How Do You Make Galbi Tacos?

David Lee, March 15, 2016, 7:47 a.m.


Korean-style tacos were made famous by a food truck in Los Angeles several years ago. Since then, food trucks selling Korean tacos have become a nation-wide trend in America. The idea is to place Korean barbecue meat on a Mexican corn tortilla topped with a mix of Korean and Mexican flavors. Here, I turned the traditionally marinated galbi (short ribs) into my version of a popular Korean-Mexican fusion dish. I paired the meat with a refreshing salsa made with kimchi, Korean pear and other crunchy vegetables. I used good amounts of cilantro and lime juice to incorporate Mexican flavors. I also created a gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste) sauce to give the tacos extra heat. There you have it -- delicious Korean-style tacos! 

For galbi (barbecue short ribs):

1.2 kilograms beef short ribs 
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup rice wine 
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 large Korean/Asian pear, grated
1/4 large onion, grated
3 scallions thinly sliced 
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Kimchi salsa:
1/2 cup diced kimchi
1/2 cup diced cucumber
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced red cabbage
1/2 cup diced Korean/Asian pear
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (more for garnish)
Juice from 1 lime 
Salt and pepper to taste

Gochujang sauce:

1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste)
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar (or to taste)
1 tablespoon ginger ale (or other soft drink or water)
10-12 corn tortillas


Mix all marinade ingredients well. Rinse the meat to wash off bone dust. Pound the meat slightly with a meat tenderizer. Marinate the meat for at least 6 hours or longer (overnight for best results). 

For making tacos, grill the meat turning only once, 2-3 minutes on each side, until nicely caramelized, and then roughly chop into small pieces. Or, cut the marinated meat into small pieces first and grill in a pan.

In a large bowl, toss all the salsa ingredients well.

In a small bowl, whisk together all the sauce ingredients until the sugar is dissolved and the sauce is smooth.

Heat the tortillas in a skillet over medium heat, about 30 seconds each side.

To assemble, place the meat on a tortilla and top with a spoonful of kimchi salsa and cilantro. Serve with the sauce on the side.

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