Wagyu Beef Tacos with Smoked Oyster Aioli and Grilled Scallions

Wagyu Beef Tacos with Smoked Oyster Aioli and Grilled Scallions
Jump to Recipe 👇

About This Recipe

As a Napa Valley local and food enthusiast, I've always been passionate about creating dishes that embody the spirit of this beautiful region. When I developed this recipe for Wagyu Beef Tacos with Smoked Oyster Aioli and Grilled Scallions, I wanted to capture the essence of wine country in every bite. Using the finest ingredients, like luxurious Wagyu beef, I set out to create a dish that celebrates the unique flavors of California's wine country.

To complement the rich and smoky flavors of the Wagyu beef and oyster aioli, I recommend serving these tacos with a tangy and vibrant jicama slaw on the side. The crisp, refreshing taste of jicama pairs beautifully with the indulgent tacos, creating a perfect balance of flavors. For dessert, consider a light and citrusy Meyer lemon panna cotta, which is both a nod to our local citrus and a delightful way to end the meal.

Sourcing high-quality ingredients is key to making these tacos truly special. The Wagyu beef can be found at premium butcher shops or specialty grocery stores, while the oysters and fresh produce can be sourced from local farmers' markets or specialty seafood markets. Living in Napa Valley, we're fortunate to have access to incredible ingredients right in our backyard, making it easy to create authentic, wine country-inspired dishes.

When it comes to wine pairings, the bold flavors in these tacos call for wines that can stand up to their richness. A Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, such as the one from Silver Oak Cellars, would be an excellent choice with its full-bodied, dark fruit flavors and hints of spice. Alternatively, a Russian River Valley Pinot Noir from Sonoma County's Williams Selyem Winery would provide a more delicate and nuanced pairing, showcasing bright red fruit flavors and a silky, smooth texture.

The inspiration for this recipe, and its connection to the Napa Valley and California wine country, lies in the beautiful landscape, incredible ingredients, and the spirit of innovation that defines our region. From the luxurious Wagyu beef to the smoky oyster aioli, every component of this dish celebrates the bold flavors and culinary traditions that make Napa Valley so special.

As you embark on your own culinary journey, be sure to explore the wineries that dot the picturesque landscape of Napa Valley, like the family-owned boutique winery, Frogs Leap, or the iconic and historic Inglenook Estate. These beautiful destinations offer not only a taste of the region's finest wines but also a glimpse into the rich history and culture that has shaped Napa Valley's world-renowned reputation.

Whether you're a seasoned home chef or just beginning to discover the joys of cooking, I hope this recipe for Wagyu Beef Tacos with Smoked Oyster Aioli and Grilled Scallions inspires you to embrace the flavors of wine country and create your own Napa Valley-inspired culinary adventures. Happy cooking, and cheers to your Napa Valley-inspired culinary adventures!

The Luxurious World of Wagyu Beef

Wagyu beef, a prized delicacy known for its intense marbling and unmatched tenderness, is one of the most luxurious meats in the culinary world. Originating from Japan, this beef has become synonymous with opulence and fine dining. The meticulous care and diet given to Wagyu cattle result in a meat that is rich, buttery, and melts in the mouth.

The unique marbling pattern is not just for show—it's this fat distribution that imparts a distinct and flavorful profile to the beef. When cooked, the intramuscular fat melts, infusing the meat with a rich flavor and creating a texture that's both soft and juicy. Wagyu is truly a testament to how quality breeding and careful rearing can elevate an ingredient to legendary status.

