Week 10, Meal 2: Korean steak tacos with tomatillo salsa and kimchi sour cream

Our next recipe during fusion tacos week is arguably the most popular one since the food truck explosion began, and I’d argue that our Week 10, Meal 2: Korean steak tacos can stand up to the best in class. Honestly, this taco out and out beats some of the food truck fare I’ve had.

Make this when you’re craving Kogi, but don’t want to deal with long lines, heavy-handed slaw use and bad attitudes.

The Recipe (Yield: 2 servings)

6 corn tortillas

Marinated Steak
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 T honey
1 T mirin (rice wine)
3 scallions
1 T sesame oil
1 T vegetable oil
12 oz. skirt or flat iron steak

Tomatillo Salsa
2 t vegetable oil
4 tomatillos, husked and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 t soy sauce
4 t sesame oil
2 t fish sauce
2 t ginger, minced or grated
2 T honey
2 serrano pepper, seeded and diced
4 scallions, chopped
2 lime, juiced
4 t chopped cilantro
salt and pepper, to taste

Kimchi sour cream
1/4 cup kimchi
1/2 cup light or non fat sour cream

Garnish
napa cabbage, sliced
cilantro leaves, stemmed

Start by making the marinade for the meat. In a plastic container, combine 1 clove of garlic, 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 2 T of honey, 1 T of mirin, 3 green onions, 1 T sesame oil, 1 T vegetable oil and 12 oz. skirt or flat iron steak.

Let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. The meat will suck up all of the ingredients, and the longer you let it marinate, the more concentrated those delicious flavors will become.

When you’re ready to cook, take the meat out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature while you prepare the salsa.

Prep the tomatillo salsa in two parts. Start by combining 4 t of soy sauce, 4 t sesame oil, 2 t fish sauce, 2 T of honey and the juice of 2 limes.

Chop 4 tomatillos, 4 green onions and 4 t of cilantro. Seed and dice 2 serrano peppers and mince 2 cloves of garlic and 2 t of ginger.

Now would be a good time to preheat the grill to high, by the way.

In a medium saute pan, heat 2 t of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add tomatillos, garlic, green onions, serrano peppers and ginger. Cook until the tomatillos are soft, about 3 minutes.

Put the cooked veggies in a blender with the liquid ingredients and chopped cilantro and puree. We put the salsa in the fridge while we made the rest of the meal, so the salsa would be mostly cool by the time we needed it.

Grill the meat over high heat for 3-4 minutes per side. When you’re done grilling the meat, make sure to let it rest for 5-8 min. before you slice it.

Next, make the kimchi sour cream. You’ll need a blender again, so wash out the salsa and toss 1/4 cup of kimchi in a blender with HALF of the 1/2 cup of sour cream.

Mix the pureed kimchi with the remaining half of sour cream, which will immediately thicken the sauce.

As a final step, thinly slice strips off a head of napa cabbage and chop some more cilantro for garnish.

Now would be the time to heat your corn tortillas as well.

Once the meat has rested, cut down the meat into strips WITH THE GRAIN. Then, cut those strips against the grain to make small strips of beef that will be easy to chew.

To plate: Top each tortilla with 1 1/2-2 oz. of beef, salsa, cabbage, kimchi sour cream and cilantro.

This taco is simply made, and greatly worth the effort. The incredibly sweet, succulent meat is balanced by the acidic salsa and sour kimchi sauce. Even if this did come from a truck, I’d probably stand in line for it.

Thanks to Chef Brian, however, I don’t have to do that anymore when the craving hits for Korean tacos.

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3 thoughts on “Week 10, Meal 2: Korean steak tacos with tomatillo salsa and kimchi sour cream”

  1. This was good, an 8.5.

    Followed all instructions, and even the wife was stoked

    After plating 6 servings, I had half the tomatillo sauce left, and some beef. (my flatiron was about 20oz.).

    With all the tomatillo salsa left, I decided to put it back on the range and reduce it by half. This made the remaining sauce to a fluid paste.

    I plated 2 more tacos and ladled the tomatoillo paste on and consumed them in a vigorous manner. The reduction’s flavor was intense, and it really enhanced the flavor of the beef.

    I will make this recipe again, but reduce the tomatillo sauce by half, to almost a paste.

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