Fry Bread Tacos from a Native American Food Truck — Cooking in America

Fry Bread Tacos from a Native American Food Truck — Cooking in America


– So this next spot we’re
checking out is Off the Rez. It’s a food truck that’s serving up Native American cuisine. The only one in Seattle. We’ll be talking to Mark
who is celebrating a dish called fry bread, which is
a recipe that he learned from his Native American grandmother. What’s up, guys? This is the spot, huh? – This is it. – Sick, I’m super excited
to try some Indian tacos and some fry bread. – [Mark McConnell] Let’s do it. – [Sheldon] All right. (upbeat energetic music) – I grew up having fry bread. As far as with natives,
it’s kind of a staple. And when reservations were
given certain rations, they got simple ingredients and they kind of made something out of it. – That’s when food is
like the most like raw, when it’s born out of necessity– – Yeah, exactly. – [Sheldon] Yeah, and then you make something delicious out of it. (upbeat energetic music) – My grandma actually was the first one that I made fry bread with. She moved here with my mom
when my mom was in high school. They came from Browning, Montana. Which is where the
Blackfeet Reservation is. You ready to try one now? – [Sheldon] Yeah, let’s do it. – We make it every day. Flour, water, milk
powder, yeast, some honey, salt, and then you just drop them down. Traditionally the fry bread
would be a lot bigger. People are eating on the
go here, we wanted to do smaller ones and also so
that they can mix it up and try different kinds. (upbeat energetic music) We might as well make it beef because that’s kind of
like the traditional style. Got some beef chili– – [Sheldon] Topped off
with some cheddar cheese. – [Mark] Lettuce, sour cream sauce, and the pickled onions on top. – [Sheldon] Ooh, look at that. – The pulled pork, it’s
not a traditional one, but I’m a big fan of barbecue so I had to have something smoked on here. – Right, right. – [Mark] It’s one of my favorites. Pork shoulder, we smoke it 12 to 14 hours, then we top it off with
barbecue sauce that we make. – It’s a whole whoppingness
of deliciousness. I love how quick and efficient it is, man. – [Customer] Thank you, guys. – Enjoy. – Have a good one.
– Thank you. – Well Mark, in the early days this was your life when the
food truck first opened. – Yeah, this was every day. At that time, food trucks
were relatively new up here and I kind of liked the idea
of being able to move around to different locations. We found this truck, built
it out, and started going. – Were you in the food industry
too, before the food truck? – Actually neither one of
us was in the food industry. We were just kind of
office bees, you know? We just love food and we love cooking and we really wanted something that was our own so far
it’s been such a fun ride– – [Sheldon] Congrats on that. – And it’s like a labor of love. So this is our huckleberry jam one. And then we top it with
a little powdered sugar, and make it extra delicious. Huckleberries are pretty hard to find. – [Sheldon] Yeah. – A lot of the huckleberries around here are reserved for picking by Native tribes. We asked my mother-in-law, Mark’s mom, and then some huckleberries
came to our kitchen. (Cecilia laughing) – I love that. – It was wonderful, yeah. We do have a really popular burger– – Yeah. – Which is our powwow burger. So, instead of a regular bun,
we put it on our fry bread. – Let’s do it. – And it is so delicious. All-beef hand-formed patty. (upbeat energetic music) We also put our house-made
cumin crema sauce. (upbeat energetic music) So you got a bacon
cheeseburger on fry bread. That’s a powwow burger for ya. – Powwow burger. Must be super rewarding, though, because you get to see
the reaction right there. – Yeah, mostly it’ll be Native Americans that grew up having fry bread. There’s no where else to get it here. They’re thankful that we’re
around to supply them. That’s part of why I wanted to do it. (upbeat energetic music) – A lot of the talk in the culinary scene is defining what American cuisine is. A lot of it is celebrated
because of immigrants, but this is even before
that coin was flipped. This is indigenous food. And I love that it’s coming from someones who’s celebrating their own background instead of learning it
on Pinterest and Google. (laughing) – [Mark] Yeah. – This has the pulled pork
chopped on try fry bread. Cheers, guys. – [Cecilia] Cheers. – That’s what’s up. – And you have to make a mess. – Crispy on the outside,
but nice, soft, and doughy. Perfect amount of sweetness. Great job, guys. – Thank you. So this is the most classic, the first one that we came up with. We were like, this is the one we gotta do. For sure. (upbeat energetic music) – I would so crush like 20 of those. I love it. – Thank you. – And then you guys also
even make dessert ones, too. – [Cecilia] Yeah. – That’s so good. Oh my God. Perfect balance of tartness. And it soaks up in the bread, so you get the crispy on the outside, and then soft and gooey. It’s like the perfect jelly doughnut. You guys are crushing it. – Well, thank you. – It’s so good. – Don’t forget about the burger. (upbeat energetic music) – Texture is so key to
making a perfect recipe. And the fry bread has all of
that in it already by itself. – Yeah, it varies from region to region, so we’re doing like Montana style. – Alright. Blackfeet style. – You guys are the only ones
that’s doing it out here. – Yeah, he was like,
I’m craving fry bread. And we kept talking about what kind of restaurant
do we want to open up? And it was like, obviously fry bread. Like, nobody has this, and
we really were just excited about bringing it to people. One of the first places
that I tried fry bread was at a powwow after I met him. But now we’re the fry bread
at the powwows sometimes. – Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. When you guys first opened up, what did people think about fry bread? I don’t know, I didn’t
know about fry bread. – Yeah, for sure. I mean, some people just really
didn’t know about it at all, and they thought that we
invented a fusion concept of Indian tacos. They see Indian taco and they think that it’s curry based. – Yeah yeah yeah yeah. Is there a Native American community here that you guys– – Yeah, the city was
named after Chief Seathl. – And lots of tribes, as soon as you, kind of, come out of the city, there’s like Tulalip
tribes, Suquamish tribes, and lots of other tribes
that are local to here. And coastal tribes. They have their own fry bread style too. Smoked salmon, that’s
just like so delicious. – Oh yeah. – A lot of really good seafood. – Yeah, it’s really good. – So why don’t we see this next to Korean food or… Or even right now, like
Filipino food, right? Why isn’t there Native American food? – I think that, for the Native community, the barriers to entry for
business is a little bit tough. You know? It costs a lot of money
to start something. I mean, we poured our
blood, sweat, and tears into building this business. – I think a lot of it is, Natives were here first. They were making all their food before there was a health
department in Seattle. I think that’s why a lot of
them are on the reservation. Because they can do what they want there. On the land that was theirs. – It’s a struggle. We’ve always gone through
that in Hawaii too. – Yeah it’s the same kind of thing. I wanted to do something that
would give other Natives pride and jump through the
hoops, and make it happen. – You’re wanting to
share your culture, man. There was nothing gonna stop you guys. Especially coming from Native Americans. They should be the first
ones to be celebrated. (food sizzling in the pan) – Now we go in with the goat. – Whoa, you know it’s going
to be flavorful already. – Oh my gosh. – And the goat gets in there. – Yes. (upbeat music)

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