Asian Pear

The Food Truck That Ate Los Angeles; Kimchi Tacos

February 11, 2010
Author Notes

Kogi Truck Kimchi Tacos (I did it my way).
Someday Chef Roy Choi will be as famous as General Tso. Well, I tried to do it Chef Choi’s way. And here is what I came up with for your movie night with the Hurt Locker or the Team America DVD you’ve watched one hundred times with your spouse or your friends; or even “Kim Jong Il’s ‘Milestones in Party Cinema’”.
Chef Choi’s food trucks set the bar, and launched the avalanche of food trucks; this truly is the food truck that ate Los Angeles. This is high end food that travels to your curbside or to that hot club that makes you stand in a line 100 people long and won’t let you past the velvet rope---although they might these days, even you in the UCLA hoodie. The food trucks roll in and offer you great food in many styles, but Kogi is what made the movement happen in a giant way. The line for the truck is as long as for the club. Chef Choi, I’m not worthy, but I’m out to be Kung Fu Panda and challenge this task with my own deconstruction. I may not have the recipe down but the taco architecture is there. So here is what I did in trying to make a worthy movie feast for not much money.

  • Serves 6
  • 1 pound rib eye or skirt steak sliced very thin, or substitute pork scallops
  • 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons shao xing wine
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 knob of ginger, peeled and shaved thinly as possible
  • 1 or 2 scallions, thinly sliced, from the pale green part to the dark green part
  • 1/2 of one asian pear, pealed, cored and chopped. Go ahead and eat the other half while no one is looking
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 cups green cabbage, slivered and then chopped
  • 1 jar/package kimchi (at least 8 to 12 ounces), chop socky sliced
  • 12 small flour tortillas
  • Peanut oil for frying
  • Condiments for the snack table include: Chinese chili garlic sauce or Sriracha, more chopped scallions, toasted sesame seeds, hot pepper flakes or whatever you want to add
In This Recipe
  1. Begin by cutting the beef into taco sized portions.
  2. In a large bowl combine the soy sauce (see note to cook), shao xing, sesame oil, garlic, slivered ginger, asian pear, scallion, pepper and mix together
  3. Add the beef to this marinade and refrigerate for two hours. After this point assembly is quick and efficient and you can keep the tacos coming
  4. Heat up a wok and cover the bottom with peanut oil. When the oil begins to shimmer but not smoke cook your beef in individual serving portions
  5. Meanwhile have another dry pan hot and ready for you tortillas. Heat those through, and turn once. They should still be soft
  6. To plate; overlap two tortillas and top with beef, kimchi, and raw cabbage. Your guests can add their own preferred condiments
  7. Watch the movie
  8. Note to cook: depending on the brand, dark soy sauce can be very salty..almost to the point of overpowering the other flavors. So get in touch with your inner soy sauce to know what you are serving. This is important, Panda.

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Standup commis flâneur, and food historian. Pierino's background is in Italian and Spanish cooking but of late he's focused on frozen desserts. He is now finishing his cookbook, MALAVIDA! Can it get worse? Yes, it can. Visit the Malavida Brass Knuckle cooking page at Facebook and your posts are welcome there.