This month's tacos inspired by Asian Cuisine
I’ve been eating and talking Asian cuisine all month, thanks to the Lunar New Year. I’ve talked long and learned a ton from Max and Sindy Chow as well as Thai and Kathy Tien of Grand House. I’ve also been inspired by Fung’s Kitchen and Pho Lien Hoa to come up with these two tacos.
Ginger is added to the mix to give it that fresh, bright flavor so common in Asian foods. For the garnish, I went with the julienned daikon and carrots found in Vietnamese banh mi and some watercress. Tacos live and die with the sauces they’re paired with, so I’ve infused salsa verde with ginger, mixed Mexican crema with hoisin sauce, and when all else fails, go with Sriracha.
To give the tortillas a dumpling feel, I’ve steamed them then pan-fried them with a small amount of oil.
Check back tomorrow for a vegetarian taco with Asian inspiration.
Ginger Chicken Tacos
- boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, minced and mashed
- 1 bunch of green onion, sliced. White parts only
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of Mirin (rice vinegar would work, too)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 12 corn tortillas
- 1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil
- Daikon and carrott matchsticks
- sliced radishes
- sliced fresh jalapeno
- watercress leaves
- 1 cup salsa verde with ginger (recipe below)
- 1/2 cup Hoisin Crema (recipe below)
- If the chicken is thawed, put it in the freezer one hour so that it’s partially frozen before slicing it thin and then chopping it into bite-sized pieces. Then set aside in a bowl, adding the juice of one lemon and some zest and a tablespoon of the soy sauce. Let stand at least 30 minutes. Make the crema and salsa while chilling and marinating chicken.
- Heat a wok to medium high, then add sesame oil.
- When the oil is rippling, add chicken and toss till both sides are browned. You might need to do this in batches.
- Add ginger and garlic, tossing frequently.
- Add remaining soy sauce and stir fry until it’s mostly cooked off.
- Add mirin, salt and pepper. Toss one more minute then remove from heat.
- Soak 4 to 6 papertowels with water, wring lightly then wrap them around the tortillas. Put in microwave on high for 1 minute.
- Let cool, while you heat a skillet to medium high and add 3 tablespoons of peanut or vegetable oil.
- Place two heaping spoonfuls of chicken in the steamed tortilla, and pan fry on both sides until toasted. Repeat until you’ve run out of filling.
Serve with daikon, carrots, sliced jalapenos, radishes, salsa verde with ginger and hoisin crema.
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