TERIYAKI CHICKEN TACOS

You’re probably thinking… Japanese and Mexican? Yes indeed!

I am turning up for taco Tuesday! I love a fusion and these two cultures do have parallel flavor profiles.

These tacos are the ultimate fusion: traditional Japanese teriyaki and the classic Mexican street taco. Now I love an interesting combination — it usually results in a burst of unexpected flavor! Think about the tangy teriyaki sauce complimented by the citrus of the lime.

Making tacos can be a bit time consuming due to all the toppings. And since I want everything on it, sometimes it feels like chopping and slicing takes a bit of time.  If there is a lesson to be added to this recipe, it’s mise en place. I’ve mentioned this in recipes before, and it essentially means “everything in its place.” Often heard (or yelled) in professional cooking settings, it’s a term that refers to the general set preparation of the meal. Whether you need to crush garlic, chop herbs, or measure out a cup of flour — get it done before you even put flame to the pan. Arrange in all front of you, step by step, for quicker cooking. Any meal — especially those with a lot of ingredients of toppings — can benefit from mise en place.

Let’s fuse!

 

teriyaki chicken tacos 

makes 8 tacos, 24 hr marinade + 20 minute prep + 20 min cook time


INGREDIENTS

1 lb chicken breast, pounded thin

marinade
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
2 limes, juiced
1/4 teaspoon cumin
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/8 tablespoon ground black pepper
sea salt, to taste
cilantro, roughly chopped

salsa fresca

1 Roma tomato, diced
1/4 red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, smashed and diced
1/2 lime, juiced
pinch of sea salt, to taste
crushed black pepper, to taste

taco assembly

6” tortillas (flour or corn, your preference)
1 avocado, sliced
1 radish, shaved
1/4 cup cotija cheese, crumbled
1/4  cup cilantro
1 lime sliced

 

METHOD

At least 24 hours before serving the tacos, begin to marinate the chicken. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bag and pierce the chicken with a fork a few times before placing into the bag. The ensures the chicken with absorb the marinade. Store in airtight ziplock bag in fridge. Remove when you are ready to begin cooking.

Heat a large, well-oiled cast iron pan with a medium flame. When pan is hot, transfer the chicken onto pan and do not move them until they are ready to be turned over, about 5-7 minutes (depending on thickness), or perfectly charred.

Carefully place all pieces in pan. Cook until they are slightly charred, creating a crisp crust on the exterior.

Once they are just about fully cooked, set aside on a cutting board. In the pan, scrape off any burnt pieces.

Begin to pull apart and shred the chicken, using a knife and a fork (or bear claws). Using tongs, place the chicken back into the pan and simmer on low in its natural juices for about 5 minutes. Feel free to add more teriyaki sauce to thicken and/or add a bit more flavor. Stir until the chicken becomes saturated and fragrant. Set aside.

Make the salsa. In a bowl, combine diced tomato, corn, onion, garlic, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Stir until flavors are combined.

Lightly pan fry the tortillas until they are browned.

Assemble the tacos. Lay out one or two warm tortillas, then a small amount of chicken, salsa, an avocado slice, radish slices, cotija cheese, and cilantro, with a side of lime.

 

 

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