The other day my sister was raving about these tacos she made and how I needed to try them. With all the hype surrounding Korean tacos lately, I was eager to try them. I'd had Korean tacos from Kogi food truck before and wondered if they'd taste the same. It was a good excuse to make something from the motherland and since I live in a half Korean occupied home, I thought I'd give it a go. The verdict: the tacos were pretty good as a whole, but I actually liked them better without the tortilla - makes them carb friendly too :)
The marinade for the chicken tastes very similar to the Spicy Korean Ribs (Daeji Galbi) I made many moons ago. It's a bit spicy and sweet, but not over the top spicy where it makes you break a sweat. The coleslaw actually helps mellow out the spice from the chicken and balances out the flavors really well. This dish was fun to try but next time I make it I would thinly slice the chicken, mix it with some leftover marinade, top it with the slaw and eat it straight up. Easy-peezy!
Korean Chicken Tacos
Adapted from Hankook Taqueria, Atlanta
2 small servings
For marinating chicken:
4 tbs Korean red pepper paste (gochujang, available in Korean markets)
4 tbs white vinegar
4 tbs sugar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
For the vinaigrette:
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs white vinegar
2 tbs sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
3/4 teaspoons hot red-pepper flakes (Go Chu Kah Loo – korean red pepper)
3 leaves green leaf lettuce, shredded (I used 1 Romaine lettuce)
1 cup shredded green cabbage or other cabbage
1/2 cup diced Vidalia or other sweet onion (I omitted)
1/4 cup sliced scallions
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
3 burrito-size or 6 taco-size flour tortillas
3 lime wedges
1. For marinating chicken: In a bowl (or sealable plastic bag) combine red pepper paste, vinegar, sugar and sesame oil. Carefully cut small crosswise slits down the length of each chicken breast, being careful not to cut all the way through. This will help the marinade penetrate the meat better, help the chicken cook evenly, and it also looks nice when the chicken is cooked. Add chicken to marinade and slather chicken with it. Cover (or seal) and refrigerate 2 to 4 hours or even over night.
2. For the vinaigrette: In a small mixing bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, sesame oil and pepper flakes. Whisk until well blended.
3. Prepare a grill or heat a large skillet. Grill or sauté chicken until golden brown on all sides and opaque in center; be careful not to overcook. Remove from heat and cut into 3/4-inch dice or slice into thin slices.
4. In a large mixing bowl, combine lettuce, cabbage, onion, scallions and cilantro. Toss with vinaigrette to taste. Place a tortilla on top. Place an equal portion of chicken on each tortilla, and top with a portion of salad. Finish with squirt of lime wedge.
*Next time I would reserve a quarter cup of the marinade and mix it with the sliced chicken after it is cooked. Instead of eating as a taco, put chicken on plate and top with slaw.