Are tacos ever a bad idea? I say NO! I can't remember the last time I was offered a taco and thought "You know what, I'm not in the mood for a taco". WHAT?? Who would ever think such a thing??
The beauty of tacos is that they can be done so many different ways. Have you seen how many gourmet taco shops have popped up everywhere? And they each have their own spin on the Mexican classic. My favorite twist on the taco, has got to be the Korean BBQ taco.
There is a food truck that John and I love to visit when they're in town called the Kogi BBQ Truck. They are incredibly popular in the Southern California area due to the Korean BBQ flair they add to Mexican dishes. Our first experience with KBBQ Tacos came from this truck, and our lives were changed forever.
When I wanted to try and make my own version of the tacos we fell in love with, I knew I wanted to use a less fatty meat than the typical short-rib, but please feel free to substitute! I used a lean ground turkey in an effort to cut a few healthier corners. I also added some delicious pickled red onions, which are super easy to make and add just the right acidity to the dish. Oh yea, there's a sweet and sticky glaze that I added at the last minute. Because tacos can't be too healthy, right? ;)
Korean BBQ Turkey Tacos
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 12 tacos
- 1/2 red onion
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- 2 gala apples, peeled, cored and chopped (or 1 Korean pear)
- 1 Tablespoon hot pepper paste (can be found in International section of your grocery store)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 lbs 85% lean ground turkey
- cooking spray
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 6 Tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 12 corn tortillas
- 1 head romaine lettuce, finely shredded
- sesame seeds for topping
1. For the pickled onions, slice the red onion. Place in a ziplock bag with the remaining ingredients, and set in fridge for at least 1 hour. These stay good for 2-3 weeks.
2. For KBBQ Turkey, combine apples, hot pepper paste, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, brown sugar, and ginger in a blender. Blend until completely smooth. In a large bowl, mix the turkey and most of the marinade, reserving 1/3 cup of it for later. Mix together until fully incorporated, then cover with plastic wrap and set in fridge to marinade for at least 30 minutes.
3. After 30 minutes, heat a large skillet over medium/high heat, spray with cooking spray, then cook the turkey. The turkey will release liquid, and that is okay. Let the turkey simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally and adjusting heat as necessary. For the last 15 minutes, add the remaining marinade and let cook until it reduces, and the meat starts to caramelize.
4. While turkey is cooking, whisk together all ingredients for the soy glaze in a small sauce pot and let boil for 15 minutes. Watch that it doesn't boil over and create a huge mess. Remove from heat and let thicken.
5. Put turkey in corn tortilla, top with lettuce, pickled onions, the glaze and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
6. ENJOY and post with #perfectleehungry!