Daeji Bulgogi Tacos 불고기

I am really not that into “fusion cuisine”. I’m not really against it, but I rarely experiment with cooking fusion stuff. In fact, if I am cooking the cuisine of another culture, I do my best to be as authentic as possible. This crazy combo was an accident. I had made Daeji Bulgogi a few days before (I try for a 48-72 hour marinade if I can. 24 minimum) and wanted to eat it for dinner. Only one problem–rice. I didn’t have any microwave rice on hand. I also didn’t have 2 hours to soak my rice to make it Korean style–and I was even too lazy to make jasmine rice. I did have soft corn taco shells. So I tried it and it was pretty darn good, so the next time I made it, I wrote it up.

  • 1/2 pound or so Daeji Bulgogi, click for that recipe
  • 1/2 onion (red or sweet), make 1/2 inch slices, then quarter
  • 1-2 jalapenos, sliced
  • 1/2 zucchini, sliced the same thickness as the jalapenos
  • 1 tablespoon Korean red pepper paste (gochujang) mixed with 1 tablespoon of water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Remove the uncooked pork and discard the marinading vegetables and juice. Make sure you have the vegetables prepped and ready.

This next part is my attempt to describe a method for stove top frying of bulgogi (for tacos or with rice). You do not have to do it this way. You can just fry it with lower heat, it will still be good–but this method makes it kick-ass! Make sure you have a lid that fits tightly and fire extinguisher handy for any flare ups. DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT use a non-stick pan for this method. Non-stick is actually non-toxic until you raise the temperature to over 500 degrees. That’s right, if you use medium-high and lower heat and you will get no bad toxins/fumes from a non-stick pan. Also, high heat destroys the non-stick surface. So don’t do that.

Preheat a stainless steel or cast iron on your highest setting–with the lid on. And I mean crank that sucker all the way up and let it heat for several minutes. It needs to be smoking-ass hot. Before it’s all the way heated I put some peanut oil in, enough to cover the surface (about 1 tablespoon or two). Be careful when adding the oil, if you have a thin steel pan and a very hot range top, the oil could ignite–you don’t want it THAT hot. (If that happens, cover immediately and the fire will go out–remove from heat too.)

When the oil is smoking–as in it’s about to burn–add the pork. Stir it like crazy. You will see some of the marinade coating the pork start to burn–that’s OK. If you think it’s burning too much remove from the heat for a moment. The pan should cool down fairly quickly. Once it’s cooled a bit and no longer burning, using your spatula (I like bamboo “stir fry” ones for this), grab pieces of meat and move them over the areas where the juice had burned and stuck to the pan. This is basically deglazing your pan with meat. (I will try to get someone to take a video of this technique next time I make the dish.)

After about a minutes add the vegetables, hot pepper paste/water mixture and sugar. Stir all around, finish deglazing the pan and coating everything. Cover until done. Probably only a few minutes if you like your veggies al-dente. Don’t worry about the pork not being cooked. It’ll be done, trust me.

You need to prepare soft corn tortillas as they are not really “cooked” yet. You can heat them in a dry pan (instructions should be on the packet) or you can grill them right on your gas range–see the picture above–a medium heat setting. Use metal tongs to keep moving the tortilla around and flipping it so it doesn’t burn–kind of like you might roast a bell pepper. To serve, just place some of the bulgogi mixture on a tortilla and eat.


About Joe Graff

President and co-owner of DC based design studio, icon werx, inc. Lived in Thailand for 8+ years (2003-2011). Rheumatoid arthritis and triple joint replacement patient.
This entry was posted in Korean, Main Dish, Mexican, Pork and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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