Asian Venison Tacos
Asian Venison Tacos are perfect for using the tough cuts of the deer. The tough cuts often have extremely flavorful meat and, when prepared correctly, can be perfectly tender. In this recipe I use the hind-quarter of the deer, though you can use the roast and front shoulder if you’d like. The key to creating tender, succulent meat in this recipe is in the marinade, cooking technique, and the way you cut the meat before serving. All of these elements are necessary for perfecting this dish.
A huge tip in cooking meats is to match the cut of meat to the method of preparation. I go into more detail on this in my article, Ten Tips for Preparing Venison (it’s a must-read). In preparing venison for this dish, I cut the hindquarter horizontally, giving it more surface area to add flavor from caramelization. Cutting this way also increases the marinade’s tenderizing power, allowing more penetration into the meat. Marinades are incredibly effective and can change the entire flavor profile of a dish. For instance, in this recipe I use sesame oil and soy sauce to give it that Asian vibe. For further tenderizing, you can add a little lime juice if you’d like.
After cooking the venison, you can let the meat rest for about ten minutes. This will allow time for the juices to redistribute, making the venison extra tender and juicy. Cutting the venison in thin strips across the grain also ensures perfectly tender meat. This is absolutely necessary for a favorable result.
Man, you are going to love these tacos! I can’t get enough of the diverse array of flavors! The spicy, salty flavor of the venison pairs so well with the sweet cabbage dressing and taco sauce. It all comes together to make a perfectly balanced taste. The cabbage adds just enough crunch and texture to make this dish absolutely addictive.
Asian Venison Tacos
- 8 tablespoons soy sauce divided
- 6 teaspoons toasted sesame oil divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 4 tablespoons honey divided
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon red pepper paste
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic smashed
- 1 1/2 pounds venison hindquarter sliced in half horizontally
- 12 mini flour tortillas
- 4 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
- 1/4 cup shredded Napa cabbage
- 1/4 cup shredded red cabbage
- 10 scallions sliced on the bias
For marinade, combine 5 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons of sesame oil, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Coat the venison with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile, prepare the Cabbage Dressing and the Korean Taco Sauce. For the Cabbage Dressing, combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, and lime juice in a large bowl. Mix well and set aside.
For the Korean Taco Sauce, combine 2 tablespoons soy sauce, the 3 remaining tablespoons honey, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, hoisin sauce, red pepper paste, rice wine vinegar, and garlic in a medium bowl.
Remove venison from refrigerator. Heat cast iron skillet until smoking hot, and then add both pieces of venison. Brown for 3 minutes. Turn over for another 2 to 3 minutes until medium rare. Transfer venison to a cutting board and let rest.
Meanwhile, place 3 tortillas in a large, dry, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until pliable, about 20 seconds per side. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
Add lettuce, cabbage, and scallions to bowl with Cabbage Dressing. Toss to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cut venison into strips across the bias.
Fill tortillas with cabbage mixture, venison, and drizzle with Korean Taco Sauce.