Garlicky Soy-Glazed Chicken Tacos with Cabbage, Pickled Cucumber and Lime Crema.
I chose this meal because I knew I could do a couple of extra things to make these tacos really sing! We have talked about my love for Korean and Japanese food and I have started dipping my fingers into Thai so I have many Asian ingredients in my pantry and I have been kind of trying all of them on chicken because it is affordable for experiments. This dish comes with a sweet soy glaze and I have a small bottle that I haven’t really done anything with and the pickled cucumber was a chance to use my rice wine vinegar and mirin and the cabbage isn’t yet my favorite of the veg but the hubs loves it so I am trying!
This isn’t the first recipe that I went rogue on so I will stick to the same format of my noting during the steps where I make changes but I will make a separate list at the end of my pantry items that might not be in your pantry-but should be!
What they send: 10 ounces chicken breast strips, 6 flour tortillas, 1/2 red cabbage shredded, 2 ounces sweet soy glaze, 1 lime, 4 ounces sour cream, 2 cloves of garlic and 1 Persian cucumber-this is one of those small cucumbers that usually come in a bunch for making whole dill pickles.
What you will need: salt and pepper, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 2 teaspoons cooking oil.
Wash and dry all produce. Trim and halve cucumber lengthwise; thinly slice into half moons. Zest and quarter the lime. Peel and finely chop garlic. In a small bowl toss cucumber with juice from half the lime and 1/2 tsp sugar and a pinch of salt, set aside to quick pickle. *Here is my first move. I used about 1/2 cup rice vinegar, 2 TBSP sugar, 1 TBSP salt, 1/4 cup water and 2 TBSP mirin and heated it just until the sugar was dissolved and added the cucumbers while the liquid was still warm and let it hang out and get sexy and as soon as the cucumbers started to get soft which was about 4 minutes I strained out the liquid and put it in a bowl in the freezer so it got cold fast and put the cucumbers in a fresh bowl in the fridge to stop them from getting mushy.
In a second small bowl combine the sour cream, lime zest, a squeeze of lime juice-if you don’t pickle the cucumber in lime you have more to add in this step, a healthy pinch of salt and pepper and if the lime juice hasn’t thinned the cream enough to be able to drizzle it then add water or half and half until you can.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Heat a large drizzle of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook stirring occasionally until browned, 3-4 minutes. *This is my next set of moves. I butterflied the tenders and cut those wings in half so it was more like strips. I didn’t dry the chicken, I put it in a bowl with 1/4 teaspoon soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon fish sauce, a pinch each of ground ginger, onion powder, ground coriander, and 3 sprays of Bragg Liquid Aminos and a healthy pinch of black pepper. I let the chicken hang out in the marinade for about 30 minutes, maybe 45 before I started cooking. I also got a bit ahead on the cabbage in this step. I got the oil in the pan going and added the cabbage and 2 pinches of salt and let it go for about 3 minutes before I added the chicken.
We have cooked our chicken 3-4 minutes and it is starting to brown so we are going to add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds then we will add the cabbage and let it hang out with the chicken and garlic for a couple of minutes until it just begins to soften. When the cabbage looks sexy add the glaze and stir it around so that everything gets coated and let it cook for a few minutes so the glaze gets thick. Once the glaze has thickened turn off the heat and serve. * My last move was their suggested addition and that was to add a splash of the pickling liquid from the cucumbers and mix it in before the heat is turned off.
Warm tortillas, divide filling between them, top with pickled cucumbers and lime crema and serve.
As is this dish is delightful I’m sure, all of the dishes have been delightful but I wanted to spread a wing and we were not disappointed by my additions. And this is another recipe that can be adapted to any taste; replace the chicken with beef, salmon, portabella mushrooms, bell pepper, tofu, tuna, shrimp might hold up against the soy and if you wanted to go game meats boar would be my first pick but venison and soy feel like they would dance nicely.
This is what I had in my pantry: Bragg Liquid Aminos, Kikoman Sweet Soy Glaze, Fish Sauce-I can’t give a brand name brand as I am unable to translate the language but Amazon or Google shopping can hook you up with what you need if you don’t have an Asian market like I do. Rice vinegar should be available everywhere at this point, my regular market has 2 versions the seasoned type has more sugar, salt and maybe MSG added to enhance the flavor and the other is closer to a white wine vinegar. Ground ginger isn’t unusual but coriander might not be something everyone has. Coriander and cilantro come from the same plant! Coriander is the seed and you can buy them whole or ground, they are kind of spicy and lemony, I use the whole seeds in broth for ramen or pho and the ground for seasoning the Asian dishes and often times I add it to fajitas or tacos.
I hope you guys have as much fun with this dish as I did! These have quickly become my favorite taco and I have made them with beef but the chicken really shines!
Thanks ya’ll!! Happy cooking!!