The Korean Taco is the rare fusion recipe that not only works, it works FLAWLESSLY.
Originating in a food truck out of LA, this is street food that hits every flavor profile – spicy, salty, sweet, herbaceous and umami all caressing your palate in a single bite.
Korean tacos are a Korean-Mexican fusion dish popular in a number of urban areas in the United States and Canada. Korean tacos originated in Los Angeles, often as street food, consisting of Korean-style fillings, such as bulgogi and kimchi, placed on top of small traditional Mexican corn tortillas. Korean burritos are a similarly themed dish, using larger flour tortillas as a wrap.
Although nearly any savory dish can, has, and will be used as filling for a taco, burrito, or wrap, and other restaurants have occasionally served dishes they called Korean tacos, the popularity of the dish is generally traced to the use of Twitter by the proprietors of the Kogi Korean BBQ, a food truck in Los Angeles, California, to announce their schedule and itinerary.
The idea of making Korean tacos came to owner Mark Manguera after an unsuccessful search of Los Angeles’ Koreatown for carne asada tacos. In its first year of operation, Kogi generated an estimated $2 million of revenue.
Korean taco trucks later appeared in Portland, Oregon (the “KOI Fusion” truck), Austin, Texas (the Chi’Lantro BBQ truck), and Seattle, Washington (“Marination Mobile”, whose spicy pork Korean taco earned them Good Morning America’s Best Food Truck in America).
In San Francisco the dish was popularized in 2009 by Namu Restaurant’s Happy Belly food cart in Golden Gate Park, later moving to a farmers market food stand at the San Francisco Ferry Building. The dish’s popularity led mainstream fast food chain Baja Fresh to test market Korean tacos as a menu item in California, with plans to introduce the dish to hundreds of locations nationwide.
By 2010, restaurants and food trucks serving Korean tacos had appeared across the country including Austin, Chicago, St. Louis, Washington, DC and throughout the East Coast of the United States.
In April 2010, Food & Wine magazine named Roy Choi, the chef of the original Kogi’s, one of its annual “Best New Chefs”. It was the first time a food truck chef had been nominated for the award.
I wish I could say this was my recipe – but it’s not. It’s from the Lady and Pups blog and is a truly stellar attempt at recreating the secret recipe of the original truck. I have made only two minor changes, noted in the recipe below.
I hope you enjoy this, my citizens – it is truly toothsome. 🙂 Enjoy it with this other classic Korean dish for a complete and delicious meal!
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