Korean BBQ Nachos takes the best of Korean BBQ—marinated grilled meats, spicy kimchi, and of course corn cheese!—and piles it all on top of chips for a glorious gooey melty oozy dish. Shall we?
What Ingredients You Need for Korean BBQ Nachos
- Wonton wrappers and frying oil, or store-bought wonton chips
- Marinated Korean Bulgogi beef
- Corn, fresh or frozen kernels
- Shredded Jack or mozzarella cheese
- Jalapeno slices, fresh or pickled
Optional toppings to really take your Korean BBQ Nachos over the top—and why wouldn't you:
- Gochujang mayo
- Toasted sesame seeds
Scroll down to recipe below for exact quantities.
How to Get Korean BBQ Bulgogi Beef
The recipe here includes marinating your own fresh ribeye steak slices in a pared down version of the Korean BBQ beef marinade I use. Ask your butcher to slice ribeye or other medium-fatty cut of beef into paper-thin slices cut across the grain. You can also attempt to make paper thin slice at home if you halfway freeze the beef first, which makes it much easier to slice. Korean grocery stores will carry this cut of beef which is labeled "bulgogi" beef. You will also be able to find pre-marinated bulgogi beef in the butcher section if you want to save yourself the marinating time! Though I don't go this route very often as store preparations always have a TON of sugar.
Additional Ingredients Notes and Resources
- Wonton wrappers are made of wheat flour, water, and sometimes egg. They are now available in most regular grocery stores, most likely in the refrigerated section where the tofu is. Any shape, round or square, will work, and you can even get the large squares for eggrolls and spring rolls and cut them to a smaller size yourself. You may be able to find them already fried as "wonton chips" in grocery stores in larger cities. Just make sure they are wonton wrappers, which are opaque yellowish, and not summer roll or rice paper wrappers, which are slightly translucent and white.
- Kimchi. The best kind of kimchi for this is nappa cabbage kimchi, which is the kimchi made from leafy napa cabbage. There are many brands of kimchi available across a range of grocery stores and they are all good in their own way from how tart and tangy they are to their level of funk. The one I goto most often for something like this is called Ocinet "oh-shee-neh" which is salty and has a high-toned, vinegar-forward flavor.
- Shredded Jack or mozzarella cheese. Any cheese that melts well is fine. I've seen Korean ramen with whole slices of American cheese on it so...
- Corn. The recipe calls for frozen corn. However, in the summer when fresh sweet corn is available, you can cut the kernels of 3-4 corn cobs to make up the equivalent amount of corn. Pan roast as directed in the recipe, or just leave fresh corn raw for a pop of sweetness!
- Avocado, onions, scallions, cilantro, jalapeños and all other fresh herbs and produce from either the Santa Monica Farmers' Market on Wednesday, or Whole Foods Market when I can't find what I need at the farmers' market.
Instructions for How to Make Korean BBQ Nachos
There are quite a few components to Korean BBQ Nachos, and you can go as "scratch" to "store-bought" as you want. I've included instructions for as scratch as we can get.
Make Wonton Wrapper Chips
Heat 1-inch of oil in a cast iron skillet to 350°F. While oil is heating, cut wonton wrappers into halves, either rectangles or on the bias into triangles.
Fry wonton wrappers in batches until lightly golden brown, flipping once during frying. Transfer fried wonton chips to a paper towel to soak off the excess oil. Sprinkle with sea salt. Discard the oil in the skillet once cooled.
Chop kimchi and set aside in bowl.
Return skillet to medium heat. Add marinated bulgogi beef and sliced onions to skillet and cook until well-done, about 8 minutes. Transfer cooked bulgogi beef to a plate and set aside. Discard any oil int he skillet.
Return skillet to medium heat. Add corn and cook through, allowing some of the corn to darken or char for a roasted flavor. Remove corn to a bowl and set aside.
Wipe out the cast iron skillet with a paper towel. Begin building Korean BBQ Nachos starting with a layer of wonton chips in the bottom of the skillet.
Scatter half the cooked Korean BBQ Bulgogi Beef and onions over the chips.
Add half the corn.
Layer half the shredded cheese over the corn. Repeat the layers—wonton chips, bulgogi beef, corn, cheese— one more time ending with a layer of cheese on top.
Place the skillet with the Korean BBQ Nachos under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 3 minutes. Garnish with chopped kimchi, sliced avocado, sliced scallions, cilantro, and jalapeños. Serve extra toppings in bowls alongside.
Pro Tips and Techniques for Korean BBQ Nachos
- Triple or quadruple mega-stacked nachos . If you would like to go all in and have enough of the ingredients, repeat a third or even 4th layer—chips, bulgogi beef, corn, cheese—and then place under broiler to melt the cheese.
