Here’s the scene…we are on vacation in Makakilo City. Me and my family just flew in on Wednesday from rainy Bothell. Today is Thursday, as the Hawaiian sun proudly shines on my heat deprived epidermis (big vocab, 5 years of college!) providing that deep warmth you feel in your bones. You know the kind…where you close them eyes, look up, and your soul sighs, “Ahhhhhhh hells yes!” Ok, so, we arrived early while everyone else is flying in from all over the mainland for the super dope family reunion that is being hosted by my gracious in-laws on the island of O’ahu. As a side note, we had no idea how cool the cousins would be and it was really great to hang out with some down a$$ weebles.
But anyway, back to my tale….we are 10 minutes removed from the beach at Ko Olina (me in my full lava lava glory) and we are now walking around inside the Kapolei Foodland as we’re shopping for the party we plan to host the next day. You see…this is my father and mother in law we are talking about here…there will be nothing but food and booze and Food and Booze and BOOZE and FOOD for the next 3 days, and this party is the kickoff. Imagine like ancient Rome, but instead of Togas and Latin, it’s Aloha shirts and Tagalog…and instead of some half-goat-half-child hybrid playing a freaky pan flute, we gots Three Plus and Kolohe Kai on the radio. As for me…I have been tasked with running the taco bar which I take as an honor because that means they trust me enough to not make something that will piss everyone off!
So….tacos…crap….normally I say, “A juevo, cabron!” and I bust out them chorizo and beef tongue tacos and just sit back like “BLA-DOW! HOW YOU LIKE ME NOW!?” But, there is a kink in my think…see…I don’t have much time to cook but also, stuff like Chorizo is hard to come by on the islands and my Google Maps search for Carnicerias shows the closest one is across the way in some village called San Diego…so that won’t work. I know I will do pork and chicken…I have my mainstay recipes for those so we good there…but I need something different…something that tastes so good, make you wanna slap yo’ mama…something to grab ‘em by the boo-boo and say “whoowee!”
What do I do?
As I walk through Foodland I am struck by the variety of spices readily available and my mind starts to race…no joke, vroom vroom…and thus far I was drawing a blank until me and the Wifey (yes capitalized for importance) and my Mother-in-Law (yes capitalized because she may read this and smack me if she isn’t capitalized too) passed through the Asian section and this little rectangular packet of inspiration called out to me. It was simple enough, just a packet of Noh brand Kalbi beef spice. I still didn’t know 100% what to do with it but I had a feeling…it called to me like the sweet sexy Sirens of sailor lore…I love me some Korean BBQ and I love me some tacos…just like Cheech and Chong…this East meets West mash up had to work…plus shoot, I had 4lbs of chuck roast cold chillin’ in the basket so I was like “Eff it, let’s give this a shot!” You wanna know what I did? Well my hungry chingu (Korean for amigo), read on and let’s find out…
- 2 Packets Noh Brand Kalbi spice
- 4lbs chuck roast
- 1 medium Pyrex dish
- ½ a beer (drink the other half, math is fun)
- Corn tortillas
- Kimchee (I prefer cucumber, but the traditional cabbage is good too)
- Lime (cut up all small)
- Cilantro (chopped up)
- Onion (fine cut)
Get the oven going to 425 degrees. While that heats up, cut the roast into 4 equal quarters. How? Just basically cut it in half, then cut those halves in half. Open a packet of the Noh spice and rub it on the beef quarters. Place them in the Pyrex dish and pour in half the beer. You can drink the rest, I won’t judge. Wrap that sucker in 2 layers of foil and stick it in the oven for 4.5 hours. Pull it from the oven, uncover and let it rest for about 15 minutes. Take 2 forks and shred it all up. Read the instructions on the packet of the second Noh spice, make it, and then mix it in with the shredded beef. Now, comes the hard part…tae kwon don’t you mess this up! Gets you a tortilla, puts on the meat, kimchee, onion, cilantro and squeeze of lime…it’s taco time!
Now, I know, I’m probably not the first person in the world to make Kalbi tacos, but it was new to me, so back off! Haha! No but for real, it was a process for me to think of this one, so I hope that you try it at home and if you do…take it slow and have fun. All right then until next time, stay cool.
Now it’s travel time and you ask me…”Phat Manny, where you taking us to today?” To that I say….I’m taking you back, way back, back into time…we going back to the ranch….