A couple of weeks ago I came across the concept of Korean BBQ and Mexican fusion in the form of the short rib tacos from the Kogi taco trucks in California. Combining the facts that I am really into both Korean and Mexican cuisine and that California is so far away I immediatly decided to try making the short rib tacos at home. Since there were no recipes available I set upon creating my own. I started with the kalbi or Koren barbecue short ribs which are short ribs that are marinated in a slightly sweet marinade until tender and then grilled until the sugars from the marinade caramelize infusing the ribs with an amazing flavour. Next up was the Koren style salsa roja which was responsible for bringing the heat to the tacos. I created the salsa roja by combining a chili de arbol salsa with some sesame flavours and a hit of gochujang, a Korean fermented chili paste. An onion and cilantro relish and some shredded romaine lettuce in a chili and sesame vinaigrette rounded out the tacos bringing some fresh ingredients to them. Now that I had all of the ingredients made all that was left was to assemble the tacos.
This project (Project Kogi: Short Rib Tacos) took a bit of effort. After coming up with the recipes, making everything took a bit of time. The next time that I make these tacos I will make the salsa roja two nights ahead of time, marinate the ribs the night before, and make the relish and lettuce with dressing the morning of the meal. This way the only thing left to do is to pull everything out of the fridge, grill the ribs, assemble the tacos and enjoy. Despite the effort it was well worth it! The short rib tacos were absolutely amazing! The sweet and tender kalbi worked really well as a taco meat. The Korean style salsa roja added the perfect heat to the tacos along worth a ton of flavour. Feel free to pile this salsa on as it is really good! Come on, you can take the heat. :) Seriously I was eating this salsa by the spoonful. The onion and cilantro relish combined with the seasoned shredded romaine lettuce added a nice texture, juiciness and freshness to the tacos and finished them of perfectly. Overall the tacos were nice and light and full of flavour and I practically inhaled them.
Kogi also serves a bunch of other Korean/Mexican fusion dishes that sound really good. Stay tuned for more.
Korean Short Rib Tacos
- 12 small tortillas
- 1 1/2 pounds kalbi (Korean barbecue short ribs) (cut into small pieces)
- 1 cup Korean style salsa roja
- 1 cup onion and cilantro relish
- 2 cups shredded lettuce in a Korean sesame vinaigrette
- 6 tablespoons sesame seeds (toasted and crushed)
- Assemble tacos.