How to cook: Korean beef stew tacos (a.k.a. my version of Kogi BBQ’s short-rib tacos)

casaveneracion.com How to cook: Korean beef stew tacos (a.k.a. my version of Kogi BBQ’s short-rib tacos)

About two weeks ago, we ditched our Dream Satellite TV subscription and shifted to Cignal TV. The difference? Lots of HD Channels on Cignal, including Food Network. Dream Satellite does not even carry Food Network although it has the Travel and Living Channel (TLC). I was sorry to let TLC go, it was where I saw Anthony Bourdain once a week, but Dream Satellite was airing shows that were over five years old. So, there.

As a result of the change in satellite TV provider, I’ve been watching more TV these days. I think I watched more TV over the past two weeks than I have over the two months previous to that. I’m more than watching — I’m devouring. It’ll pass, I’m sure. But, right now, I’m picking up a lot of ideas. Like the cheesesteak sandwich, for instance, and the fancy presentation for the chicken salad.

It was also from the Food Network that I learned about Kogi BBQ, a food truck selling a weird fusion food (Korean and Mexican adapted for the American palate) in the Los Angeles area. Korean short rib tacos. It must have been a bit dated because according to Kogi BBQ website, there are now five trucks and a sit-down restaurant as well.

Now, about the tacos. The filling is grilled short ribs that had been marinated. And I thought of Korean short ribs beef stew. For anyone who has never heard nor tried Korean beef stew before, using it for a taco filling might sound too darn strange. Unpalatable even. But for someone who has cooked and eaten Korean beef stew before, I knew it would work. In my head, I knew I’d have to have some caramelization happen, I had an idea as to how to go about it… Still, there’s nothing like actually doing it. So, I did. Last night, for dinner.

The Korean beef stew tacos were so delicious that Speedy and I had three each. Small six-inch tortillas, actually. BUT STILL. How should I describe the experience? As you bite, the first thing you get is the slight crunch of the lettuce. But the first real taste is of the savory beef, sweet, salty and spicy at the same time. Then, the sudden sharpness of the red onions mixing with the sesame seeds. Finally, the indescribable flavors of the cilantro. There’s a reason why it is my favorite herb and there’s not even a close second.

Ingredients

  • For the Korean beef stew filling:
  • 2 c. of drained and roughly chopped cooked Korean beef stew (get the recipe)
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 3 finger chilies, chopped
  • 1 tsp. of sesame seed oil
  • 1 tbsp. of vegetable cooking oil
  • 1/2 c. of Korean beef stew sauce
  • To assemble the tacos:
  • 6 pcs. of 6-inch flour tortillas
  • 6 to 8 romaine lettuce leaves, thinly sliced
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 tbsps. of finely sliced onion leaves
  • 2 tbsps. of toasted sesame seeds
  • a small bunch of cilantro, torn into small pieces

Instructions

  1. In a frying pan, heat the sesame and vegetable oils.
  2. Add the chopped onion and chilies and cook just until fragrant.
  3. Add the beef. Cook, stirring, until the meat has soaked up the oil.
  4. Pour in the sauce. Cook over high heat, uncovered, stirring often, until the mixture is quite dry. This step is to allow the flavors to concentrate and to let the sauce caramelize a bit.
  5. Assemble the tacos.
  6. Toast the tortillas in an oil-free pan.
  7. Lay a taco on a plate. Cover with lettuce. Pile on the beef. Add red onions. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and onion leaves. Finally, add some cilantro.
  8. Fold the taco and bite. Utterly delicious.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 2

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Comments

  1. Sam says

    Kogi tacos are awesome and delish!!! I follow them on Twitter and line up whenever they are parked somewhere near my building during lunch, or I just drive over like a faithful Kogi groupie!! There are so many food trucks in LA that they are starting to seem like a massive roach infestation!! Remember that before the lunch trucks went all fancy, we called them roach coaches, LOL!!! The food is always good in LA’s version of street food, especially the authentic taco trucks!! Glad to find you like Korean BBQ tacos!!

    • Aggie says

      Hi Connie, Yeah Kogi started the whole gourmet food truck phenomena. Here in NYC, there’s the schnitzel truck, wafels & dinges truck, dessert truck (the chef/owner is a grad of the French Culinary Institute), lobster roll truck, and almost everything else you can think of. Of course the food trucks selling halal “street meat” (lamb or chicken over rice pilaf; gyros) are still the original!

  2. Apple says

    My initial reaction to Kogi was weird as well but I never believed it until I saw the line… 3 blocks usually. After that I was a follower. It was true ingenuity! I thought it wouldn’t go well together but it was simply a perfect combination. You have to try it when you come to LA. It’s a must!! :)

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