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Korean Tacos Recipe

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Korean Tacos
Kogi Korean Taco Recipe?  Kalbi Tacos? Has Asian fusion finally descended on the simple and delicious Mexican Taco!
Absolutely, in fact the craze started in California with a Korean taco truck and then a Baja Fresh test case in my old stomping ground of Irvine, CA.  I really love tacos and I really love Korean BBQ so why not try my own take on the new age Asian fusion tacos.  With my version I went with a shot gun approach and made a bunch of different sauces and fillers.   This enabled me to make a variety of combinations, like a taco bar.  My favorite combinations are at the end of the of the post.

Here’s my quick break down on tacos in general, they are essentially made of three very important parts:

  1. Tortilla (corn, flour) – Corn is my personal preference for tacos but you have to make sure that they are fresh.  Tortillas don’t hold for too long before getting stale and your neighborhood grocery store probably doesn’t have a high turnover rate so they get hard and stale.   I recommend finding a Mexican store and buy them there. It’s probably cheaper and since the turnover is higher it’s fresher.
  2. Filling (beef, fish,pork, vegetables, etc) – I like pork a lot for my traditional tacos and will make some pork tacos in the future but for these Asian fusion tacos, I’m going to use beef.  Korean BBQ mainly revolves around beef short ribs but you can use rib eye, boneless beef rib meat, flank steak, or skirt steak.
  3. Sauce (salsa,etc) – Salsa is a very personal matter and there are millions of salsas in the world so pick your favorite or try one of mine.  I did purchase the Kimchi directly from the store to save time and I recommend you do the same. I also made some soy based and mayo based sauces to spread over the tacos in the recipes below.

So here goes.

Recipes

Difficulty Level: 5 – Some prep, some mixing, and a little cooking.
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1.25 hours
Real people serving size:4

Korean Kalbi Meat
Ingredients:

2.5 lbs boneless rib meat (or any type of steak that’s on sale)
1 bottle Korean BBQ Kalbi marinate (I know it’s from a bottle but from my experience it’s a lot easier and taste just as good from the bottle, but feel free to use your own recipe)

Directions:
Marinated the beef over night in a zip lock bag or container and flip it once through out the process.  After all the condiments and sauces are done then start cooking the beef.  I usually cook it on the grill at a medium heat, but you should be careful because the sugars from the marinate will caramelize quickly and can easily burn.  Aim for medium or medium rare depending on your preference.  The last few minutes I usually turn the fire to high to nice char on the meat.

Korean Sangchu Lettuce Salad
Ingredients:
1 head lettuce
2 green onion
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp Korean red pepper flakes

Directions:
1. Shred the lettuce into quarter inch width strips and shred the green onion to as thin as you can get it.
2. Mix the rest of the ingredients and mix with the lettuce and green onion.

cucumber salad

Red Thai Pepper Cucumber Salsa
Ingredients:
1/2 English cucumber
2 Thai chili peppers
2 tbs rice vinegar
3 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt

Directions:
1. Shred the English cucumber
2. Remove Thai chili pepper seeds and julienne
3. Dissolve salt and sugar in rice vinegar
4. Mix them together and sit for 30 minutes

Asian taco sauces

Sweet and Spicy Mayo Dressing
Ingredients:
3 tbs mayonnaise
1.5 tbs sugar or powered sugar
1 tsp sriracha
1 tsp paprika

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together and set aside. Adjust sweet and spicy as needed.

Red Onion Salsa
Ingredients:
1 red onion
1 small yellow onion
1/2 cup cilantro
1 tbs white vinegar or rice vinegar
1/2 lime
1 tsp salt

Directions:
1. Dice red and yellow onion and coarsely chop cilantro.
2. Mix in vinegar, juice of the lime, and salt and let sit for at least 30 minutes.

Roasted Jalapeno Salsa
Ingredients:
1/2 medium Yellow onion
1 small Bell pepper
1-2 Jalapenos
1/2 head garlic
5 medium tomatoes or 1 can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon Salt
and Black Pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Grill and char the onion, pepper, jalapeno, tomatoes, and garlic until black. About 25 minutes.
2. Remove all or some of the seeds from the jalapeno (depending on how spicy you want it) and remove skin from garlic.
3. Add everything in a blender with the tomatoes add a pinch of pepper and salt to taste. Blend for 30 seconds or until smooth.
4. If you want a little more of a kick add in a clove of raw garlic and blend again. You can also add more tomatoes or some water to the consistency that you personally like it.
5. Let sit for a hour or two then re-taste and season as necessary. The flavors will melt together and taste more full.

