Los Angeles has been undergoing a major fusion craze for a few months now, courtesy of Kogi’s Taco Truck, which has made Asian tacos all the rage. I haven’t actually partaken in Kogi-mania as the reported one hour lines (not to mention surly public relations staff) seem a bit much for a few meager tacos â€”Â especially when one can just as easily waltz into one of the many, many Korean eateries here in L.A.. Still, I respect the idea behind Kogi’s taco truck, which is why last night, when I fired up some homemade Korean bbq of my own, I decided to change things up and go (drumroll please) FUSION!
Yes, that’s right. I decided to forgo the taco truck experience and instead do my own thang. Truth was I already had some daeji bulgogi marinating in the fridge, and as dinnertime approached, I realized I didn’t want to have the same old bowl of meat-on-rice. How to switch it up? Well, I’d throw a tortilla into the mix. And so the daeji bulgogi burrito was born. Well, not born. I’m sure others have made it. But this was its grand debut, as it were, in my kitchen. My creative process after the jump.
First off, I won’t get into the nitty gritty of how to prepare the daeji bulgogi since I’ve already done that (check out the recipe here). All that’s important to know is that the sliced pork shoulder â€”Â freshly purchased from Costco â€”Â had been marinating for twenty-four hours at the start of this post.
First I chopped up about four scallion bunches. I reserved a quarter of them and dropped the rest in the bulgogi. The recipe calls for the meat to be marinated with scallions, but I didn’t have any up until this point. I’m sure you can forgive me.
Here’s the marinating pork. Seriously, if you haven’t made this recipe yet, you owe it to yourself (unless you’re kosher or vegetarian) to try it.
The pork goes into the wok on high heat. Cooking ensues.
After about four minutes, the meat develops some lovely char.
As we approach the eight minute mark, the pork looks to be just about ready. Stirring and tossing, etc.
Time to assemble the burrito (my first burrito assemblage, I should note). I microwaved this twelve-inch tortilla for forty-five seconds in between two paper towels. All the better to make it pliable.
I figure the burrito could use some sort of sauce, but as I hadn’t reserved any marinade prior to dunking the pork in it, I decide to spread some red pepper paste on the tortilla. I clearly didn’t employ too much of the stuff as I wasn’t sure if it would overpower the ingredients or not.
Next goes some rice. Note the reserved scallions hanging out in the corner.
And there go the scallions. I might have added kimchee too, but I had none.
Finally, the pork.
The meat looked a little sad; so I added some sesame seeds to liven things up.
And voila! We have burrito! It was my first time rolling one. I’d say I did a good job (although, it was a bit lopsided on one end… so YEAH maybe not a good job after all).
I was very proud.
And just because, I wrapped it in foil to give it that authentic burrito look. (And yes, I’m keenly aware that the burrito is in dire need of some sides on the plate, but alas, I had none).
What’s Korean for DELICIOUS?
I have to say, this burrito certainly hit the spot. The only thing it really lacked was a bit more sauce. Next time, I’ll save a touch of the marinade for burrito usage. Nevertheless, the whole thing still worked out quite well. The flavor of the tortilla complemented the rest of the food beautifully. I can see why Kogi’s has been such a hit (but I still can’t see why people don’t just make it themselves. It’s easy enough).
I might just make another one of these bad boys tonight…
UPDATE: That’s exactly what I did. I made the burrito again, and it was much improved. First of all, despite my promises otherwise, I did not adjust the saucing situation. I attempted to make a small batch of the marinade, but my eyeballing went dreadfully wrong, and I decided to toss it as it tasted too alcoholic (too much sherry â€”Â didn’t have mirin on hand). It didn’t matter though. As I was using the remainder of my marinated pork, I dumped the whole tupperware container into the wok, which included much more marinade than the first night. The result was an exceptionally juicy burrito.
Also, I made myself a Korean side to accompany my burrito. It was a simple scallion salad made from just a few ingredients: five bunches of scallions (shredded), sesame seeds, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, garlic, and hot pepper powder. Just mix it all together. I don’t remember the quantities, but they were all surprising low (1/8 tsp minced garlic, 1/4 tsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp sesame oil, 1/2 tsp pepper powder, 1/4 tsp sugar â€”Â I think). As you can imagine, this small, simple dish packed quite a flavor punch â€”Â so much so that instead of plain scallions, I dropped some of these bad boys into my burrito to delicious effect.