Asian Tacos 20.000
Jun 1, 2009

These tacos are a recent hit on the menu at Boston's Myers + Chang restaurant. They're a real crowd-pleaser at a party, especially if you let guests assemble their own.

Make Ahead: The short ribs can be braised up to 2 days in advance, wrapped well in aluminum foil and refrigerated. The day of the party, reduce the braising liquid as directed, shred the meat and combine with the liquid.

Servings: 20 tacos
  • For the filling
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 pounds bone-in short ribs
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, smashed
  • 4 1-inch pieces of peeled ginger root, smashed
  • 8 whole star anise
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 scallions, white and light-green parts, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
  • 1 large Asian pear, cored and coarsely chopped
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Sesame-Chili Salsa (see related recipe)
  • For the tacos
  • 1 small or 1/2 large (about 1 pound) Chinese cabbage
  • 2 large Asian pears (about 1 pound total)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 20 corn tortillas
  • Asian-style chile sauce, such as Sriracha, for garnish
  • 40 large sprigs cilantro, for garnish
  • 4 limes, cut into wedges, for sprinkling

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For the filling: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Season the ribs all over with salt and pepper.

When the oil is hot, use tongs to arrange the short ribs in the skillet in a single layer (working in batches if necessary), then reduce the heat to medium. Sear for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until well brown and caramelized.

Transfer the short ribs to a large flame-proof roasting pan or Dutch oven.

Combine the sugar, soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, star anise, onion, scallions, sesame oil, Asian pear and chicken broth in a large bowl; mix well. Pour over the ribs.

Place the roasting pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat; bring to a boil then cover tightly and transfer to the oven. Roast for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the short ribs offer no resistance when poked with a skewer.

Transfer the meat only (not the braising liquid) to a bowl; allow it to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, strain the liquid into a fat-separator cup. (Alternatively, if making the short ribs a day or more in advance, strain the liquid into a heatproof bowl and refrigerate, then discard the congealed fat off the top.) Pour the defatted braising liquid into the roasting pan or Dutch oven; place over high heat. Let it come to a boil (uncovered) so that it has reduced by about three-fourths. It will be very syrupy. This may take 30 to 40 minutes or more, depending on the size of the pan or Dutch oven.

When the meat cool is enough to handle, remove it from the bone. Use your fingers to shred it, discarding any tough bands of fat. Add enough of the reduced braising liquid to fully moisten the meat, and save the rest of the liquid for another use.

For the tacos: Cut the cabbage into thin slices. Core the Asian pears then cut the fruit into thin slices. Toss together in a large bowl and season generously with salt and pepper.

If using a gas stove, heat the tortillas by turning on all the burners to medium-high heat. Heat a tortilla on each burner for a minute or two on each side, until the tortillas start to puff and a few black spots form. If using an electric stove, heat the tortillas (one at a time) in a dry skillet over medium-low heat until they are pliable. Wrap the warm tortillas in a single packet of aluminum foil as you work.

To serve, place a spoonful of the cabbage-pear mixture in each tortilla, then add 3 or 4 tablespoons of braised meat. Drizzle with a little of the chili sauce, add 2 sprigs of cilantro and finish with a spoonful (to taste) of the Sesame-Chili Salsa.

Garnish each portion wedges of lime.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from chef Joanne Chang of Boston's Myers + Chang restaurant.

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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