Monday, June 18, 2012

Korean Beef Tacos

In DC, food trucks have been taking over some of the metro stops near the Mall, which is a welcome change of scenery from the federal cafeterias and what they pass off as good food. Every so often I can escape my desk long enough to walk over to one of these trucks. In the interest of time, I typically go for whatever has the shortest line. A few weeks ago, this was the Korean taco truck. The tacos I had there (beef and chicken) were very flavorful and I was a big fan of the slaw they topped each taco with. So when I found this recipe, I decided I would attempt my own.

The marinade for the meat turned out very well and I found that I had all of the ingredients already in my fridge and/or cabinet. My only change to this would be to get the pre-packaged cole slaw and add the slaw mixture to that directly, as opposed to buying the napa cabbage. Not only would it have been easier and cheaper, I think it would have been a bit better.

Korean Beef Tacos (serves 4)


  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 5 TB lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 TB chile paste (such as sambal oelek)
  • 1 TB fresh lime juice
  • 1 TB dark sesame oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 ounces flank steak, sliced against the grain into thin strips
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 3 TB sliced green onions
Pickled Cabbage
  • 3 cups chopped napa cabbage (or coleslaw mix)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 TB lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 TB sugar
  • 2 tsp chile paste


For pickled cabbage, place cabbage in a medium bowl with garlic. Bring vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and chile paste to a boil. Pour hot vinegar mixture over cabbage; toss. Let stand at least 30 minutes.

For tacos, combine sugar, soy sauce, chile paste, lime juice, oil and garlic in a shallow dish. Add steak to dish; cover. Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour, turning after 30 minutes.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Remove steak from marinade, and discard marinade. Thread steak onto 8 (8-inch) skewers; sprinkle with salt. Place skewers on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 2 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Grill tortillas 30 seconds on each side or until lightly charred; keep warm. Place 2 tortillas on each of 4 plates, and divide steak evenly among tortillas. Top tacos with cabbage and sprinkle with onions.

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