mains, recipes

Korean BBQ Tacos

The final project for culinary school involved creating a menu and serving it to the public.  My biggest contribution to it was this Korean BBQ Taco recipe, which features everything homemade, like the corn tortillas, the tofu filling, and the kimchi.  Those are then served together along with a slice of avocado, some cilantro and toasted sesame seeds for a salty-rich-tangy-spicy affair that I adore.

When it comes to corn tortillas, there really is no comparison from storebought to homemade.  Homemade ones are soft and flexible, and only use three ingredients (water, corn flour, and salt), and they’re not hard to make if you’ve got plastic wrap, a rolling pin, and 10 minutes to spare.  Even if they don’t come out with a perfect round edge (as mine certainly didn’t), they still work just fine.

As for the homemade kimchi, I walked you through that whole thing in the last blog post.  Buying high-quality, unpasteurized, and vegan kimchi is not always easy, and if it is easy, it’s usually pricey.  But the cost of cabbage, ginger and garlic is dirt cheap, and really only requires 20-30 minutes of effort.

But the tofu, of course, is the star of the show!  I marinated it in a ham-like mixture (adapted from Taymer’s Holiday Ham), baked it, and then tossed it with a Korean-style BBQ-sauce.  Really nothing complicated, but it’s got tons of flavor.  I bet you could even skip the marinating step if you really wanted – it wouldn’t be quite as flavorful, but there’s enough going on in this recipe to more than compensate.

Korean BBQ Tacos

For the tofu marinade:

4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons pineapple juice (or whole pineapple, crushed)
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon tamari
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Black pepper, to taste

1 block firm tofu, pressed and shredded (use a box grater)

Combine all ingredients (except tofu) in a shallow pan and let marinate for 30 minutes -1 hour.  Heat the oven to 350 F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and spread the tofu mixture on it.  Bake until golden, about 45 minutes, flipping every 15 minutes or so.

For the Korean BBQ sauce:

1/4 cup tamari
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce (like sriracha)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
1/2 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

In a small saucepan, bring the tamari, maple syrup, chili-garlic sauce, garlic powder and rice wine vinegar to a boil.  In a separate bowl, combine the arrowroot with the water, and stir into the boiling sauce mixture.  Cook until thickened, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat and stir in the sesame oil.

For assembly:

Baked tofu (above)
Korean BBQ sauce (above)
10-12 corn tortillas, warmed
1 avocado, sliced
6 tablespoons kimchi
Small handful cilantro, roughly chopped
1 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Toss the baked tofu with the BBQ sauce.  Place a slice of avocado on the middle of a taco shell, followed by a spoonful of the tofu mixture, and roughly 1/2 tablespoon kimchi.  Garnish with chopped cilantro and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

These tacos are hearty and spicy, and yet somehow still fit into a summertime menu.  I love the pulled pork texture of the tofu (quite similar to the pulled pork buns we did a week ago), and adventurous omnivores approve as well.

Well guys, we might not be around for brunch this weekend since we’re out of town, but rest assured we will be eating lots of good stuff.  And I wish you all good eats as well!

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  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/09808077876445841179 coconutandberries

    Believe it or not I've never had either 'kraut or kimchi! Looking at these korean tacos I definitely need to change that.
    Hope the whole final project went well.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/06631140173063582288 xvavaveganx

    Wow, these are gorgeous!! I've never had korean bbq but I bet these would be a great place to start! Yum!

    Have a great weekend!

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/15887621874869110597 Kari

    If these were available to buy near me…I'd be buying them 🙂 Seriously, they look amazing! I love the sound of the tofu. I think I'm just going to have to make them!

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/01541085454822240908 urban vegan

    Amaze-balls. I love Korean food <3

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/11490816021651698189 Jolene – EverydayFoodie

    Ooooooooooooooooh yeah!!! Korean food is the greatest, and I love that you made everything from scratch. Mmmmmmm!

    We made a couple of your recipes this morning 🙂

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/00589414740603993442 foodfeud

    Oh man these look incredible! I've been eating a kimchi/tempeh bacon/avo collard wrap recently that is probably similar but I BET the homemade tortillas are really a game changer. I tried to make them once but they didn't really work for me. Kinda fell apart.
    I missed yr kimchi post but I'll take a look. I love it the stuff but it does get expensive.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/17066424084187434409 Joey

    If I were your public, I'd be ordering these by the truckload. I would love a load of kimchi and avocado right now. Do you do delivery?!

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/03361314949001991348 Maggie Muggins

    I've only tried kimchi for the first time this year and I'm totally a fan! Sweet baby jebus these sounds amazing! If you had a food truck I'd be that weird person always lingering around right before you open so I could be the first in line.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/12412026313234271892 Jared Bigman

    This sounds phenomenal, Allysia! I'm sure it went over really well for your project.