Korean barbecue taco trucks are increasingly popular in America. This is a successful fusion of Korean spicy barbecue and Mexican street food, and this recipe highlights a version of tacos known in Los Angeles.
- 1.5 kg la galbi/flanken style short ribs (laterally cut thin slices of beef short ribs, available from Korean butchers)
- ½–¾ onion
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1 cm piece ginger
- ½ peeled Korean pear (optional)
- 3 tbsp cooking sake
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- ½–¾ cup sugar
- 1 green onion, sliced
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp sesame oil
- 20–24 mini corn/ flour tortillas
Korean spicy barbecue sauce
- 2 tbsp kochujang (Korean chilli paste)
- 1 tbsp corn syrup
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp brown rice vinegar
Coriander and onion salsa
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 bunch coriander, chopped
- 1 lime, juiced
- ½ tsp rice wine vinegar
- salt, to season
Korean soy slaw
- ¼ garlic clove, minced (optional)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- ½ tsp kochugaru (Korean chilli powder)
- 2 tsp brown rice vinegar
- ½ jalapeno, finely chopped (optional)
- ½ tsp roasted sesame seeds (optional)
- 1 cup shredded savoy cabbage
- 1½ cups shredded baby cos lettuce
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time 30 minutes
Marinating time 3 hours
Wash the short ribs and soak in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain the ribs using a colander and transfer to a large bowl.
Blend the onion, garlic, ginger, Korean pear (if using) and cooking sake in a food processor. Mix with the rest of the marinade ingredients. Mix the meat with the marinade. Place in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight to marinate.
Combine all the ingredients for the spicy barbecue sauce. Set aside.
Combine all the ingredients for the coriander and onion salsa. Set aside.
Remove the meat from its marinade. Cook the strips of meat over high heat in a griddle pan, lightly brushed with oil, making sure the slices don’t overlap. Cook over medium heat until well caramelised, turning over once after about 4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the cut.
Cut the cooked meat away from the bones and into small cubes of roughly 1.5–2 cm. Set aside and keep warm.
Heat the tortillas individually in a dry frying pan on a high heat, or in a hot oven. Drape a tea towel over tortillas to keep them warm.
Combine all the ingredients for the slaw dressing. Just before serving, pour dressing over the cabbage and lettuce.
Assemble a small amount of meat, slaw, salsa and sauce in each tortilla. Repeat with remaining tortillas, salsa and slaw.