Kimchi tacos are popular all over Southern California, particularly in Los Angeles, where they were invented by Chef Roy Choi and sold from his fleet of Korean taco trucks. The filling is marinated in a sweet and salty pear juice sauce, then quickly seared and topped with kimchi and fresh cabbage. You can think of this taco from Vegan Tacos by Jason Wyrick as cabbage two ways, but we like to just think of it as good eats.
The Filling (choose either the shiitakes or the seitan or half of each)
- 1 cup pear juice
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons sake
- 2 teaspoons agave nectar
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 8 dried shiitake caps or 1 1/2 cups chopped seitan strips
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups shredded cabbage
- 1 1/2 cups kimchi
- 8 5 to 6-inch corn or flour tortillas
- Sliced cucumber
Combine the pear juice, soy sauce, sake, agave, garlic, and ginger in a bowl. Add the dried shiitakes or the seitan. If using shiitakes, they will be ready to cook in about 20 minutes. If using seitan, wait a full hour before working with it. If you are using both shiitakes and seitan, you can leave the shiitakes in the marinade along with the seitan for the full hour without any adverse effect.
Remove the shiitakes and/or seitan from the marinade and cut into 1/4-inch wide strips. Heat the sesame oil in a sauté pan over high heat. Add the shiitakes or seitan and sauté for about 3 minutes. Toss in sesame seeds and black pepper, give this a quick stir, and get the pan off the heat right away.
Warm the tortillas. Fill them with about 3 tablespoons of the fresh cabbage, then 3 tablespoons of the kimchi, and finally the seared shiitakes or seitan. Top with thinly sliced cucumber.
MAKE IT LOW-FAT: Once you marinate the shiitakes or seitan, add them to a pan over medium heat and warm them for about 5 minutes. No liquid should be added to the pan.
From Vegan Tacos by Jason Wyrick. ©2014 Jason Wyrick. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press.