Sweet Soy Dressing
Ingredients:
1 cup soy sauce
1 tsp vinegar
3 tbs white or brown sugar

Directions:
1. Mix together, dissolve, and reduce to a thick syrup. (or just go to the Asian market and pick up a bottle of sweet soy sauce and reduce if needed)

Asian tacos

Plating
Well this one is simple warm up the tortillas in the microwave for a few seconds and lay everything out on the table. Then dig in. There’s no secret to putting together a taco but don’t get greedy as all the condiments may make the taco a little unmanageable. Try your own fillers and sauces and combinations.

My favorite combinations were:
1. Beef, Korean salad, Sweet soy sauce (nice sweet and savory flavor)
2. Beef, Sweet and spicy mayo, Cucumber salad, and Kimchi (tart spicy and creamy)
3. Beef, Red onion salsa, Roasted jalapeno salsa, and Kimchi (hot and fresh)

Good Luck and post any questions or suggestions you may have about this and other asian enticement recipes. Now go make your own Korean taco with exotic fillings today.

Hot Dog Fried Rice Recipe

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Fried rice, sounds simple eh. Well it is. Especially hot dog fried rice. While growing up, unlike my friends who ate hot dogs in a bun, burgers or pasta, I ate fried rice. It was a staple in my house along with frozen Stouffer’s mac and cheese, totally unrelated story and I’ll share if you’re interested, just comment below. In any case, fried rice was easy to make and there are about a million and one variations on how to make it. Being a bachelor I’ve never gone to the grocery store with the intention of buying ingredients for fried rice. It was more like, “Damn! I’m hungry and all I got in my fridge is a hot dog, ketchup, and mayo.” So my only options were to make fried rice or drink lots of water. (college, high school, unemployed = no money for buns or anything else)

Well today’s version of hot dog fried rice is a little different from what I usually make but then again I generally don’t make the same fried rice twice. I looked in my fridge and I have half a pack of beef hot dogs, some baby bok choy, and 5 eggs. Perfect for some hot dog fried rice with bok choy.

Recipe

Difficulty Level: 1 – Heat, stir, and have a beer.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Real people serving size:2

Ingredients:
2 hot dogs (depending on what brand you get it will change the taste slightly,
beef vs turkey, nathan’s vs ball park, etc)
3 small heads of baby bok choy
3 eggs
1 -1.5 cups of rice (precooked)
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp vegetable oil
salt to taste
white pepper to taste


Directions:
Prep
They say that using day old rice makes fried rice taste better and for the most part I agree with that, but it also highly depends on the type of rice you have, how you cooked the original rice, how old it is, and how you like your fried rice. Some people like it a little drier where the kernels are separated but some people like it a little more soft and with some moisture. It just all depends on personal preference. For this fried rice I used freshly cooked jasmine rice so it’ll be a little softer but and if you cook it right then it won’t clump together.
Cut the hot dog to small pieces.
Cut the bok choy into small strips.
Mince the garlic.
Scramble the eggs.

First I have a nice size fry pan, make sure it’s large enough to fit everything and still gives you room to stir otherwise you’ll have fried rice everywhere! Heat the vegetable oil in the fry pan until hot. Then add the minced garlic and fry lightly for 10 seconds. Move the garlic to the sides of the pan and add in the scrambled egg. Don’t worry if some garlic mixes in, it’ll all be together in the end. After the eggs are scrambled then add the hot dog and bok choy.
Add a dash of salt and white pepper. Stir fry all those ingredients until the bok choy is starting to wilt. Once that happens add in the cooked rice.
Now this is probably the hardest part of the entire recipe. Mix the rice in with the other ingredients without spilling it all over the cook top. Some patience is needed in this step. Now add in the soy sauce and if you like hot sauce you can add some here as well. In fact, add any other flavoring you want at this point. Now simple stir, mix, flip, fry till your desired consistency. I usually like it not dryer than wetter but not too dry. Okay that was confusing. Try 4 minutes, taste and add salt, pepper, or more soy sauce if needed. Then cook longer if you’d like. The important part is that everything is mixed together well.

Options
Like I said earlier, there are a million and one ways to make fried rice. So you can add in anything and make it any flavor you want. Yes, it is probably dangerous for me to recommend that since there are just as many ways to screw up fried rice. It’s kinda like watching people go to mongolian bbq and watching what some people put into their bowl. Scary…but then again each to their own. So cook according to what you like.

Some options would be ground beef, frozen peas and carrots, bean sprouts, left over chicken, ketchup, sriracha, five spice, chinese bbq sauce, onions, grilled pork chop leftover, tomatoes, green beans etc. Also the longer you fry rice the dryer it gets so if you’re rice is too wet you may want to fry the rice first and then add in the ingredients later. It’s endless and in the future I’ll provide more variations of fried rice that I like.

Remember it’s easy, just use what you have in the fridge and experiment. (Ketchup fried rice is great I’ll post that one up in the future.)