Korean Short Rib Tacos with Asian Slaw

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Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6

Don't be intimidated by the long list of ingredients for this recipe. Once you marinate the short ribs overnight, the slaw comes together quickly in this savory mash-up of Asian and Latin American cuisines.


For the short ribs:

  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) sake or water
  • 3 Tbs. sesame oil
  • 6 Tbs. (3 oz./90 g) sugar
  • 1 Tbs. freshly grated ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbs. sesame seeds
  • 1 white onion, cut into large chunks
  • 1 ripe pear, cored and shredded
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) boneless beef short ribs, thinly sliced

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3 green onions, white and tender green parts only
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil

For the slaw:

  • 2 cups (6 oz./180 g) shredded romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups (6 oz./180 g) shredded red cabbage
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) fresh cilantro, tough stems removed
  • 2 green onions, white and tender green parts only

For the sriracha cream:

  • 1 tsp. sriracha
  • 3 Tbs. sour cream

  • 12 to 14 flour or corn tortillas, warmed


To make the marinade, in a large, nonreactive bowl, stir together the soy sauce, sake, sesame oil, sugar, ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, white onion, pear, 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper.

Add the beef to the bowl and toss to coat thoroughly. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

When you are ready to grill, remove the beef from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare a hot fire in a grill.

While the grill is heating, make the dressing for the slaw. In a food processor, combine the cilantro, green onions, lime juice, rice vinegar, honey and salt. With the machine running, drizzle in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream and process until well blended. Set aside.

Coat the grill grate lightly with cooking spray. Using tongs, arrange the beef on the grate directly over the heat and grill, turning once, until nicely grill-marked and cooked to the desired doneness, about 2 minutes per side for medium-rare. Using the tongs, transfer the white onion from the bowl to the grate directly over the heat and grill, turning once, until soft, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm. (Discard the marinade.)

To make the slaw, in a large bowl, toss together the romaine, cabbage, radishes and cilantro. Chop the green onions coarsely and toss them into the bowl. Add the dressing to the slaw to taste; toss to combine, tasting as you go.

In a separate small bowl, make the sriracha cream by stirring together the sriracha and sour cream. Stir half of the sriracha cream into the slaw.

To assemble, fill the tortillas with the beef, top with a few big pinches of the slaw and some grilled white onion, and serve immediately. Pass the extra sriracha cream at the table for drizzling. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Taco Night, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2014)

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