Korean Eggplant Tacos
with Kimchi Mayo
Guest Chefs Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby say if you follow today’s LA food blogs, you’ll know what’s heading East next year. That’s why when Korean tacos were all the rage in LA a few years ago, they didn’t wait for the trend to hit Philadelphia. The culinary duo are the co-owners and chefs of Vedge, where this tasty taco dish hails from. They also own V-Street restaurant together and are co-authors of the Vedge cookbook. (Talk about a power couple…) The eggplant in this dish works as a vehicle for the spicy, flavorful gochujang (Korean chile paste) glaze. When cutting the eggplant, trim away pieces that are mostly seeds; they won’t hold together well after being cooked.
- 1 pound eggplant
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil*
- 1 tablespoon gochujang
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon turbinado sugar
- 1/4 cup vegan kimchi
- 1/2 cup Fabanaise
- 4 flour tortillas
- Fresh cilantro
- 1 scallion
- *not included
Heat the oven to 400ºF. Rinse, dry, and trim the eggplant. Peel and halve it; trim away the seeds in the center and cut the flesh into sticks about 1/4-inch thick. Put them in a large bowl along with the sesame oil and a pinch of salt and toss to coat.
Put 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, working in batches, add the eggplant in a single layer and cook, stirring occasionally and adding more oil as needed, until it’s browned on all sides, 5 or 6 minutes. Meanwhile, put the gochujang in a large bowl along with the soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar and stir to combine. When each batch of eggplant is ready, transfer it to the bowl with the sauce.
Toss the eggplant to coat in the sauce and transfer it a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the sauce begins to bubble on the pan, 8 to 10 minutes.
Roughly chop the kimchi; put it in a small bowl along with the Fabanaise and fold to combine.
Wrap the tortillas in foil. When the eggplant is ready, remove the pan from the oven and turn the oven off. Put the tortillas in the oven to warm.
Rinse and dry the cilantro and scallion; trim and chop them, keeping them separate. To serve, put some of the kimchi mayo on each tortilla, top with the eggplant, and sprinkle with the scallions and cilantro.