up in a cultural diverse neighborhood and a culturally diverse family, so he has learned to appreciate all types of food. "I am not a Chef, nor do I play one on T.V., but I have learned to appreciate food from years of eating and cooking." Tom also spent 10 years in the restaurant industry in various roles, from Prep Cook to server.


  1. I have eaten Korean steak before and it was really good.. And that was just above a fast good resturant. This must be 100 times better!

  2. Sounds delicious! Great combination, fusion, brings out the the best of both worlds!!

  3. I have to admit, I’ve not heard of this type of cuisine but all of the ingredients look so fresh and it really loves beautiful once it’s done. I might have to give this one a go!

  4. I have not had anything like this before and what unusual fruits that I never knew existed. Looks amazing.

  5. This is a great recipe. I’m not sure if I could find these items here in the burbs, but I think in Dallas I could.

  6. WOW! What a fabulous recipe. I love Korean food and we don’t have anything like this here.

  7. Even as a vegan, I can say that it looks really delicious! I’m sure all those spices and flavors were very present in the juicy looking meat.

  8. Wow Tom. I have to hand it to you. This looks freakin’ awesome! Hope I get to try this one of these days!

  9. I must say, I never had Korean food other than sushi.
    The picture are looking good.

  10. Thanks for always coming up with such creative yummy meals to share! I love being your taste tester on a daily basis:)

  11. Looks delicious, never had Korea Asada. I would love to taste it.

  12. Never heard of Korean Asada before. I am not a meat eater really but know many people who would die for this dish. It looks very fresh.

Leave a Reply to Dov Shapira Cancel reply

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