Korean Short Rib Tacos with Spicy Mango Coleslaw




Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Guys, I literally could not wait to shove this in mouth while it was cooking!  This happened by happy accident when I got home from the grocery store, expecting thin-sliced flanken short ribs, instead finding a huge slab of bone-in short ribs.  I fretted for a moment and then went to work figuring out how I could still have the Korean short ribs I was craving.  You have to be okay with getting a few bites of fat here or there: what makes short ribs so flavorful is the fat running through and around, which melts away when you braise them, but sticks around when you treat them this way.  The sweet and spicy slaw is perfect with the caramelized short ribs, and the spice mix adds a nice amount of heat from the ginger and red pepper flakes.  Use this basic recipe to prepare the typical Korean-style short ribs, which are also equally mouth-watering.



2 pounds boneless short ribs, trimmed of excess fat and thinly sliced (1/4-inch-thick) against the grain

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar


1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar

One 8-ounce can crushed pineapple

1/3 cup finely chopped garlic

2 tablespoons mirin

2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger

2 tablespoons finely grated yellow onion

1 tablespoon Sriracha

1 tablespoon sesame oil


1/3 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Sriracha, or more to taste

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

1 lime, juiced

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup mango chunks, fresh or frozen

Salt and pepper to taste

1 bag coleslaw mix

1/3 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, finely chopped

1 scallion, finely chopped


5 to 6 canned or fresh pineapple rings

10 to 12 tortillas, taco-size

1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped

Toasted Sesame Ginger Spice Mix, for sprinkling


Prepare the ribs by placing in a large baking dish and sprinkling with the brown sugar, salt and pepper, rubbing into the meat and flipping the meat around to coat both sides. Let sit for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to become one with the meat.


In a bowl, combine all the marinade ingredients.  Pour over the meat, ensuring it touches both the bottom and top.  Cover and refrigerate overnight at a minimum..the longer, the better!


For the slaw, combine the mayonnaise, Sriracha, brown sugar, lime juice, and rice wine vinegar in a large mixing bowl.  Puree the mango chunks in a food processor and add to the sauce.  Add the vegetables and mix to combine. It will look like you won’t have enough of the sauce mixture, but do not fear!  The cabbage will wilt down a bit and release some liquid, and you do not want soggy coleslaw.  Let the coleslaw sit, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.


Remove the ribs from the fridge 30 minutes to 1 hour before you want to grill. Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat for at least 15 minutes.  Scrape off the marinade flavorings from the meat before grilling; you don’t want burned garlic anywhere near your tacos!  Allow the excess liquid marinade to drain off before placing on the grill pan. Grill for 7 to 10 minutes per side, until the marinade is caramelized and the ribs are a mahogany brown.  Pull off the heat and set aside.  Pass the pineapple slices through the marinade and grill on the same grill pan for 2 minutes per side, until caramelized and golden brown.  Chop the short ribs and pineapple into bite-sized pieces.


Warm the tortillas in the microwave.  Serve the meat and pineapple with the coleslaw, sprinkled with cilantro and the spice mix.

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