Taco beef, pickled slaw, kimchi & gochujang

In the 1990s this recipe would have been named ‘fusion beef’, as it deliciously fuses together Mexican spices with Japanese miso and tamari and Korean condiments kimchi and gochujang. As it’s not the 1990s I won’t call it that, except maybe quietly in my head.

I like to serve taco beef, pickled slaw, kimchi & gochujang by setting out bowls of the individual elements on the table and letting everyone help themselves to create their own delicious combinations. 

This recipe may look like an epic text but don’t be put off; every component is simple to make. It’s totally do-able for a midweek dinner and easy to scale up to feed a crowd. 

Taco beef, pickled slaw, kimchi & gochujang

 Adapted from a Gourmet Traveller recipe. Makes enough for 5-6 servings. 

For the pickled slaw:

half a red cabbage 

carrots 2

coriander large handful

rice vinegar 4 tablespoons 

mirin 2 tablespoons

tamari or soy sauce 1 tablespoon (check tamari is gluten free if that is a concern for you) 

fresh ginger 2 teaspoons, finely grated 

red chilli 1 small, thinly sliced

a garlic clove, finely grated or chopped 

Use a mandolin to finely sliced the cabbage. Julienne or grate the carrot and combine with the cabbage in a bowl. Roughly chop the coriander and add it to the bowl. In a glass jar with a lid combine the mirin, tamari or soy sauce, ginger, red chilli, and garlic and give it a good shake. Pour over the vegetables, stir to combine well, and leave to sit for 30 minutes or so while you prepare the other components.

For the rice:

brown rice 1 cup (I used basmati)

water 2 cups

Place rice and water into a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to boil and then turn down the heat to very low. Cook for 15 minutes until little burrows have appeared on surface of rice and pretty much all of the water has been absorbed. Turn off the heat and leave the rice in the pot with the lid on until you’re everything else is ready; it can sit quite happily for 30 minutes or so.

For the beef:

vegetable oil 2 tablespoons 

good-quality minced beef 500g

chilli flakes 1/2 – 1 teaspoon (depending on how spicy you like it)

whole cumin seeds 1 tablespoon

whole coriander seeds 1 tablespoon

sweet paprika 1 teaspoon 

fresh ginger 1 & ½ tablespoons, finely grated 

garlic cloves 2, finely grated or chopped 

tamari or soy sauce 1 tablespoon (check tamari is gluten free if that is a concern for you) 

miso 2 teaspoons, dissolved in 300ml boiling water

Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry frying pan (no oil) over a low heat until fragrant, then transfer to a mortar and pestle and grind the seeds up.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat and add the mince. Use a wooden spoon to break up lumps as you brown the mince. Once the mince has browned, turn down the heat to medium and add the cumin, coriander, chilli flakes, paprika, ginger and garlic and fry for a further couple of minutes. Add the soy and miso water to the pan and turn down the heat and simmer gently until the liquid has been absorbed.

For the gochujang sauce:

gochujang 2 tablespoons

sesame oil 1 tablespoon

sugar 1 teaspoon

rice vinegar 1 tablespoon

sesame seeds 2 tablespoons, toasted

Combine all ingredients together and stir until smooth.

For the bok choy:

bok choy 1 bunch

sesame oil 1/2 teaspoon

sesame seeds 2 tablespoons, toasted

Wash the bok choy carefully and slice lengthwise in half and then into quarters. Steam the bok choy until just tender. Place in a bowl and drizzle with sesame oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

For serving:

kimchi, as much as you like (this kind is my favourite)

To serve, place serving bowls of the rice, beef, bok choy, pickled slaw, gochujang sauce, kimchi and sesame seeds on the table and let everyone help themselves.




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