Punchy Korean flavours combine to make these Korean Spicy Chicken Tacos an easy weeknight dinner for your family or a great party dish.
So what makes these tacos Korean-style?
- Sesame oil
- Soy sauce
- Gochujang (hot pepper paste)
- Spring onions (green onions)
You’ll find these ingredients in many Korean recipes and each one contributes an amazing umami flavour to this meal. If you haven’t heard of umami, it’s the strong savoury taste that has really only been recently accepted as the “the fifth taste” (the others being the well known sweet, salty, sour and bitter). Umami is things like cheese, mushrooms, soy sauce, meats (especially cured meats), miso – think things with rich, earthy and intense flavours.
Summing all that up, these Spicy Korean Chicken Tacos are perfect little umami handfuls.
The heat (spiciness) in these tacos comes from the gochujang, a Korean hot pepper paste. If you’ve never tried it, please do. This is not just chilli paste. Gochujang is a sweet and spicy fermented paste made up of chilli powder, glutinous rice, soybeans, garlic, onions, salt among others. Some are hotter than others, so test it before adding and then just add it to your taste. Gochujan adds intense flavour to the chicken in these tacos which sits on a bed of shredded napa (chinese) cabbage, shredded carrot and long thin strips of cucumber, all of which serve to cool things down a bit.
So if you’re after a quick and easy weeknight dinner for your family, you can’t go wrong with Spicy Korean Chicken Tacos.
Have you tried this recipe? Rate it below or comment with any questions or thoughts.
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- 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoons mirin see notes
- 1 tablespoon gochujang see notes
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- Pinch of salt
- 3 spring onions (green onions / scallions), very finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger see notes
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 750 g chicken breast, cut into small chunks
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil see notes
- 12 small soft tortillas
- 2 cups cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 1 cucumber, sliced into thin strips
- 1 spring onion (green onion / scallion) thinly sliced
- Togarashi spice powder see notes
- Kewpie mayonnaise see notes
Mix together the sauce ingredients and set aside.
Mix together the finely chopped spring onion, garlic and ginger and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan. Add half of the chicken and cook, stirring every so often, for 5 minutes (depending on how thick the pieces are) until nearly cooked through but still tender.
Set aside, then repeat for the remaining chicken.
Return the first batch of chicken to the pan and add the garlic, ginger and spring onion mix. Stir fry until the chicken starts to get some golden bits.
Add the sauce to the pan and continue to stir fry for another couple of minutes until it thickens.
Heat the tortillas according to the packet or you can heat them on a grill or over a flame (being very careful not to burn yourself).
To assemble start by placing some cabbage, carrot and cucumber on the tortilla, follow with some chicken mixture. Sprinkle with the togarashi and extra spring onion. Finally add kewpie mayonnaise and devour.
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon
- Togarashi, Gochujang and Mirin are available from many supermarkets now but if you can’t find it, your local Asian grocer will definitely have them.