Kalbi Tacos

Flanken short ribs are marinated in Korean-style sauce, seared on super high heat- then piled into corn tortillas with cucumber, scallions, and kimchi sauce. Kalbi (Galbi) tacos are super savory with a touch of heat. Korean barbecue in a taco.

yields 9 tacos (recommended 3 tacos per person)

Kimchi Sauce

This is an awesome condiment, perfect for a sandwich- and definitely these tacos.

Kalbi (Galbi): Korean BBQ Short Ribs

  • 1 1/2 lb flanken short ribs

  • 1/2 C soy sauce

  • 1/4 C brown sugar

  • 1 Asian pear cored and roughly chopped

  • 1 inch ginger root roughly chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves roughly chopped

  • 2 T mirin

  • 1 t sesame oil

  • 1 t gochujang (Korean red chile paste)

  • 1 T canola oil

  • 9 6” corn tortillas

Add all marinade ingredients (except the short ribs and canola oil) to a blender- blend until smooth. Marinade flanken short ribs in sauce 5 hours-overnight in fridge.

Remove ribs from fridge. Add canola oil to a large cast iron pan and set to high heat. Remove ribs from marinade and pat dry (discard excess marinade). Once the pan in extremely hot and the oil is shimmering- add short ribs to pan (can do in batches if necessary). Flip ribs after about 4-6 minutes- deep color and char should be present. Cook for another 4-6 minutes, then remove kalbi from pan, and set aside.

*Warm corn tortillas while kalbi is cooking: Preheat oven to 250°F. Dampen a clean kitchen towel, and wrap all the tortillas in the towel. Place the towel wrapped tortillas on a small sheet pan, and place into oven. They’ll be kept warm until the tacos are ready to assemble.

Kalbi Tacos Assembly

  • kalbi

  • 9 6” corn tortillas warmed in pan or in oven

  • 1 large cucumber julliened

  • 1 bunch of scallions thinly sliced

  • kimchi sauce

  • toasted sesame seeds

  • 1 lime cut into wedges

Remove the warmed tortillas from the oven. Place three tortillas on each tray or plate. Fill the tortillas with the kalbi. Tuck cucumber next to the Korean short ribs. Finish Kalbi Tacos with some kimchi sauce, scallions, and sesame seeds. Serve with lime wedges.


cocktail: Twig & Plums

beer: A barrel-aged imperial stout works nicely here.  The rich qualities of the stout compliment the char of the short ribs, while the sweet and round notes from barrel-aging amplify the same flavors from the marinade.  Some beers to look for: AleSmith Barrel-Aged Speedway Stout, Flying Dog Barrel-Aged Gonzo, New Holland Dragon's Milk, or Oskar Blues Barrel-Aged Ten Fidy.