Written by Kon-Tiki Taco
The basic taco is adaptable to virtually every cuisine the world has to offer. Tastes of India, Vietnam, China, Japan, the Philippines and Korea all work well.
Testimony to the versatility and broad appeal of taco dining is the fact that what was once exclusively a Mexican food has now gone completely international. Look no further than the Asian taco phenomenon.
Taco caterers are now besieged with customer inquiries about their capabilities for serving Korean beef, Vietnamese banh mi, Chinese kung pao chicken, or Filipino sweet pork between traditional flour or corn tortilla shells. Why? There are several reasons:
Fusion food remains hot – The successful taco caterers know it takes more than a margarita bar to draw customers. Discerning diners like to see foods that reflect the American polyglot: putting soy sauce on slaw along with rice and beef makes complete sense if done well.
Asian flavors are also very popular (and very often healthy) – As consumers gravitate toward more nutritious fare – think more vegetables and less meat – the foods of the Far East making increasingly greater sense.
Tacos travel well – It’s pretty easy to set up a taco cart caterer to serve food at a broad variety of venues. With mobile taco carts that are, in effect, self-contained kitchens, outdoor locations as well as more traditional indoors venues are all available and adaptable to taco service of any genre.
Chefs are increasingly creative and adaptable – The reality food television phenomenon has spilled off the screens and into the streets and other places where tacos are served. Skilled chefs with a diverse resume are enticed by the idea of mixing flavors, textures, spices and exotic ingredients on an experimental basis. They might have honed their skills in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo and later in Koreatown, but many chefs love the curries and other spices found in some of the city’s top Indian restaurants. You haven’t lived until you you’ve tried a Vietnamese pho taco – even though most at-home cooks don’t have the patience to spend two hours braising beef chuck that a taco catering company might do prior to an event.
What does this amount to? It’s not at all unusual for a party planner to ask for Korean tacos with Asian slaw, Vietnamese fish tacos (with pickled carrots and Daikon), or tacos filled with Chinese shrimp fried rice or a pinoy-style cocoa spiced grilled fish fillet.
Just try to think about beverages that go beyond a margarita bar – there are many more appropriate wine, beer or distilled spirit pairings that might be a better beverage choice.