Aarón Sánchez of MasterChef Shares Secret Recipe for Life on the Road

Celebrity chef Aarón Sánchez is always looking for inspiration in out-of-the-way places. The master of modern cuisine, who has cooked alongside the likes of Paul Prudhomme in New Orleans, finds it in those little restaurants on small side streets where only locals eat. He finds it in neighborhoods, where vibrant people are excited to share what they love about their culture. That’s why he stays in homes booked on Airbnb when he’s on the road for work.

Today, Aarón Sánchez shared some of the ways life on the road has inspired his craft to run across his and Airbnb’s channels. Watch as Aarón discusses family bonding and culinary adventures he uncovers while staying in places listed on Airbnb. You even get to see him cooking with his uncle, and give instructions on how to land the ultimate cannonball in the pool.

Whether it’s a stay in LA’s Koreatown — where Sánchez first dreamed up the idea for tacos with kimchi jicama slaw (check out the recipe below) — or a beautiful star-lit evening spent relaxing in the backyard in Houston, Aarón Sánchez is at home, even when his work takes him to far away places.

Feeling hungry? Fire up the stove and cook his tasty, Koreatown-inspired recipe for tacos with Kimchi Jicama Slaw. You’ll find the recipe at the bottom of this post.

Traveling far and wide, Aarón Sánchez has had the opportunity to sample exotic and delectable flavors in many distant locales. Of all these locations, here are five cities he sees as foodie must-visits. If you find yourself like Aarón, enchanted by the local markets and flavors of these cities and eager to whip up your own creation, we’re sharing some outstanding kitchens on Airbnb in each destination.

Los Angeles

Spacious, Trendy Glendale Home near Studios


Champagne Living in Chicago’s Coolest Airbnb Art Gallery


Stunning 1927 Home Minutes from Downtown and Medical Center




Upmarket Loft Apartment in the Lively Heart of Bangkok

Head over to airbnbforwork.com to discover more about Aarón Sánchez’s life on the road with Airbnb.

Aarón Sánchez is an award-winning chef, TV personality, cookbook author and philanthropist. He is the chef/owner of Mexican restaurant Johnny Sánchez in New Orleans, and a judge on FOX’s hit culinary competition series MasterChef. He is also author of the upcoming book Where I come From: Life Lessons from a Latino Chef (due out October 1).

Carne Asada Tacos with Pico de Gallo and Cactus-Jicama Kimchi

Pico de Gallo

  • 1 jalapeno, sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, cored, small dice
  • 1 small yellow onion, small dice
  • 2T cilantro, chiffonade
  • 1 ea garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 ea lime
  • Kosher salt


Combine all the ingredients into a bowl and season to taste

Cactus and Jicama Kimchi…aka “El Kimchi”

  • 1 ea medium paddle Cactus, de-thorned
  • 1 ea small jicama, cleaned and cut into matchsticks 1/8”
  • 1 ea small red onion, sliced
  • 2T red wine vinegar
  • 2T white sugar
  • 1T kochujang
  • 1t kosher salt
  • 1t fish sauce
  • 1t Korean chili flakes
  • 2T chipotle adobo
  • 1T jalapeno, chopped
  • 2T cilantro, chopped

Cactus Method

  • Bring a medium pot of water to a boil (one that will fit the cactus)
  • Carefully clean the cactus, holding the stem, take your knife and glide it along the cactus paddle to cut off the thorns. Trim off the outer layer around the paddle
  • Prepare an ice bath. When the water comes up to a boil, salt the water and blanch the cactus for 4 minutes. Place the cactus in the ice bath when done
  • Dry the cactus using paper towels and cut the cactus into 1/8” batons

Kimchi Method:

  • Combine all the ingredients into a bowl, season to taste and place into an airtight container

Carne Asada Marinade

  • 3 ea garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2T while granulated sugar
  • ¼ c ancho chili powder
  • 1T ground black pepper
  • 2T kosher salt
  • ½ large bu cilantro, leaves and stems well rinsed, chopped
  • 1ea orange, juiced
  • 2 ea limes, juiced
  • ¼ c mirin
  • 1- 12oz can Cass beer (or other lager beer)
  • 2T fish sauce
  • 2T Korean chili flakes
  • 2T red wine vinegar
  • 2T Kochujang
  • 1T liquid from canned chipotle
  • 2T EVOO
  • 2# skirt steak or flap meat
  • 4” flour tortillas
  • 1/2c cilantro leaves- for garnish


Combine all the ingredients into a bowl (except for meat, tortillas, and garnishing cilantro leaves) and season to taste. Add meat into bowl and marinade for a minimum of 4 hours

  • When ready to cook, pre-heat the grill to med high
  • Remove steak from marinade and cook on each side for about 4 minutes. Rest and slice thin
  • Warm the tortillas on the grill
  • Place meat inside tortilla, garnish with pico de gallo, el kimchi, and lastly finish with cilantro leaves



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Tony Bowles, Contributing Columnist

Tony Bowles is one of the youngest sought journalists in the media world. He focuses on lifestyle, travel, entertainment, food, and more! Based in New York City