Kimchi Tacos


Born out of Los Angeles’ Koreatown, kimchi tacos—which substitute the fiery flavors of kimchi for the traditional salsa—epitomize the city’s hipster food scene. L.A. chef Roy Choi popped up with his Kogi taco truck in 2008, and wherever the truck went, fans would follow, stalking its whereabouts on Twitter and flocking to the truck like teenage groupies running after Jon Bon Jovi’s limo in the ’80s. Roy was right to bring his fusion tacos to the neighborhood; L.A. is home to the largest concentration of Koreans outside of Asia, but even more Hispanics live in Koreatown than Koreans! So you see, tortillas and kimchi were destined to become good friends. What could be more authentically fusion?


2 tablespoons sugar

¼ cup gochujang chili paste

¼ cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil

2 teaspoons rice vinegar

Vegetable oil, for the grate

1 pound beef short ribs, cut LA Galbi–style, deboned, and marinated (see page 132 for explanation and marinade)

8 corn tortillas

2 cups kimchi 

Chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for serving

Lime wedges, for serving

In a small bowl, make the taco sauce by combining the sugar, gochujang, soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar. Stir well and set aside.

Heat a charcoal or gas grill and oil the grate. Sear the beef to medium-rare, about 2 minutes on each side; then let it rest for
5 minutes. Slice the meat diagonally across the grain into 1⁄2-inch- thick pieces.

Heat the tortillas by wrapping them in a clean damp towel and microwaving them for 30 seconds, or by giving them a quick turn on the grill, about 30 seconds per side.

Divide the meat pieces among the warmed tortillas. To serve, top each one with kimchi, taco sauce, chopped cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.