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Korean Chicken Taco Recipe

by Jeanette on October 10, 2010 · 3 Comments
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Korean Chicken Tacos
Korean Chicken Tacos

I recently tried my hand at a Korean Chicken Taco recipe after tasting my first Korean taco at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco, California, which features a wide selection of artisan street food, in addition to fresh produce, meats, bread, cheese, and more. It was amazing to see how long the lines were at some of the most popular food stands.

One stand that caught my eye was Namu, a Korean stand, featuring “Real Korean Tacos” made with kalbi short ribs, seasoned rice, pickles and kimchee remoulade.

As an East Coaster, I’d heard about the popular Korean taco trucks in California (Koji Korean BBQ-To-Go is the most well known), and wanted to try to make a healthier, tasty version of Korean Chicken Tacos at home by substituting chicken for the fattier beef short ribs without sacrificing the rich flavor.

Korean Red Pepper Paste (Gochujang)
Korean Red Pepper Paste (Gochujang)

Korean Chicken Tacos are a great way to get everyone involved at the dinner table, with all the toppings laid out on the table, and everyone helping themselves to their favorite toppings.  It’s also a great way to get kids to eat their vegetables, which in this recipe, includes tomatoes and napa cabbage.

Although this taco recipe is not authentically Korean, it is reminiscent of Korean bo ssam, pork wrapped in lettuce leaves with toppings and a red pepper sauce.

Here’s my take on Korean Chicken Tacos:

5 from 1 reviews
Korean Chicken Tacos
* Gochujang can be found in the Asian section of supermarkets, Asian markets, and online.
Chicken Marinade:
  • ⅓ cup Korean red pepper paste (gochujang)*
  • ⅓ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2½ tablespoons organic cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil
Cabbage Salad Vinaigrette:
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon organic cane sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
Cabbage Salad:
  • 2 cups shredded Chinese Napa cabbage
  • ½ cup finely diced Vidalia onion
  • ¼ cup cup minced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
Taco Sauce:
  • ¼ cup marinade (that was set aside)
  • 1-2 teaspoons water
To Serve:
  • chopped tomatoes
  • 10-12 taco-size organic flour or corn tortillas, slightly warmed
Chicken Marinade:
  1. Mix Marinade ingredients together. Set aside ¼ cup of marinade for making taco sauce. Add chicken to remaining marinade and toss; put in Ziploc bag or container and refrigerate for 2 hours, turning once in a while to fully coat chicken.
  2. When ready to cook chicken, drain excess marinade from chicken. Heat oil in cast iron skillet. Place chicken in single layer and cook until done, about 5-7 minutes. Do not overcook. Cut into smaller pieces if desired.
Cabbage Salad:
  1. Whisk Cabbage Salad Vinaigrette ingredients together. In a large mixing bowl, toss together Cabbage Salad ingredients. Sprinkle vinaigrette over top of salad and toss, using more or less depending on your taste.
Taco Sauce:
  1. Stir water into reserved marinade, one teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
To Serve:
  1. Place tortilla on a plate and top with chicken, tomatoes, cabbage salad, and a drizzle of taco sauce.
Adapted from Hankook Taqueria, Atlanta, as seen in the NY Times, 7/28/10; in addition to marinading the chicken in gochujang, I used it in the taco sauce to give the tacos a richer, deeper flavor.
Korean Taco Toppings
Chinese Napa Cabbage

Chicken Taco Recipes and More:

Blessings Abound’s Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos
Everyday Southwest’s Pollo Asado Tacos
Serious Eats’ Mushroom Rajas and Corn Tacos

Anti-cancer Ingredients:  Cabbage, Onions, Scallions, Tomatoes

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  1. Don't you just love the Ferry Building Farmer's Market? Never had a Korean Taco but adding to the "to try" list!

  2. I really like the idea of Asian inspired tacos, it looks really yummy:)

  3. I’ve tried many versions of these Korean tacos and they’re always a good and quick eat. My friend actually opened up a Korean taco food truck in Asbury Park NJ!

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