Asian Pear

The Food Truck That Ate Los Angeles; Kimchi Tacos

February 11, 2010
4 Ratings
  • Serves 6
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.

What You'll Need
  • 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
  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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • boulangere
  • susan g
    susan g
  • pierino
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.

11 Reviews

boulangere February 28, 2013
P.S. Roy Choi makes me dream of buying a food truck.....
boulangere February 28, 2013
Have since found a reliable kimchee source. Love seeing these beauties come around again. Heaven on a plate.
boulangere December 27, 2011
Making this tonight with leftover pork roast. Also serving an Asian slaw on the side.
boulangere December 27, 2011
Actually, started out to make last night, but nearest grocery store was out of Kimchee. In Billings, Montana.
pierino December 27, 2011
So, did you finally track down kimchi in Montana?
susan G. June 4, 2011
To see kimchee making, watch The Grand Chef, a Korean TV series (we got it from Netflicks). It's a drama set in a high end restaurant, and over time you can see fishing, salt harvesting, kitchen scenes, much more. Then, even if you don't make your own, you can approach the Korean food truck on solid ground.
pierino June 5, 2011
I foresee Korean as the next wave in American restaurant cooking. What's frustrating is that there are so damn few references to turn to in book form. You can find recipes for kalbi (which my dish is based on), bulgogi, and bipimbap but not much else. Chef was actually nominated for a Beard award this year---Best Chef Pacific---and has finally moved into a brick and mortar restaurant in Culver City.
boulangere June 4, 2011
If as many of us who lust after a food truck to call our own had one, we probably could eat up LA. Never made my own kimchi, but I lust to make this.
pierino May 17, 2011
Could I just add that I'm wildly crazy about food trucks right now. I love the whole business model.
boulangere June 4, 2011
Me too. It's comparable to tiny houses. Serious lust.
pierino February 12, 2010
I would encourage anyone to make their own kimchi from whatever cabbage or radish you like. It should take you about four or five days so no recipe included here for this challenge. I can find a plethora of kimchi in Asian markets locally so this is what I use.