EAST L.A. TACOS
A FEW YEARS BACK fusion got a bad rap. Traditionalists decried the forced mixing of flavors as a sign of the coming culinary apocalypse. And they were, to a certain degree, right. But honest mixing and marrying of peoples and traditions is a different matter altogether. That’s what Kogi preaches, that’s what this Kogi-adapted recipe delivers.
MAKES 8 SMALL TACOS
¼ cup finely diced yellow onion
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
½ cup shredded green cabbage
½ cup shredded romaine lettuce
¼ cup chopped scallions, both white and green parts
¼ cup Chile Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
4 teaspoons canola oil
8 small (4 to 6 inches each) corn tortillas, store-bought or homemade
2 cups chopped short ribs, or spicy pork al pastor
¼ cup Salsa Verde (page 243)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted and crushed
- Combine the onion, cilantro, and lime juice in a small bowl and set aside.
- Toss the cabbage, romaine lettuce, and scallions with the chile vinaigrette in another small bowl and set aside.
- Heat the canola oil in a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Heat the tortillas on each side just before assembling the tacos.
- To assemble the tacos, put equal amounts of meat on each tortilla, add a tablespoon of salsa verde, then put some of the onion and cilantro mixture on top, followed by the cabbage, romaine, and scallion mixture. Sprinkle the tacos with the toasted sesame seeds.
NOTE: To toast the sesame seeds, set a dry skillet over medium heat (do not use a nonstick skillet for this). Add the sesame seeds and heat them until lightly toasted and aromatic, 3 to 5 minutes. Keep an eye on the sesame seeds; you don’t want them to burn. Transfer the toasted sesame seeds to a heatproof bowl to cool.