I sort of feel the same way about Mexican food.
Now, before you get all pissy-pants about *real* South American/Mexican food not being the same as the glorified Taco Bell/Chipotle intestine-rumblers, I KNOW. Yes, they are different. But when was the last time you saw a recipe using huitlacoche being lauded by the glassy-eyed mommies on Pinterest? Exactly.
And the biggest offender? Nachos. Overly table-salted corn chips threatening to tear a hole in the roof of your mouth covered with gelatinous ground beef, sprinkled with 'taco seasoning' (kill me now) and sprinkled with various forms of deconstructed salsa, all under a creeping goo of pasteurized cheese food. Sure, I guess it's okay when you're drunk/stoned/etc., but when you have a choice? Go south in a different way: South Korean
Let's start with lightly fried won tons, with a delicate and savory crunch, but sturdy enough to be the base for some sweet and spicy shredded steak, followed by umami-bomb shiitakes, draped in earthy and pungent slutty miso garlic sauce, then finish it off with pleasingly sour kimchi.
And it barely takes any more time than making pedestrian nachos. A pressure cooker is key to this recipe as it takes a cheap/boring cut of meat and infuses it with flavor while rendering it super tender. If you don't have one, you can of course braise the meat or use a more tender cut and simply saute.
1 lime, quartered
2 1/2 pounds flank steak
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup sriracha
1 cup water
4 tablespoons raw minced garlic
25 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons sesame oil
Canola oil for frying
25 wontons, sliced diagonally
Salt to taste
Miso Garlic Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup whole milk
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup miso paste* (red or yellow preferable)
1 teaspoon ground red pepper (more if desired)
8 cloves raw minced garlic
1 cup kimchi*
3/4 cup chopped green onions
Squirt the lime over the flank steak, then season with the salt and pepper. Spray a large skillet with the cooking spray and brown the flank steak on medium high heat. While the steak browns, mix the brown sugar, soy sauce and sriracha in a small bowl. Add the water and flank steak to the pressure cooker. Pour the brown sugar mixture over the meat, then top with the garlic, making sure the garlic stays on top of the meat. Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and bring to high heat. Once the regulator has begun rocking, lower the heat to medium high (making sure the regulator keeps moving) and cook for 35 minutes. Once cooked, remove the pressure cooker to the sink and run cool water over the lid in order to open immediately. Move the meat to a cutting board, being careful to keep the garlic from falling into the liquid in the pot. Shred the meat with two forks. (While the steak cooks, make the other components.)
In a large skillet, saute the shiitakes and sesame oil on medium high heat, stirring often, for about 5-7 minutes or until golden brown on the edges. Keep warm until ready to use.
Pour oil into a large skillet to 1/4 inch depth. Heat until shimmering but not smoking. Working in batches, fry the wontons for about 30 seconds per side, turning once, until golden brown. Place on a paper towel lined baking sheet, sprinkling with salt to taste.
Miso Garlic Sauce
n a medium saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat. Add the flour and stir to incorporate completely. Add the milk and whisk until the mixture has thickened. Add the cheese and stir until melted (if too thick, add a little extra milk). Turn heat to low and add the miso paste, ground red pepper and garlic. Stir to combine and keep warm until ready to use.
Once all components are finished, assemble the nachos.
Have a big platter ready. Layer that shit. Garnish with kimchi and green onions. Serve immediately with cold beer. Serves about four drunk and/or stoned people. If you're sober and being polite, maybe six? And if you're sober...WHY? Go get some Asian beer. Just not Sapporo. That shit's nasty.
*Miso paste and kimchi can be found in the refrigerated produce section, dairy or deli sections of any well-stocked supermarket. And if it's not in that supermarket, maybe you should be re-thinking your grocery store decisions.