Who would have thought a girl’s trip to Las Vegas would have me obsessing over tacos!
Before we dig into these tacos, you may remember the girl’s on this trip from a previous post. Ramona P from How The Adventures Of Ramona P Got Me Blogging About Mac And Cheese. Cary and Ramona were also in the post for Ladies Night: Berbere Spirals, Jerk Chicken and Plantains.
Clearly, pictured is Britney’s wax figure at Madame Tussauds. We did see her live in concert on the last night we were in Vegas. This was the same night my obsession with Kalbi Kimchi Tacos from Fú Asian Kitchen at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino started.
Kalbi or Galbi is Korean for grilled ribs marinated in a sweet and savory sauce containing; soy sauce, sugar and garlic. Kimchi is a Korean side dish of salted and fermented vegetable. The vegetables often include napa cabbage and daikon radish.
The Magic Mike Live show has residency at the Hard Rock Hotel. Fú had a Magic Mike Special’s Menu. Who ever said, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” didn’t have these tacos. Oh.My.Gosh, they were the best thing I had in my mouth the whole trip. (Innuendo Intended)
I talked about these tacos for the next three days. My obsession turned into researching where to find Korean style short ribs. When I found a place, I packed up the family and drove up to the most fun Asian Market in our area, H Mart USA.
The hour it took for us to get to the market was worth the trip. I think I would learn to love grocery shopping if I lived near a store like this one. THEY HAD EVERTYHING! Seriously, they had six types of eggplant. We picked up some short ribs, housemade kimchi, fresh veggies, rose water and a variety of other things I can’t find in my grocery store.
By the time we reached the end of the store, I had a complete meal. There must have been 15 different food tastings throughout the grocery store. We sampled kimchi, shrimp, an array of seaweed, pot stickers, soup, yogurt flavored drinks, and more.
Several hours later I realized I must have had too much garlic and I started to feel very ill. I’m allergic to garlic. I know, tragic. I believe the kimchi was the culprit. Not sure why the tacos in Vegas didn’t affect me, but I realized I would have to change up my short rib taco experience just a touch.
KOREAN SHORT RIB TACOS:
This recipe will feed 6-8 adults 3-4 tacos. Each taco takes 2 bites to eat. Suggested sides to serve with the tacos: fried rice and pot stickers.
2.5 pounds of Korean Style Short Ribs*
1 cup of soy sauce
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 garlic clove, smashed (or minus the garlic if you are like me)
2 tablespoons of fresh ginger, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
1 cinnamon stick
A splash of pineapple juice or orange juice
1/2 cup water
Gochujang mayo, see recipe below
Asian Slaw, see recipe below
Mandarin pancakes or Mu Shu pancakes**
*Korean short ribs are cut differently than an English style short rib. They are thinly sliced across the bone for quick cooking.
THE MARINADE: Bring to a boil the soy sauce, sugars, garlic clove, ginger, pepper, cinnamon stick and pineapple juice. Once the sugars have dissolved, remove from the heat and let the sauce steep for about an hour.
Remove the cinnamon stick from the sauce and add 1/2 cup of water. This sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance. Marinate your meat for 4-6 hours in a tightly sealed container.
Heat up the grill and cook the meat for 1-2 minutes on each side. Stay close, this style of ribs cooks fast. Let the meat rest for a few minutes.
PREPARATION TIP: If you don’t have a grill, you can use a screaming hot cast iron pan to cook the meat. Same cooking instructions apply.
Chop the meat into tiny pieces and save the bones for a stock or a snack for later.
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1 tablespoon of Gochujang
1/2 lime, juiced
Mix together the ingredients in a small bowl. The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container for up to a week.
This stuff is wonderful on deli sandwiches!
1/2 Napa cabbage, sliced thin (green cabbage works here too, but use 1/4 of a large head)
1 carrot, julienned
1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced
3 scallions, sliced
1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 lime, juiced
1/4 cup of peanut butter
1 tablespoon of honey
In a large bowl, toss together the cabbage, carrots, red pepper and scallions.
In a food processor, blend the rest of the ingredients together. Make the sauce up to three days in advance. Dress the slaw before serving.
**Mandarin pancakes or Mu Shu pancakes are a thin pancake perfect for this tapas style taco. I called up my local Asian restaurant and picked up a pack from them. I couldn’t find them at the Asian market, but I am sure I wasn’t looking in the right place. I should’ve looked in the frozen section or asked for help.
Each pack had 10 pancakes and are too large for this style of taco. I cut each pancake into 3-3 inch circles.
BUILD THE TACOS:
1 pancake circle
1/4 teaspoon of Gochujang Mayo
1 small spoonful of sliced short ribs
1 forkful of Asian Slaw or Kimchi
I used the pot sticker recipe from Epicurious. I added some finely chopped mushrooms to the filling. The recipe also says the dumplings “should touch each other.” I would recommend you do not let them touch each other. They will stick together. Don’t forget the dipping sauce for the pot stickers, click here.
For the fried rice, I took the advice of Gimme Some Oven. Yum!
If you decided to make a most yummy fried rice, how about some homemade YUM YUM SAUCE. It’s ike the kind you get at a Japanese Steak House.
1 cup of mayonaisse
1/4 cup of ketchup
1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon of Penzey’s Smoked Spanish Paprika
1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar
Whisk all the ingredients together. Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week.