Tofu and Kimchi Mandu (Korean Dumplings)

Tofu Kimchi Dumplings7`5

I am a big fan of finger foods and this recipe for little pan fried Korean dumplings can’t be beat! The dumplings are filled with tofu, white beans, kimchi, garlic, ginger and other flavorful ingredients! It all comes together tucked in a gyoza wrapper and sauteed. The recipe makes a lot of dumplings so I had no problem having this as a main course though it works perfectly as an appetizer. I served the dumplings with a savory Korean dipping sauce which paired together very nicely! If you prep the dumplings the night before it works great for a weeknight meal.

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Korean BBQ Chicken Tacos with Coleslaw and Sriracha Sour Cream


What draws me to taco recipes is the symphony of flavors from the meats, condiments and sauces.  I have never eaten Korean tacos from a food truck but I would hope that they might be like something like this: barbeque style chicken with crunchy coleslaw and spicy sour cream.

These tacos kick everything up a notch in terms of flavor and texture. The chicken is marinated ‘Dak Bulgogi‘ style with a sweet and savory sauce, grilled until caramelized. The coleslaw is a play on American coleslaw, using Napa cabbage (as used in Kimchi) with fish sauce, green onion, sriracha, and mirin. As the chicken is marinating in the sauce, prep the coleslaw and sriracha sour cream and leave it to chill. That way you’ll have everything you’ll need to assemble the tacos after grilling the chicken. The best way to make tacos is just having everything done so that you can time your dinner perfectly and not be scrambling at the last minute! I loved these tacos and will definitely make them again soon.

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Dak Bulgogi (Korean BBQ Chicken)


I’ve been looking for a versatile sauce for meats and stirfries. This recipe is all about the marinade which is sweet, savory and a little bit spicy. The sauce is deceptively simple, but yields complex flavors. It’s also versatile since I’ve made a few stirfries with it to delicious results! This recipe is great for those who love Korean BBQ but don’t eat red meat. I used a whole chicken (6 pieces) and marinated them for a few hours before grilling.

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Tofu and Kimchi Noodle Soup

Tofu and Kimchi Noodle SoupAnyone who has ever tried kimchi knows how addictive and delicious it is. I’m always finding new ways to incorporate it into recipes. Kimchi is a great addition to soups since the juice and flavor enhances the broth and turns it a pretty red color.  This recipe is really easy to put together and doesn’t take long to prepare.  For a few extra veggies I threw in mushrooms and bean sprouts, though i’m sure there are loads of other veggies you could add that would work great.  I made the soup on the spicy side with added gochujang paste along with a healthy amount of sriracha as garnish.

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Korean Kalbi Beef Tacos with Cilantro Lime Salsa

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.

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Korean Ramen with Kimchi and Sauteed Mushrooms

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!

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Pulled Chicken Sandwich with Kimchi and Gochujang Mayo

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!

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Korean Grilled Chicken Burrito with Pickled Onion & Cucumber Relish

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.

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Pickled Red Onion and Cucumber Relish

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.

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Korean Pulled Pork Tacos with Kimchi and Queso Fresco

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!

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