Korean Food USA is a new series that showcases Korean and Korean-inspired eateries all around the nation.
Owner Kamala Saxton (right) with her employees
Asian fusion food has been all the rage lately, but few have seen as much success as the Korean taco. Take our previous post on the flourishing Hankook Taqueria in Atlanta as a prime example. Seattle‘s version of the Korean taco is curated by Marination Mobile, a food truck specializing in Hawaiian-Korean cuisine. Owners Kamala Saxton and Roz Edison have perfected their business so much that Good Morning America declared Marination Mobile “America’s Best Food Truck.” Not a bad feat for two home cooks with no professional culinary training!
Marination Mobile’s key menu items are their tacos, sliders, kimchi fried rice, kimchi quesadilla, and SPAM musubi. Beverages include soda and Hawaiian Sun soft drinks, as well as beer. The store front mimics the close quarters of a food truck, and while there are a few stools and ledges to sit and eat, a mobile food experience is still promoted. Now, let’s take a closer look at some of these food items!
Marination’s savory tacos feature two soft corn tortillas stuffed with your choice of filling (kalbi, spicy pork, miso ginger chicken, or ‘sexy’ tofu) and topped with a pile of sweet slaw, adding a cool, zesty crunch to the otherwise warm dish. Pickled pepper slices and a wedge of lime come on the side. Add a drizzle of Sriracha to turn up the heat, if that’s your flavor.
Perhaps Marination’s most signature dish besides tacos are their sliders. Nestled inside of a sliced sweet bun are your choice of juicy shreds of kalua pork or a hunk of SPAM, topped with crunchy slaw. If the thought of eating SPAM makes you wary, it’s in your best interest to at least take a bite. After all, there’s a reason why SPAM is considered Hawaii’s unofficial food!
Take a traditional tortilla and cheese quesadilla, add a few bits of kimchi, and top with a handful of slaw and zesty sauce. this is Marination’s take on a classic snack, and it’s good to every last bite.
Kimchi Fried Rice
For their last signature dish, Marination takes another classic dish of fried rice and adds Korean ingredients to really maximize the flavor. Starting with a traditional fried rice base, kimchi is added, along with a fried egg and swirl of green onion and furikake to top it off. Vegetarians can eat the dish as is, or meat lovers can add savory kalbi for an added cost.
Marination Mobile has stimulated so much business that last April, a store front called Marination Station was opened in the Seattle neighborhood of Capitol Hill, while the truck continues to roam local neighborhoods. Another store front is planned to open in West Seattle this year.
Marination Mobile Locations
[Photos: Suzi Pratt for Eater Seattle]