In my early 20s I lived in a big townhouse in Nashville, TN that we fondly named The Suga Bin. I'm not sure how it got it's name, but I lived there with 4 other girls and we had so.much.fun. We had a giant deck with 2 grills, and I was starting a cupcake company, so between the grills and the baked goods, our place was the chosen location for many gatherings.
One year, 3 of us all decided to move on at the same time. I was moving to New York City for grad school, my bff was moving to Minnesota so she could marry the guy we dubbed her "online boyfriend" (who she actually knew in real life, but it was a long-distance situation), and our other friend was moving to Korea. KOREA. Why so far away??
After a couple years in Korea, my friend decided to come back to the US to visit for a few months, and she stayed with me in NYC for 3 weeks! It was a dream. I'm not actually sure where she slept, because our NYC apartment barely had room for my twin bed, let alone a guest room or an air mattress. But we made it work! On one of her last nights in town, we went to Korea Town with some friends, and she taught us all about Korean food and helped us order all the yummy things. Thus began my love affair with Korean food. I happily gulped down noodles and spicy pork for years! Then, I learned that the gochujang chili sauce (that they put on everything) is made with wheat. I was so sad. The chilis are fermented with wheat, so even if restaurants make their own, it's basically never gluten-free.
I have been missing Korean flavors, so one day I hit up a guy at a local Korean restaurant for some tips on how to create the flavors at home without gochujang. He suggested using gochugaru, which are just the Korean chili flakes, with some fish sauce to give it that fermented funky flavor. You can find both of these ingredients for pretty cheap at a local Asian market, or of course on Amazon. I decided to also add some coconut aminos and honey for a bit more sweet and salty umami and created a paste to toss my shrimp with. The slaw is made by blending some mayo with spicy kimchi to create a spicy, creamy slaw dressing. I pretty much always use Siete grain-free tortillas for tacos, because they're so delicious, but you could also use lettuce cups. Whatever you decide to wrap them in, you've got to try these tacos!
Korean Shrimp Tacos with Kimchi Slaw
1/2 lb wild caught, deveined shrimp
1T gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)
1t coconut aminos
1/4t fish sauce
1/2c spicy kimchi
1 lb. slaw mix
1/2 avocado, sliced
tortillas or butter lettuce leaves
Spread the shrimp on a paper towel and pat dry. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
In a small bowl, whisk together the gochugaru, honey, coconut aminos, and fish sauce into a thick paste.
Toss the shrimp with the gochugaru paste until well coated.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and melt the ghee in the pan.
Once the pan is hot, add the shrimp to the pan and cook for 1-2 mins on the first side. Flip the shrimp and cook again for 1 more minute.
Add the kimchi, mayo, and 1/2t salt to a blender. Blend until smooth.
In a large mixing bowl, toss together the slaw mix and the mayo kimchi mixture.
To each tortilla or lettuce leave, add some shrimp, a scoop of the slaw, and a couple slices of avocado.
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