Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Korean Beef Tacos: A happy fusion

To JY who figured out that these could be brought home.

I'm actually writing this post while mad at myself. I should have thought of it first. I LOVE Korean bbq and I LOVE all things taco - why couldn't I figure out that I could make this, throw Daughters and Son in the back of a taco truck and drive around in the wee hours of the night selling these Korean tacos? Instead the folks over at Kogi BBQ are making the big bucks slinging Korean bbq tacos all over LA hotspots...sigh...yet another missed opportunity. On the bright side, I'm sure Daughters and Son are thankful they aren't rattling around with a bunch of pots and pans during the wee hours of the night.

But my friend and blog reader JY figured something out -she figured out that these could be done at home. She had a dinner party and made her own Korean bbq tacos using my Flank Steak Marinade and her guests went to town. No lines, no wait, just make your own Korean bbq tacos with her spin in the toppings and the fixings. BRILLIANT and GENIUS is what I thought. She said it was a huge hit. Then she asked me if I had any ideas for a cilantro cucumber topping. And I did. And so then I decided that I needed to make these myself and figure out what components I would put on a Korean BBQ taco. This is my own version and not to be compared to the original Kogi BBQ tacos - only because I've never had it and have no idea what it tastes like. Here is what I came up with.

Korean BBQ Flank Steak
Ginger Onion Scallion Slaw (I am really pleased with this and the slaw is a great addition to any BBQ spread)
Spicy cucumber cilantro relish
Sesame chili sauce
Corn tortillas

As an addition, offer the Soy Pickled Jalapenos on the side

To have a meal you simply prepare all the components and then allow your diners (guests) to make the taco of their choice. When they are done, charge them $2 for each taco and you're ready to open your own taco truck.

Korean BBQ Tacos
serves 6
2 lbs marinated and cooked flank steak or bulgogi (for fun try 1 lb each. I am calculating about 1/3 lb per person. If you have massive carnivores, up the poundage of meat per person to 1/2 lb, or 3 lbs total)

I have two pics - one with the flank fully cooked and not rare at all, cut up into small pieces. It had to be finished in a fry pan after being grilled (to get the super caramelization on all sides.)

This second picture is of the flank, directly off the grill after having rested for 20 minutes. Slightly rare in the inside, still in slices. I slightly preferred this version, but both cooking styles work.

Ginger Cabbage Slaw
6 cups of cabbage, shredded. (about 1/2 a head of a good sized cabbage)
1/4 cup of red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup of scallions chopped

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
Pepper to taste

Whisk ingredients of dressing all together. Place the cabbage, onions and scallions in a bowl. 15 minutes before serving, pour dressing over salad and toss.

Cucumber Cilantro Relish
2 cups chopped cucumber (I used the Persian cucumbers but an English/hothouse/kirby cucumber with the seeds removed would be just fine)
1 cup roughly chopped cilantro (do not be afraid to use some of the stem for this - the stem is YUMMY)

Dressing (optional for those with kids. I just topped Daughters' tacos with the cucumber and cilantro with no dressing)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon Korean chili powder (gochu gahloo) or chili pepper flakes
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds

In a small bowl whisk the ingredients for the dressing together. In another bowl place cucumber and cilantro. Pour dressing over and toss gently to coat.

Sesame Chili Sauce
1/4 cup Sambal Oelek with garlic (or ground red chilis - available at your chinese market - super HOT)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Mix all ingredients together. Set aside.
Put all the components - the beef, the cabbage slaw, the cilantro cucumber relish, sesame chili sauce and warm corn tortillas on your table. Place a couple of slices of beef in the center of the tortilla. Top with the cabbage slaw, the cucumber relish and the sesame chili sauce (use SPARINGLY it's HOT!). Fold it up and enjoy!

Printable recipe

All ready...just needs to be folded up!


sliceofsueshe said...

This is totally making me hungry and I just had lunch!

My family calls the bulgogi/galbi wrapped in lettuce korean burritos.

Joanne Choi said...

my mom says...why make a Korean taco when koreans already have a wrap?

mina said...

argggg, my mouth is watering! i don't have cornmeal or corn tortillas here so maybe i'll just have to deal with ssam. ):

Joanne Choi said...

mina - come home already. You don't need to be without the great varied ingredients we have here....

