What’s the first image of Norwegian food that pops into your mind? Is it tacos? I didn’t think so.
It’s not unusual to hear Norwegians refer to Friday as “tacodagen”, or Taco Day. Since the 1970s, tacos have been a growing phenomenon in Norwegian households. Mexican cuisine became popular worldwide in the aftermath of the summer Olympics in Mexico in 1968, but in Norway it was initially the Mexican casserole that became the most popular. Whereas sushi is an imported food that has remained in-demand in the urban city centers, the taco has gained popularity throughout the countrysides of Norway, especially among younger age groups.
Tacos in Norwegian households are usually made with corn or flour tortillas filled with avocados, chipotle-rubbed salmon, steak, or pulled pork along with toppings like spicy salsas and fresh herbs. In my house, we keep up with the tacodagen tradition, and make tacos every Friday.
Last week, we cooked up some Norwegian steak tacos and wrote down our favorite recipe to bring to you below. Don’t be intimidated by the length – we like to add a little bit of a lot of things, and most of the work is done on the chopping block. The best part of tacodagen is that you can choose everything for yourself! And get a lot of work on your knife skills.
1½ pounds flat iron steak
1 cup orange juice
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 chipotle peppers plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce (from the can, or from scratch if you’re really ambitious)
½ cup or a large fistful of cilantro leaves and stems
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 chopped avocado
1 chopped tomato
½ chopped onion
Salsa (all roughly chopped)
5 cups of tomatoes
3 cups of cucumber
3 cups of peppers
1/2 tablespoon of chilies
2 tablespoons of lime juice
5 tablespoons of cilantro
1 mango, roughly chopped
5 tablespoons of cilantro
3 tablespoons of lime juice
3 cups of corn, kernels sliced from the ears
¼ cup butter
1 tbsp sugar
½ cup of diced shallots
½ cup of water
1 cup of cilantro
5 tablespoons of lime juice
½ cup chopped tomatoes
½ cup chopped red onion
¼ cup diced garlic
Time for Preparation: approximately 40 minutes plus preferred marination time
Serving Size: 4 people
Cut shallow slices in the steak with a large knife, taking care to make the cuts against the grain to shorten long muscle fibers and allow for a greater cooking surface area and absorb more marinade.
Combine the orange juice, garlic cloves, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, cilantro, cumin, cinnamon and kosher salt into a blender. Puree until smooth, then pour into a gallon size freezer bag with the steak.
Seal and refrigerate for anywhere between 1 hour and overnight.
Let the steak come to room temperature before grilling, about 20 minutes out of the fridge.
Oil grates with cooking oil (we use grapeseed) and preheat it on high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and grill the meat for 10 minutes on each side, or until cooked to desired doneness.
Allow the steak to rest on a platter, covered with foil, for 10 minutes before cutting.
Pull the toppings together while you wait for the steak to cool down.
Combine the chopped cucumber, tomato, peppers, garlic, chilies, cilantro and lime juice in a bowl. Season to taste.
Combine corn, shallots, water, butter, and sugar in a skillet over medium heat. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Season to taste.
Combine mashed avocado, finely sliced cilantro, lime juice, garlic, chopped tomatoes and red onion in a bowl. Season to taste.
Combine ingredients in a bowl.
Warm the tortillas over a gas flame or on the grill just before service.
Finally, tacodagen can begin! Assemble the tacos with your choice of add-ons and a squeeze of grilled limes, freshly chopped cilantro and/or sliced jalapeños.
Vel bekomme! Bon appetit!