There’s a trick to combining two cuisines & making your own thing

By / Food / December 12th, 2016 / 5

Living in Toronto, I’m fortunate to be exposed to many different cultures. And, despite the fact that there are multitudes of dining options — all of which I like — I find myself often reverting back to Asian cuisine. I love Japanese, Chinese is great, Thai is a weekly staple, but most recently Korean has entered the mix.

After being out one night and having some fantastic kimchi and bibimbap, my wife and I were inspired to recreate this at home. We started poring through recipes, and found a delicious Korean pork-belly nacho dish. This was the starting point for various Korean dishes; despite the fact that the first attempt at the nachos was an unheralded failure, our spirits were not crushed.

A common staple, I realized, was cabbage in various forms. Since I’m still not ready to tackle kimchi, we researched and stumbled upon the concept of adding coleslaw to our cooking. We were eating many of these foods and similar flavour combos already, but hadn’t combined them all into one dish. And so from that was born this delicious combo. At first we decided to put it on nachos, since it all started there anyway — it was a replacement to our standard Nacho Supreme (nachos but with fries, not chips; a delicious fast-food delight in its own right). After the first meal it was evident, we needed something else. That’s where the tacos came in.

I like to add some fresh vegetables when I make them (green onions, shallots, cilantro) to still have some of the traditional taco feel. But if I have the time, and more importantly, when I remember to make it ahead of time, I like to serve these with freshly picked vegetables (cucumber, carrots and shallots). This replaces the acid of a lime in a traditional taco and seems to take this version to the next level.

korean-style tacos

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 lbs ground beef
2 cups coleslaw mix
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sambal (or sriracha)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
12-16 fresh tortillas

Heat oil in a large pan over high heat. Add onion; cook for 1 minute. Add garlic and cook for 1/2 min. Add ground beef and cook for 5 minutes.

Add coleslaw mix and turn heat down to medium; stir to combine. Add rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, soy, and sambal. Still well and cook for additional 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper, or extra sambal/sriracha to taste. Add sesame seeds and take off heat.

Heat up tortillas to soften as per package directions.

Place meat mixture in warm tortillas. Serve and enjoy.

Match: A light lager will work well — like the Mill Street Organic.


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