How to Perfectly Grill Thin Slices of Wagyu Beef

  1. Preparation: Ensure your Wagyu beef slices are at room temperature. This ensures even cooking.
  2. Preheat the Grill: Aim for a medium-high heat. This will give your beef a beautiful sear while maintaining its internal juiciness.
  3. Season Simply: With a meat as rich as Wagyu, salt and pepper are often all you need to accentuate its natural flavor.
  4. Quick Sear: Lay the Wagyu slices on the grill and sear for just 1-2 minutes on each side. Due to the thin slices, the beef will cook quickly.
  5. Rest: Allow the beef to rest for a few minutes after grilling. This ensures the juices redistribute, maintaining its succulence.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I substitute another type of beef for Wagyu? While Wagyu is unique in flavor and texture, you can use a high-quality beef cut like ribeye or sirloin as an alternative. However, note that the flavor and tenderness may vary.
  2. How can I make a dairy-free aioli? Substitute regular mayonnaise with a dairy-free or vegan mayonnaise to make the smoked oyster aioli.
  3. How should I store leftovers? Store any leftover Wagyu beef and aioli separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat the beef gently to avoid overcooking.
  4. What other vegetables can I grill alongside the scallions? Asparagus, bell peppers, and zucchini are excellent grilling companions for this recipe.
  5. Are there gluten-free alternatives to corn tortillas? Corn tortillas are typically gluten-free. However, always check the packaging for any cross-contamination if you have a gluten sensitivity. Other alternatives include almond flour or cassava tortillas.

Tips for Success

  1. Use a Meat Thermometer: When grilling Wagyu, use a meat thermometer to achieve the perfect doneness. For medium-rare, aim for an internal temperature of around 130°F (54°C).
  2. Warm Those Tortillas: A slightly charred tortilla enhances the overall flavor profile of the tacos. A quick 30-second grill on each side gives them the perfect warmth and texture.
  3. Pair with Wine: Enhance the dining experience by pairing these tacos with a robust Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon or a silky Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. Both wines complement the rich flavors of the beef and the smoky aioli.

Recipe Overview

Wagyu Beef Tacos with Smoked Oyster Aioli and Grilled Scallions
Lily Anderson
4 servings
Calories Per Serving:
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:

Ingredients List


  • 1 lb Wagyu beef, thinly sliced
  • 8 small corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup smoked oyster aioli (see below)
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Smoked Oyster Aioli:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup smoked oysters, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, smoked oysters, lemon juice, and minced garlic to create the smoked oyster aioli. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
  3. Toss the scallions with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the scallions for 2-3 minutes per side, until charred and tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Season the Wagyu beef slices with salt and pepper. Grill for 1-2 minutes per side, until cooked to desired doneness. Remove from heat and let rest for a few minutes before cutting into bite-sized pieces.
  5. Warm the corn tortillas on the grill for about 30 seconds per side.
  6. Assemble the tacos by placing a layer of smoked oyster aioli on each tortilla, followed by the grilled Wagyu beef and scallions. Serve immediately.

Share Your Results

Was it everything you dreamed it could be? Let me know how it turned out for you and share a picture on social media with the hashtag #LilyCooksNapa

Hello and welcome to Napa Home Chef! We're thrilled you're joining us to explore the vibrant world of wine country cooking. Our team has crafted bold, creative recipes inspired by Napa Valley's lush landscapes, bountiful harvests, and world-renowned wines. We hope you enjoy the journey with us!

Get ready to experience the rich flavors and unique culinary delights that embody the essence of wine country living. Happy cooking!

About Me

Don't miss a recipe!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Coming soon - Cookbook!

Loving Napa Home Chef Recipes and wishing for more? Discover print exclusives!

Napa Recipe Cookbook: Napa Home Chef
Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup with Basil Pesto Swirl
Applewood Smoked Pork Chops with Grilled Peaches and Bourbon Glaze
Apple-Stuffed Acorn Squash with Brown Sugar and Cinnamon
Sierra Summer Tomato Relish
Charred Corn and Dungeness Crab Tacos with Zesty Lime Drizzle
Pumpkin & Sage Arancini
Chardonnay Steamed Mussels with Fresh Garden Herbs
Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Crostini with Balsamic Glaze
Brie and Fig Melange Queso
Heirloom Basil Mini Tacos
Cardamom and Orange Blossom Panna Cotta with Blood Orange Supremes
Napa Valley Cabernet and Cherry Compote

Mandatory (inedible) cookies. By using this website, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.