- Sheet Pan Nachos. To get more charred, possibly burnt cheese bubbles, assemble the nachos in a single layer on a sheet pan and broil. Don't worry, line the pan with parchment paper or foil, and you still won't have an extra pan to clean.
Korean BBQ Nachos, like any kind of nachos, is wide open for substitutions. Here are some suggestions in case you can't find certain ingredients, or have dietary restrictions:
- Buy store-bought wonton chips to save yourself time!
- Other chips for wonton chips - Use any other sturdy chip in place of wonton chips, or a combination of both!
- Other Korean marinated protein - You can use the same marinade on the equivalent amount of chicken or tofu.
- Vegetarian. To make this recipe vegetarian, crumble a block of tofu into the marinade with the onions. You don't need to let it marinate for more than a few minutes.
- Vegan. To make this recipe vegan, substitute tofu as above, and substitute plant-based cheese.
- Gluten-free. To make this recipe gluten-free, use tamari instead of soy sauce in the marinade and use certified gluten-free corn tortilla chips (I would recommend gluten-free wonton wrapper but I have never seen them). I would not buy pre-marinated bulgogi beef at an Asian grocery store, as it more than likely uses soy sauce which contains gluten rather than tamari.
- Dairy-free. To make this recipe dairy-free, substitute plant-based cheese for the regular shredded cheese.
Tools and Equipment
As I always say, you don't need any special equipment to make almost any recipe. However, that's not to say there are a couple of gadgets and tools that might make it a LOT easier to get Bibimbap Sauce from your pantry to plate—.
- Mini ¼-cup liquid measuring cup
- Glass mixing bowls for making marinade
- Mini whisk
- Glass storage container with airtight lids, perfect size for storing Bibimbap Sauce, and even transferring your gochujang out of the plastic container from the store into glass!
Advance Prep, Leftovers, and Storage
Almost every component of Korean BBQ Nachos can be prepared in advance separately, then the actual nachos in the skillet can be assembled and cheese melted just before serving. Here is some timing:
- Wonton chips from scratch can be made up to 3 days in advance. Keep in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Bulgogi beef can be marinated and cooked 1 day in advance. Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Re-heat in cast-iron skillet for about 5 minutes until just warmed through.
- Kimchi can be chopped many days in advance. Keep in an airtight container in the coldest part of the refrigerator.
Once assembled and cheese has been melted, Korean BBQ Nachos do not hold up well as leftovers because the wonton chips will get very soggy. However, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the oven, a toaster oven, or air fryer.
Why yes I do have a thing for nachos so much that it has its own recipe category on this website, why do you ask?
Korean BBQ Nachos Recipe
Korean BBQ Bulgogi
- 2 pounds ribeye, sliced across the grain paper thin
- 1 medium onion, sliced lengthwise
- ½ cup soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice wine (sake or soju)
- 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
Fried Wonton Chips
- neutral high-heat cooking oil like avocado oil
- 1 package wonton wrappers
- 2 cups corn kernels fresh or frozen
- 3 cups shredded Jack or mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups kimchi, finely chopped
- 2 avocodos peeled, pitted and sliced
- 1 scallion shredded into ribbons
- ½ bunch cilantro leaves
- jalapeño slices fresh or pickled
Marinate Korean BBQ Bulgogi Beef
- Place all ingredients for Korean BBQ Bulgogi Beef in a shallow bowl or plastic bag with zipper top. Place in refrigerator and marinate for at least 4 hours, up to overnight.
Fry Wonton Wrappers into Chips
- Line a large plate with paper towels. Heat one inch of oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat, or to 350°F.
- Fry a single, slightly overlapping is ok, layer of wonton wrappers until golden brown. Flip wonton wrappers to brown the other side. Transfer fried wonton chips to paper towel–lined plate. Sprinkle with salt while still hot. You will have to do this in about 5 or 6 batches.
Cook Beef and Corn
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Remove beef and onions from marinade, add to hot skillet, and cook until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer cooked bulgogi beef to a plate and set aside. Discard any oil in the skillet.
- If you are pan roasting/cooking the corn, pour off oil from the cast iron skillet, leaving just a shimmer on the surface. Turn heat to medium. Add corn to hot skillet and roast until corn starts to char. Remove corn to plate or bowl.
Assemble the Nachos
- Turn on broiler in oven to high.
- Wipe out the cast iron skillet with a paper towel. Begin building Korean BBQ Nachos starting with a layer of wonton chips in the bottom of the skillet.
- Scatter half the cooked Korean BBQ Bulgogi Beef over the chips. Add half the corn, then half the shredded cheese. Repeat the layers one more time, ending with cheese.
- Place the skillet with the Korean BBQ Nachos under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 3 minutes. Garnish with chopped kimchi, sliced avocado, sliced scallions, cilantro, and jalapeños. Serve extra toppings in bowls alongside.