Why drive 20 minutes out of your way, wait in a long one-hour line with the other like-stomached starving fiends to eat Korean tacos when you can make it at home? Lately Kogi BBQ Truck Tacos are all the rage for food aficionados in Los Angeles. They are quite fantastic and worth seeking out, but lately I've been thinking about making my own Korean tacos at home.
Finally, I had all the ingredients sitting in the house. If you're Korean, all these ingredients are very common to come by. For the uninitiated to Korean cuisine, I've annotated the ingredients with orange asterisks that need a tiny bit of footwork to find and how to find it.
I'm very happy at how this all turned out! :) The tacos were scrumptious! I think my next step is to make my own twitter page and sell tacos from my car haha.
How to make Korean Kalbi Tacos
- radish Kimchi aka "Mu-Saeng-Chae"*
- sesame seeds
- green onion (chiffonade if possible)
- Soy-vinagrette on julienned romaine lettuce
- Korean short-rib beef aka "Kalbi"*
- Tortilla (Corn is preferable if its around, I had flour)
- you may garnish with a lime wedge, radish, and cilantro for a more Mexican flavor.
After creating this, I've been thinking my next Korean taco experiment will involve a type of salsa or guac.
* If you cannot buy radish Kimchi, then here's the recipe for radish Kimchi("Mu-Saeng-Chae"). It would be preferable to buy it so that it saves you alot of prep time. I also used pre-made and cooked Kalbi(Korean marinated short-ribs). Korean grocers conveniently sell both pre-marinated Kalbi as well as cooked Kalbi to purchase and fry up at home or at a BBQ. You can also buy Korean BBQ sauce at the American market to marinate your spare ribs and create the same effect. Here's a recipe for Kalbi from the show "Boy Meets Grill" with Bobby Flay. However in the interest of time, it's always easiest to buy pre-made or pre-marinated in this case.
Julienne the romaine lettuce. Red-leaf lettuce would work as well.
Radish Kimchi mixed with chopped green onion. Chiffonade the green onion if possible for better texture and presentation. If you prefer a different texture, you can always dice the radish kimchi.
Fry up the Kalbi. In this case, I cut the meat off the bones while still leaving a little meat on the spare rib bones, so that later, you're not just snacking on bones and gristle later.
Pile on your tortilla... Beef. Then Lettuce. I also dressed the lettuce in some of the juice from the radish Kimchi which imbues it with an instant vinegarette sauce. Kogi uses a soy-vinagrette which can be accomplished by mixing garlic, soy sauce, chili flakes and vinegar. They also use chopped onions which I omitted this time around. Top the lettuce with radish Kimchi/green onion.
Here are some shots of the final taco. The Kogi truck chars their tortilla a little bit for the added BBQ taste. This time around I simply heated the tortillas in a large flat pan on a low-setting with foil on top to retain some of the moisture in the tortilla.
Top with toasted sesame seeds for an added effect. You can toast your sesame seeds lightly in a pan first before you garnish your taco for a more aromatic flavor.