Friday, August 16, 2013

Lunch Week 28: Korean Tacos

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Korean Tacos
The whole Korean and Mexican fusion cuisine has been really hot. It all started with Roy Choi in Los Angeles and the Kogi food truck. Who knew that the combination of bold Korean flavors would work so well with fresh Mexican ingredients? Oh wait, Roy Choi did. Anyway, for lunch this week, I made Korean tacos with galbi and kimchi.

First the kimchi. I used Maangchi's emergency kimchi recipe to make a quick kimchi. However, instead of savoy cabbage, I used napa cabbage since it's more tender. Below, I shredded the napa cabbage then salted it so that a lot of the water would be released.
After salting and sitting, I rinsed off the cabbage and let it drain. Then I added julienned carrots and scallions.
Then I made the hot sauce paste with hot pepper flakes, garlic, sugar, and fish sauce.
I added the hot sauce mixture to the vegetables and mixed thoroughly.
For the flanken cut short ribs, I marinated it overnight in a bbq galbi sauce.
Then I set it under the broiler on low for about 15 minutes until browned and the sugars had caramelized a bit. Let cool then slice into small pieces.
To assemble, I used soft flour tortillas, then added the kimchi and galbi on top. Lastly, some cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Some avocado would work really well here too but I couldn't find any ripe one.
This lunch was pretty damn good. I really enjoyed the spiciness and pungency of the kimchi which still remained crunchy. The galbi was fatty and meaty with a sweet savory flavor. The cilantro and lime added a really nice freshness and the proper about of acid to just lighten things up.

Recipe below is courtesy of Maangchi

Emergency Kimchi
Cabbage, salt, hot pepper flakes, fish sauce, sugar, garlic, green onions, and carrot.

Cut 2 pounds of cabbage into thin strips about 2-3 inches in length and ¼ inch wide. Place into a large bowl.
Add 1 cup cold water and ¼ cup kosher salt. Mix it well with your hands to properly salt the cabbage.
Set aside for 10 minutes.

Make kimchi paste by mixing these ingredients in a bowl:
1/3 cup hot pepper flakes,
1 tbs sugar,
¼ cup fish sauce,
¼ cup minced garlic,
3-4 stalks of chopped green onion (1/3 cup worth),
¼ cup’s worth of julienned carrot

Wash and rinse the salted cabbage in cold water a couple of times. Drain the water.

Mix the kimchi paste into the cabbage thoroughly. Put the kimchi into a container, jar, or plastic bag.

Press the top of the kimchi down with your hands to protect your kimchi from being exposed to too much air.

You can eat it right away, just like salad. Or keep it at room temperature and it will ferment in a few days. Fermented kimchi can be used for kimchi stir-fried rice or kimchi stew, and it will be delicious.

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