Korean Food USA is a new series that showcases Korean and Korean-inspired eateries all around the nation.
Look out Dallas, Korean tacos have officially landed. SsahmBBQ, a newly-minted food truck, has brought the NY and LA phenomenon to the Lone Star state. It’s a collaboration between two foodies, Joey Hong, the owner of a local Italian restaurant, and Andy Park, the son of parents who run an LA-based Korean BBQ restaurant. You could say that BBQ runs in the family… they’re bringing traditional family recipes back in a new and delicious way.
The truck is serving up tacos, quesadillas and burritos, served with your choice of beef, pork, chicken, or tofu. Tacos, a steal at $3 each, are topped with caramelized kimchi, cilantro and onion, salsa, and sesame soy vinaigrette salad. Burritos are concocted in a similar fashion, with the added topping of cilantro lime rice. The quesadillas combine two of the most perfect ingredients on earth, monterey jack & cheddar cheese with caramelized kimchi.
The kimchi fries are also a popular option not to be missed. Crispy hand cut fries slathered with spicy mayo, cilantro and onion, monterey jack and cheddar cheese, and caramelized kimchi are equal parts filling and delicious. Pork enthusiasts have the option of adding marinated spicy pork.
SsahmBBQ has already acquired quite the following, so smart eaters should line up early and come hungry!
From LA’s Kogi Truck to NYC-based Korilla BBQ, Korean tacos are all the rage these days. Even bulk food mecca Costco’s caught on to the trend with Korean Brand Beef Street Tacos from Bamboo Lane available at select stores! With this kit, foodies can make their own delicious tacos without even having to step foot out of the house.
The DIY kit comes with a few essential ingredients: beef strips in Korean BBQ sauce, shredded cheese, hand-pressed tortillas, and, of course, Sriracha hot sauce. Food prep consists of microwaving beef and tortillas separately, and quick assembly—folks, that’s dinner ready all under 5 minutes! For even tastier tacos, add some kimchi, lettuce, maybe even some salsa, and you’ve got a taco to rival the best of them.
There was a lot of buzz last week about the New York Times article about the new wave of Korean taco shops popping up as a result of Kogi Truck’s success. Well Roy Choi of Kogi Truck fame should realize that imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Korean Taco Trucks and Korean tacos are popping up on menus across America, but the real question is if it’s really a way for Korean food to become mainstream by going fusion. Korean food is still considered exotic so how can Korean food become more accepted like sushi and Thai food? Perhaps these fusion tacos (Mexican/Korean) introduces the flavors of Korean food which will ultimately pave the way for adopting the other delicacies that are popular like the tried and true kimchi. You can ask different Koreans and you’ll get different opinions on the possible mass acceptance of Korean food equal to other Asian cuisines but only time will tell. At least Korean tacos are a good start.
If you don’t know about the Kogi truck, then you’ve been living under a rock. Roy Choi and buds started humbly with a truck and an idea to cook and sell kogi tacos on the streets of LA. It’s taken the country by storm and it seems like everyone is trying to start-up a truck. Who would’ve thought that truck food could be so popular. It caused such a craze that now food trucks are covered for the first time by the new Zagat guide for 2010. We covered these guys back in January and who would’ve thought they would explode onto the food scene like they have. Walk down memory lane with a video from the Kogi guys on how it all started.
Get ready for some Kogi tacos at Baja Fresh. The fast food franchise is about to start serving up the Korean tacos first made famous by the Kogi Truck. I guess imitation is the biggest form of flattery because more and more of these tacos are popping up in restaurants. Baja Fresh is taking it mainstream with its 283 stores. They tested it out earlier this month with the introduction of the Baja Kogi Taco. According to the Wall Street Journal, there’s a fight brewing.
Baja Fresh filed for trademark protection for the term “kogi” on May 8th, Mr. Rink says. Kogi filed its trademark paperwork for “kogi” on December 4th of last year, but only for narrow use, just on mobile food carts. Baja Fresh is seeking protection for the use of Kogi with everything from tacos and burritos to promotional toys. Kogi co-founder Caroline Shin-Manguera says a steep “learning curve” when starting the business accounts for the wording on the trademark application.
Ms. Shin-Manguera says she finds it flattering that Korean barbecue-style tacos are becoming so popular. But “the use of the name after we have worked so hard to create a Kogi community through Twitter and bloggers” is “disheartening,” she says. Ms. Shin says she became aware of the Baja Fresh menu yesterday and isn’t yet sure what the company will do about it. But can you say “lawyers”?