Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Add Kimchi to Give Tacos an Asian Twist

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Add Kimchi to Give Tacos an Asian Twist

Article excerpt

You're no doubt familiar with the many authentic Mexican-style tacos available at local taquerias, including al pastor (layers of adobo-marinated meat), al carbon (grilled meats), de guisados (casseroles), carnitas (pork cooked in its own fat) and charrales (fish).

Korean tacos, however, are less-common Midwestern fare.

The fusion delicacy originated in California under the auspices of Kogi, an L.A.-based taco/Korean barbecue truck that has attracted a legion of loyal Twitter followers and Facebook fans. It's also captured the attention of publications such as Bon Appetit and Time.

Kogi creator Roy Choi taught director/actor Jon Favreau how to chop, dice and slice with precision in the food truck-themed movie "Chef," which was released this year.

Kogi's Korean taco is reported to combine traditional beef bulgogi, a sesame-soy marinated barbecue beef that is either grilled or pan-cooked, then topped with kimchi, spicy fermented cabbage.

The Star's Korean-Style Grilled Beef and Vegetables on Crisp Tortillas uses ready-made kimchi available in the refrigerator section of some supermarket produce sections. Using low-sodium soy sauce further reduces the amount of sodium in this recipe.

Plan ahead: The meat needs to marinate for 4 to 8 hours.

Shopping tip: Read the label on the kimchi since various brands have differing amounts of sodium. Kimchi is a fermented, spicy Korean condiment made of cabbage. It is fairly high in sodium, so read the label, drain well and realize that using a little adds a lot of flavor.

Serving tip: If desired, top each tortilla with 2 to 3 tablespoons finely shredded romaine lettuce or Napa cabbage, then top with sliced meat and grilled vegetables.

KOREAN-STYLE GRILLED BEEF AND VEGETABLES ON CRISP TORTILLAS

Makes 6 servings

1 1/2 pounds boneless beef sirloin or top round, cut about 3/4- inch thick

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 1/4 teaspoons sugar, divided

3/4 teaspoon pepper, divided

1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste, divided

6 thin corn tortillas, about 6 inches in diameter

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 red or green peppers, seeded and quartered

1 sweet onion, cut in 1/2-inch slices

1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro

6 tablespoons kimchi, drained

Place meat in a zip-top bag. …

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