Kogi Beef Tacos

When we were in LA this past fall visiting my brother and his family, there was lots of talk about the Kogi Taco Truck.  This particular food truck changes locations in LA daily.  Follow them on Twitter to find out where they will be that day.  No surprises, Fred was all over it.  Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to taste the wares.  My brother is here visiting this weekend with his family and I decided I'd indulge everyone and attempt to make the Korean Beef BBQ tacos. 

I came across a blog of someone who had made them and posted all the recipes.  Closet Cooking is the name of the blog, very impressive.   I am going to add it to my blog roll. 

Here are the recipes, how I made them.  This was for 11 people

Beef Short Ribs:  5 lbs.

Marinate these for at least 24 hours.   MIne were cut into pieces the size of my hands.  I'd probably have a butcher cut them into 1" pieces across instead with the bone across but I just bought these pre-packaged.  Before dinner, just cook on the grill until done and slice into small pieces.

1/2 cup soy sauce
4 Tbsp. light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 inches of ginger, grated
1 sweet onion, grated
8 scallions, thinly sliced ( mostly white part only )
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds

Onion/Cilantro Relish:

1 1/2 sweet onions chopped
2 huge handfuls of chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup of lime juice
4 scallions thinly sliced ( mostly white part only )

Make this a few hours in advance so the flavor meld together.
Shredded Romaine with Sesame Dressing:

3 cups of chopped romaine lettuce
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 lime juiced (a really juicy one)
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds

Make the dressing and then tossed with the romaine about 45 minutes before serving so the lettuce gets soft and tasty.


I doctored this, my recipe below.  It was so spicy that I was afraid nobody would eat it.  This still gives some serious power but just enough.  This can be used for anything.  I made about 2 cups.

16 Italian tomatoes, sliced in half
10 tomatillos, husked and cut in half
1 sweet onion chopped
2 T grated ginger
2 T sesame oil
6 dried red chiles
1 t. Szechuan hot paste
1 red pepper
2 cups water
sesame seeds

In an oven, set at 450, put the tomatoes and tomatillos on a baking sheet (with a rim and lined with tin foil) Roasted until they start to turn black/charred.  Take them out and take the edges of the tin foil, and then pour all the tomatoes/tomatillos into a sauce pan.  Add 2 cups of water, chilies and the onions.  Bring this to boil and then down to simmer.  Let this hang out about 20 minutes or until the onions are soft.

In the meantime, char the pepper over the stove, peel the skin and chop into pieces.

Take the tomato/tomatillo mixture when done and drain through a strainer but keep the liquid just in case.  Put the mixture into a cuisinart with the ginger, red pepper and hot sauce.  Mix.  If it appears too thick, add some liquid.  I never used the extra liquid but next time it could be a different story. 

I made this 2 days in advance.  Put the sesame seeds on top before serving.

Put together the taco.  Meat, then lettuce, then onion salsa and a little bit of the salsa ( depending on your spice tolerance ) and voila.  They were a huge hit.  Just a bit of praise for myself, my sister-in-law said they were cleaner and better than the BBQ truck.  Wow!

Comments (Archived):

  1. shammara

    It may be a good thing you didn’t eat at the Kogi truck. As great as their marketing is – I’ve had a few friends who have gotten very terrible food poisoning!

    1. Gotham Gal

      Wow. There is probably nothing worse than that.

    2. Thomas Hillard

      I make a point to get Kogi whenever I’m in LA. Food poisoning is the worst, but I’ve also never heard a story of Kogi and FP till now.Far and wide I’ve tried Korean tacos all over the country, none of them come close to Kogi.Can’t wait to try this recipe! Thanks Gotham gal!

      1. Gotham Gal

        enjoy. i am making this again this summer.

  2. Brigmanl

    when you say two inches of ginger what do you mean?

    1. Gotham Gal

      A piece of ginger that is roughly 2 inches long.