Since Korean food works great with Tex-mex I wanted to try Korean-style tacos again! Usually “kalbi” refers to Korean BBQ short ribs but I really wanted to try the kalbi marinade on skirt steak since it’s a great meat for tacos. The marinade consists of ginger, soy sauce, sesame seeds, and asian pears so it was really easy to throw together. If you can’t find asian pears I think it would be alright to substitute in regular pears. I marinated the steak for about an hour before grilling. I used a flat pan to saute the beef at a high temperature, but I’m sure grilling the beef would be a great way to get extra flavor. The tacos were really tasty! I loved the sear on the beef along with the flavors of the kalbi marinade. I really enjoyed the sweet and savory kalbi beef with the tangy sesame soy dressing. I topped the tacos with chopped tomatoes, a cilantro lime salsa and sesame soy sauce dressing.
Just a disclaimer to twenty somethings: this is not your college ramen experience! Korea has its own version of Japanese Ramen and you can eat it with all sorts of different toppings. I loaded the soup with a hard boiled egg, peas, green onions, sauteed mushrooms, cilantro and of course kimchi. Korea has had a long love affair with kimchi and I have had my own mini infatuation going on here in California for a while now. The kimchi spices mixes in with the broth and blanches a bit in the hot soup. I used the ‘Hakubaku’ brand of ramen noodles which had a really nice consistency and thickness. I wouldn’t recommend using the ‘top ramen’ noodles but it would probably do in a pinch if you can’t find the hakubaku brand in stores. I really liked how all the condiments mixed together with the noodles and broth. It was definitely the best ramen I have ever eaten!
Ever since I first made kimchi and gochujang I have been infatuated with those ingredients. Kimchi reminds me a little of sauerkraut so I had the idea of making a Korean inspired grilled cheese sandwich. Instead of grilling the chicken breasts, I decided to boil them which resulted in nicely shredded chicken. Then I tossed the shredded chicken in a simple Korean marinade of gochujang, soy sauce, ginger, and honey. The chicken was layered with kimchi, sharp cheddar cheese, and gochujang mayo. The result was a delicious, melty chicken sandwich that was spicy and sweet. All the flavors were perfectly balanced with each other and came together so well!
For Cinco de Mayo I have been trying some tex-mex dishes with an injection of Korean flavors. So far I have been enjoying these recipes a lot. This recipe is all about the combination of spicy and sour flavors. The grilled chicken and salsa bring the spiciness while the cucumber relish brings the sour and sweet. The creamy avocado and queso fresco mellow everything out and the result is a really tasty burrito. It wasn’t hard to assemble but prepping the fillings beforehand does take time. To make it easier, I made the red salsa days earlier which shortened the prep time by an hour or so. I would recommend marinating the chicken for a few hours before grilling so the flavors can come together. Garnishing the burrito with a little lime juice at the end helps prevent the avocado slices from browning.
This recipe was inspired by the Mexican pickled red onions that I had made for the Cochinita Pibil Tacos. This time I wanted to try a Korean/tex-mex fusion so I experimented with the ingredients and came up with a cucumber and red onion relish marinated in rice vinegar and apple cider vinegar. The relish was pretty bitter from the vinegars so I mellowed it with honey. Then I added the zest and juice of a lime which really added a nice touch to the relish. It turns out that it’s surprisingly easy to pickle veggies. I let the veggies sit in the vinegar for a couple hours and they came out just a little bit pickled with lots of flavor from the vinegar and lime. The result was a great condiment for the Korean Grilled Chicken Burritos.
When I decided to make Korean/Tex-mex food the first thing I thought of were tacos. They are so easy to load up with any ingredient you like. I settled on pork shoulder for the meat filling along with two different salsas: a red salsa flavored with fresh ginger and sesame seeds and a refreshing cilantro and lime salsa. Then I decided on kimchi, a Korean fermented cabbage and crumbled queso fresco to complete it. The result was a delicious taco loaded with great toppings. The pork was cooked on low heat for about 2 hours which resulted in meat that fell off the bone. The pork was spicy and sweet which went along great with the red salsa and kimchi. The cilantro and lime salsa provided a nice crunch and the lime juice went along nicely with the other fillings. All the flavors worked so well together and I look forward to making this again!
Kimchi is a Korean dish made with fermented Napa Cabbage, Red Pepper, and Garlic. I have heard a lot of good things about Kimchi and I couldn’t wait to try it. The red pepper is a Korean crushed red pepper called gochugaru and can be found in Korean or asian markets. The fish sauce is easy to find and most grocery stores carry it. Kimchi is great as a condiment or a side dish for many different Korean foods. The cabbage needs about a week to ferment and once that’s done you can enjoy it! Kimchi is fairly spicy and has a really unique flavor. The great thing about Kimchi is that the more it ages the better it gets so you can make a large batch and keep it in the refrigerator for about a month.
It has been in my head for a few days to try some tex-mex/Korean fusion dishes. This salsa is a great start because it combines elements of Korean cooking in a standard tomato based salsa. This recipe is anything but standard as the flavors are really dynamic and tasty! It takes a little bit longer to prepare as the tomatoes, jalapenos, and tomatillos roast for about 15 minutes. Gochujang is used in this salsa, giving it a nice spicy/smoky flavor. The garlic, ginger, sesame oil and seeds also provide great flavors in this salsa. After roasting everything, the ingredients are strained and thrown in a food processor or blender to puree.
Gochujang is a fermented chili paste made from red pepper powder and is used in a lot of Korean dishes. The great thing about this recipe is that it makes a lot and can be stored for up to a year in the refrigerator. It isn’t too hard to make, but it does take some time to acquire the right ingredients. I could not find soybean flour/powder at the local grocery store so I bought it at an asian market instead. Malt powder is the same thing as “malted milk powder” which can be found at the grocery store. Glutinous rice powder is the same as rice flour and I bought the “mochiko” brand which worked nicely. I am letting the jars sit out in the sun for a few days to ferment and age properly. Right away, the gochujang had a nice spicy and sweet flavor so I can only expect it to get better with age.
There is still time to celebrate summer with this spicy Korean BBQ pork. This recipe has all the elements of a good barbeque with the added seasoning of gochujang and Korean BBQ sauce. The sauces provide the perfect barbeque flavors of sweet, tangy, and savory. The pork is slow cooked for 8 hours so the meat should fall apart from the bone. Pork shoulder has turned into my favorite cut of pork simply because of the transformation it goes through after cooking it slowly. The pulled pork turned out really tender and easily shredded into a delicious BBQ sandwich. Topping with coleslaw is also a must for this recipe!