Imagine a symphony of contrasting flavors and textures that is the Copycat Bartaco Sesame Ribeye Tacos. As your teeth sink into the taco, fresh, tangy pickled peppers and red onions give a satisfying crunch. Funky, earthy & spicy kimchee adds contrast and it all gives way to the tender, velvety Asian-leaning shaved Ribeye marinated in a sweet sesame soy.
It’s a thing of beauty, this Bartaco Sesame Ribeye. Every element comes together in perfect harmony, creating a familiar and extraordinary experience, all packaged in one little street taco!
About Copycat Bartaco Sesame Ribeye Tacos:
The description on Bartaco’s site: Sesame Ribeye (one taco per serving) shaved ribeye beef marinated in a sweet sesame-soy sauce, topped with spicy kimchi and cilantro contains: garlic, onion, soy, sesame, seafood.” IRL the photo shown was not what we got! The little tacos were filled with about 1/4 of the ribeye shown on their menu – but they were so tasty!
You won’t need to worry about portions at home! For a fraction of the cost of feeding your family either out at a restaurant or with delivery, you can make these tacos right at home and stuff them with as much as you’d like!
There are a few steps, there’s no denying that. Knock a few ingredients out ahead (the pickled peppers & Asian-leaning pickled red onions), buy the kimchee, and marinate the steak the night before. Maybe you want salsas and chips, too. Breaking it down makes it so doable.
Maybe I should call these Bartaco Inspired:
I did take some liberties:
- Bartaco uses only one tortilla and that tortilla isn’t heated or worked with in any way. They are prone to falling apart. At home, two tortillas can be used, street taco style, and it’s a simple thing to give them a little char on a burner. Although Bartaco uses white corn tortillas, I chose yellow because they were on sale. It’s really a matter of personal taste and how authentic you wish to be to Bartaco.
- I happened to use little tiny tortillas to make my chips rather than frying one large tortilla as Bartaco does. The flex here is to make chips out of whatever tortillas the tacos are made with, cross-utilizing your ingredients. Chips can be store-bought, too, but homemade ones are so much better!
- The salsas I used are mine: my Fire Roasted Tomatillo Salsa and my Fire Roasted Red Salsa. Make sure you love your salsa, store-bought or homemade. Honestly, the one thing I didn’t care for at Bartaco? Their salsa. Life is too short not to have great chips and salsa, amirite!?
Making Copycat Bartaco Sesame Ribeye Tacos:
The beef is super easy to make…just thinly slice it against the grain. Make sure your knife is sharp and it’s helpful to freeze the beef for about 20 minutes. Not till it’s solid but just so it’s a little firm, for easier cutting.
For the most flavor, marinate for as long as possible, within reason. Making the evening before is ideal. If not, do go for as long as you can.
The tortillas, ideally are heated and in street taco style (even though Bartaco doesn’t) and are placed on a burner to get just a bit of a char. This is fine with a gas or electric burner, but if you have a flattop, try a grill pan or cast iron.
Substituting or Making Do:
The marinade is a few simple ingredients. If you cook a lot and have ventured into the realm of Asian cuisine, you might have all of them on hand. If not, just know in a pinch, you can still make a pretty good taco, maybe not quite as close to Bartaco’s, but still good, without a lot of major expenditures.
Use any vinegar instead of the rice wine and leave out the fish sauce if you don’t have it, but the soy, sesame (obvs), and the hoisin are essential! Fresh ginger & garlic are always best, but if needed, use 1/2 teaspoon of dried ginger and 1/4 teaspoon of powdered garlic.
Part of what “makes” these tacos are the tangy veggies: The bite of the red onion and the freshness of the pickled peppers make for an experience! Add in a little funky kimchee and you’re going next level!
I used store-bought kimchee but for the rest: I nearly always have Pickled Red Onions in my fridge but I did change my recipe up just a bit to give them a little Asian flair.
The pickled peppers are based on my Mexican Escabeche but with a little flair of their own. I don’t have the recipe on site yet, but you can sub in the Escabeche. You might want to cut back on the recipe a bit,
Storing and Reheating:
Store all elements separately. The beef should be in an airtight container and will last four to five days in the fridge (if there is any left!) reheat it in the microwave until just barely warm and it shouldn’t get tough. Try half power or defrost. The pickled veggies and kimchee should keep for several weeks in the fridge
When I make meals that have marinated beef (or pork or chicken) I often get a leg up on another meal later by making double or triple of that component of the recipe. I put them (well-labeled) in the freezer in a Ziploc bag. Take it out the evening before you want to cook, toss it in a container (in case there are any small holes from its freezer time) in the fridge and it will marinate as it thaws.
Saving Money on Copycat Bartaco Sesame Ribeye Tacos:
For this meal, the heavy pricing is all about the steak so I’ll concentrate on them. Pick up your tortillas on sale if possible, check all the aisles and endcaps where they are sold. As far as the steak goes, watch for great pricing before almost any holiday, especially Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day, 4th of July, and New Years. Check out Win at the Grocers for more about what might be on sale during any holiday.
- Buy steak on sale! Let the pricing determine when you’d like to make a meal rather than deciding to make something with steak and buying at any old price. Steaks bought at a great price can be frozen.
- Buying a roast on sale at a great price and cutting it into your own steaks will almost always be cheaper than buying individual steaks.
- Sirloin is a great substitute for ribeye and possibly may yield more actual meat per pound. Ribeyes usually have more unusable fat than sirloin, but this can vary.
Rough Draft Copycat Bartaco Sesame Ribeye Tacos
- Prep Time: 10 minutes plus marinade
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes plus marinade
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: main Dish
- Cuisine: Asian Fusion
For Sesame Ribeye Steak:
- 1 1/2 pounds ribeye (sirloin works, too) thinly sliced against the grain
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon hoisin
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon oil
- White corn tortillas, warmed and slightly charred
- Asian Pickled Red Onions
- Pickled Peppers
- Favorite Salsas & Chips
In a glass bowl, mix together soy sauce, brown sugar, hoisin, rice wine vinegar, water, sesame oil, fish sauce, grated ginger, and garlic. Add beef and coat well. Cover and refrigerate for at least one to two hours (at room temperature) or up to 24 in the refrigerator. If refrigerated, bring to room temperature before cooking.
Have all accompaniments to the meal ready before cooking beef. Heat a skillet up to medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon oil. Add beef, working in batches if necessary, and cook until just done. While cooking, use a fork, spatula, or chopstick to separate meat. Do not overcook. As each batch is finished, place in serving bowl.
When finished, use for tacos, 2 tortillas per taco. Add prepared and/or store-bought accompaniments.
Keywords: Asian, Bargain Meal of the Week, Bartaco, Beef, Bell Peppers, fire roasted salsa, kimche, pickled peppers, pickles, ribeye, Salsa, Sirloin, Tacos, tortilla chips, tortillas