YOU CAN PUT ANYTHING IN A TACO
Korean Tacos seem to be all the rage lately thanks to friends like mine at Seoul Taco in Chicago. This IS NOT their recipe, which is so amazing that I can hardly describe it. I drool just thinking about it. Seriously, if you are in Lincoln Park please have a few tacos and an order of Kimchi Fries for me and tell Pete that Jen says, “Hi!”
Anyway, I love these tacos so much that I started experimenting at home to see if I could come up with something similar. I went immediately to my favorite Korean Recipe site, Korean Bapsang, and decided to adapt her Bulgogi Recipe for my Korean Taco fix.
THIN IS IN
You want to slice your meat extremely thin. I recommend putting your steaks in the freezer for 30 minutes prior. This allows them to harden a bit, making it easier to slice.
If you have a Korean Market nearby, you can also find this cut sold in the frozen meat section. In all honesty, this is what I generally do. Although I am the daughter of a butcher, I hate cutting meat. My dad yells at me every time he sees the state of my knives. Of course, this often means he spends quality time before dinners at my house sharpening them, so I feel like I’m getting a nice trade. I supply the yummy food. He maintains the sharp knives.
BROILING REALLY MAKES A DIFFERENCE
The first time I experimented with this recipe, I scooped my meat directly out of the skillet and into the tortillas. This was a HUGE mistake. The wonderful marinade made the tortillas fall apart and I was left with an open-face taco situation. Seriously, it’s just wrong to eat tacos with a fork.
Then I decided, why not treat these like Carnitas? So, the next time, I fried up the bulgogi in a skillet as normal, then threw the meat under the broiler like I do my pork. The edges became salty, sweet, crispy perfection. Damn, I’m good. It’s almost like I know how to cook or something.
2 pounds thinly sliced steak (ribeye or top sirloin)
3 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 small onion, sliced thin
Shredded Carrot (optional)
Shredded Cabbage (optional)
Chopped Cilantro (optional)
Chihuahua Cheese (optional)
Corn or Flour Tortillas
6 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons rice wine or Mirin
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
4 tablespoons grated Asian pear
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Sriracha Mayo Sauce
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Sriracha
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Remove any excess blood from the pre-sliced meat using paper towels.
Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl.
Place the meat and vegetables in a large bowl. Add the marinade and toss gently to combine everything well. Marinate the meat for 30 minutes to an hour, up to overnight.
Prepare your Sriracha Mayo Sauce by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
Preheat a nonstick skillet over high heat. Once the pan is nice and hot, cook the meat until slightly caramelized. Do not crowd the skillet.
Remove meat from skillet using a slotted spoon and spread over a large baking sheet. Broil for an additional 10 minutes or long enough to crisp the edges.
Once crisp, serve immediately on warmed tortillas with chihuahua cheese, shredded cabbage, shredded carrots and Sriracha Mayo.