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Galbi Tacos

4 March 2010 2,539 views Add a Comment

Yes, indeed – another food trend… You really haven’t earned your stripes as a food nut unless you’ve been through a Korean taco phase. The darling of the mobile food truck world, Korean-inspired tacos are easy enough to make at home – and my favorite part – NO RULES!

Galbi Tacos

Galbi tacos with roasted corn, yellow tomato and basil “salsa”

Galbi (pronounced “kai bee” – Korean for “rib”) are typically marinated and grilled (galbi gui) or braised (galbi jjim). We’re going with grilled here. My local Asian markets always have beautiful, marbled ribs, but if you don’t have an Asian market nearby, you can ask your butcher to cut short ribs across the bone into flanken ribs, about 1/2″ thick.


Flaken ribs

The marinade is simple, and the longer you let it sit, the better (8-12 hours is optimal). There are a million variations, but this should get you started:

  • 1 cup light soy
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice wine
  • 6 or so garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 tbsp ginger (minced)
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 Korean pear (finely chopped)
  • Juice of 1/2 lime (optional – I’ve seen everything from mirin to Sprite added – feel free to play around)


The marinade

After a good soak, slap them on the grill and watch them like a hawk – they cook fast and all of that sugar loves to burn if you don’t watch it. After grilling, slice the meat from the bones and cut into bite-sized strips. Honestly, the taco part is a bit gratuitous – you’re lucky if you don’t just eat them all as soon as they come off the grill – but in the name of being thorough:

  • 2-3 ears of corn (preferably Silver Queen), roasted in husk on grill
  • 1 tomato, diced (any color will do)
  • ~ 1tbsp chopped basil (grow your own!)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • balsamic or red wine vinegar (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • salt (to taste)


On the grill

Cut kernels from corn by placing one end of the cob on a large plate or in a wide bowl and run the knife down the cob – you’ll have minimal escapage of stray kernels that way. (Yes, I made up “escapage” – I don’t think it appears in either Larousse or Escoffier...)

Blend olive oil, vinegar and honey, then mix with corn, tomatoes and basil.

Briefly warm tortillas on the grill. If you like a little heat (and have it), spread a little gochujang (korean chili paste) onto the tortilla and cover with salsa,top with sliced galbi and finish with a squeeze of lime.

Enjoy. (I love recipes that end with a presumptive imperative…)

What other cross-cultural food trends have you found? Tell us about them in the comments!

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Submitted by: BuHi

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