OR...if you are feeling REALLY industrious...try making your own corn tortillas? (I've heard it's not hard.)

halim said...

i'm making this tonight. will use spicy marinated pork i have in the freezer as the meat for lawrence and will make up some sort of sesame free beef marinade concoction for myself. forgot the red onions. darn it. will have to substitute white onions....

halim said...

so we all loved the tacos! the slaw was very light and refreshing and i loved the sambal sauce on top with the cilantro and cucumbers (mine were not dressed - still good). tj's has pre-washed and shredded cabbage. saved me a couple of extra steps. anyway, i have tortillas and cabbage and cucumbers leftover so we'll probably be eating this again tomorrow.

bella said...

joanne- we had the korean tacos tonight and it was SO YUMMY! chang really liked it, esp. the cabbage salad. we used the leftover flank steak from last night. the meal was perfect. the only thing i didn't have was the cucumber relish- i thought we had cucumbers but after i came home from safeway, found out we didn't. i want to make this again real soon! thanks for posting the recipe last night :).

Marta said...

Brilliant and genius fusion is what I think too! Good job here!
I have a Mexican friend that says that anything (be it curry, pasta, stews, fish, legumes, veg, fruit, anything!) tastes better wrapped in a tortilla!

hudson umma said...

wasn't this so easy to make? anyone can get creative w/ this. for mine i added in the pickled moo and a cabbage, romaine, onion salad and fresh cilantro. i even had the pickled jalapenos and garlic on the side. i haven't tried the cucumber relish yet (next time). i think anything refreshing to balance the meat is good.

kim said...

Made all of the parts of this dish tonight and LOVED them! Hubby and I couldn't get enough... thanks for another great idea!

Danny and Esther said...

All your ideas are so wonderful, and the simplicity of it all is just awesome. You and I have same cravings of good meat and dark green vegis with garlic! I must tell you I had to be the one who made the Korean version of taco first ;)because I've been making it for about 10 yrs. I also make Fajita Rice by arranging brown rice in the bottom of a large deep dish and lettuce, meat,and finish with any home made salsa like things!

Joanne Choi said...

Danny and Esther - I hope you made some money on your Korean taco creation! so easy and so yummy. Thanks for stopping by my blog and all your encouraging words. It's comments like that which help to continue writing and thinking about things to cook. I confess to not be so inspired these days but I'm still trying.

Jill said...

That looks soooo good. In fact, I'm making it for supper tonight. My changes: I'm using ground beef instead of steak (1 pound) and adjusting the marinade to about 3/4 of a cup altogether. Also, I'm using a store mix of broccoli slaw since there's way too much of it on hand and I don't have any cabbage. But it's smelled delicious during the pre-cooking and making up of sauces, plus it didn't take very long at all. Now if it only tastes as good as it smells, but I have high hopes! :-) Hopefully the pitiful cilantro in the garden hasn't died-- I'd like to use that too.

Eugene Choi said...

This is a brilliant recipe.

But on two occasions I have tried this recipe I believe it lacks fat.

My sister's guacamole made it ten times better. If you don't have time to make your own, a dallop of sour cream/creme fraiche should do the trick.

liz said...

we made this tonight...DELISH!!! everyone loved this. thanks joanne! easy and delicious!

Julie M. said...

These were so delicious!!! Thanks you so much for the recipe - everyone enjoyed them!!!

camilla said...

I just made these for a party. Super easy and delicious! Everyone raved...

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Sassy Girl said...

I'm going to attempt to make this dish one day. But I gotta get all the ingredients first. Stupid question tho... I'm not much of a cook so, bear with me. Is rice vinegar different from rice wine vinegar?

Joanne Choi said...

you can use rice vinegar or rice wine vinegar...either works well. :)

millie said...

WOW YUM! Just found your blog, and just printed this recipe...can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing!

Gables said...

just was introduced to your blog and made these scrumptious tacos for my family and another. Loved it! Such a great meal to make for a large crowd. I made it with bulgogi and it was very tasty. I really liked the crunchiness of that the slaw and cucumbers. so thanks for sharing.

AMY said...

Made these tonight. Holy moly they were delicious!


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