SEOUL, June 29 — It’s not just football that binds Mexico and South Korea. In another kind of rapprochement, the two cultures have long enjoyed a rare and unique friendship, bonded together by unifiers of an altogether different kind: tacos and kimchi.
On Wednesday, Mexican football fans pledged their sudden and steadfast devotion to South Korea, singing the Korean national anthem, hoisting any Korean they could find on their shoulders, and chanting “Corea” in loud and grateful chorus.
Along with knocking Germany — the last World Cup winner — out of the tournament in a stunning 2-0 defeat, team South Korea also handed Mexico their golden ticket to qualify to the next stage of the tournament, the furthest the country has advanced since 1986.
But the bromance, romance and love-in between Mexico and Korea also has deep roots in Los Angeles, home to large Mexican and Korean populations with a penchant for kicky, spicy foods.
On Twitter, LA chef Roy Choi pointed out the obvious meal for celebrating Mexico’s advancement: Korean tacos from his food truck Kogi BBQ, a local institution widely credited with birthing the fusion Korean-Mexican taco movement and the proliferation of food trucks across the US.
The Korean-Mexico concept has since taken off, spawning copycats like Coreanos, Korilla and Cha Cha Chili.
Foods include quesadillas stuffed with spicy, pungent kimchi, tacos stuffed with Korean barbecued short ribs, and spicy pork tacos.
Want to partake in the Mexican-Korean love fest or spice up your summer barbecue this year? Food TV star and Korean-American chef Judy Joo, host of Korean Food Made Simple, shares her recipe for Korean Mexican tacos here. — AFP