Sunday, May 28, 2023

California food truck faves to make right at home!

Bailey Woodean
Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!
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I have never been to the sunny state of California, but I have heard amazing things about their food truck dishes! So, I found recipes for a few of their popular foods online. Why? Because making the food myself is far cheaper than a plane ticket to the west coast!

California-Style Fish Tacos

California-Style Fish Tacos

  • 5 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 small Red Onion
  • 3 tbsp. sour cream
  • 1/2 small green cabbage
  • 1 jalapeño (seeded for less heat, if desired)
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 c. beer (such as Corona, Tecate or another lighter beer)
  • canola oil
  • 1 lb. tilapia fillets
  • 1/2 c. roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • 8 small flour tortillas
  1. In a small bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons of lime juice with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add the onion and toss to coat. Let sit, tossing occasionally, until the fish is ready.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, remaining 3 tablespoons lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the cabbage and jalapeño and toss to coat. Let sit, tossing occasionally, until the fish is ready.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, chili powder, baking powder, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Transfer 1/4 cup of the flour mixture to a shallow bowl or plate. Stir the egg and beer into the remaining flour mixture until smooth.
  4. Fill a large cast-iron or deep skillet with 1/2 inch canola oil and heat to 350 degrees F. Place a cooling rack in a rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Working in batches, coat the fish in the dry flour mixture, patting off any excess, then dip in the batter. Let excess drip off and carefully place in the oil. Cook, turning once until the batter is golden brown and the fish is opaque throughout 2 to 3 minutes total. Transfer to the prepared baking rack.
  6. Fold the cilantro into the cabbage mixture. Fill the tortillas with the fish and top with the slaw and pickled onions.

California Dog

California Dog

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ cup chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as chives, parsley, tarragon, chervil, basil, and/or mint
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 package Applegate Organics® The Great Organic Uncured Beef Hot Dog™ Brand – 14oz
  • 1 package hot dog buns, toasted
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  1. Stir together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and herbs in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper; set aside.
  2. Grill hot dogs to desired doneness.
  3. Arrange the hot dogs and sliced avocado inside each toasted bun.
  4. Top each dog with a handful of arugula and a drizzle of the dressing.

Korean-Style Tacos with Kogi BBQ Sauce

Korean-Style Tacos with Kogi BBQ Sauce


  • 1 pound cooked pulled pork or cooked shredded chicken
  • 12 corn or flour tortillas
  • ¼ cup prepared kimchi, or make your own quick cucumber pickles (recipe below)
  • Kogi BBQ sauce (recipe below)

For the Kogi BBQ sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons Korean fermented hot pepper paste (gochujang)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

For the cucumber pickles:

  • 1 large English cucumber (or 2 Japanese cucumbers), sliced very thinly
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon finely minced fresh chili pepper
  • Generous pinch of salt
  1. If making your own cucumber pickles, start by slicing the vegetables very thinly (use a mandoline slicer if you have one). Then mix together rice vinegar, sugar, fresh chili pepper, and salt with the cucumbers and store in the refrigerator for about an hour, until ready to serve.
  2. To make the Kogi BBQ sauce, add the fermented hot pepper paste, sugar, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil to a bowl and whisk to combine until the sugar has dissolved. (The sauce can be made several days in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator until ready to use.)
  3. When you’re ready to make the tacos, mix warm pulled pork or the shredded chicken with the homemade Kogi BBQ sauce. Warm the tortillas, then top them with the meat and the kimchi or homemade cucumber pickles. Serve.

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