I had been eyeing the Kung Pao Chicken Tacos featured in Cooking Light recently, and was planning to try making them eventually. Today, I had a serious craving for spicy Asian, so it seemed the perfect time to try making this food truck inspired taco recipe. I looked at the photos and recipe, to see what I needed to pick up at the market to make it happen, and decided some changes were in order, to satisfy my personal immediate craving. Celery... no thanks, I like it, but I'm kicking it out of my tacos. I also pondered adding lettuce or something for that cool contrasting crunch I adore so, in traditional tacos. I would solve that dilemma at the market, knowing some frisky piece of produce would say, "hey lady over here, pick me".
At the market, I grabbed a red pepper, sweet onion & scallions. This dish was metamorphosing into Szechuan Chicken tacos... similar, yes, but a different branch of the species. I gazed at the available lettuces & greens, comparing the pros & cons of each option. The more I looked, the more I started to want coleslaw, but that just didn't seem quite right. I must have been quite the site, standing there staring at the veggies like I was in some sort of a produce museum. Then the Savoy cabbage said "Hey, lady" ... and it all pieced together. An Asian slaw from the lighter textured Savoy would do the trick. I would even toss the peanuts in with it. Oh, yeah! I headed home with my fresh supplies.
Szechuan Chicken Tacos
- ¾ - 1 lb chicken breast
- 2 tbs. cornstarch
- 1 tbs. canola oil
- 1 cup sliced sweet red pepper
- 1 cup chopped sweet onion
- ¼ cup thinly sliced scallion
- 2 dozen corn tortillas
- 2 ½ cups shredded Savoy cabbage approx. ½ a head
- 1 tbs. rice wine vinegar
- ¼ tsp. sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon low sodium soy sauce I use gluten-free
- 1 tsp. fresh lime juice
- ⅓ cup unsalted or lightly-salted peanuts I used cocktail peanuts
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1 ½ tbs. fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 3 tbs. rice wine vinegar
- 3 tbs. light brown sugar
- 1 tbs sambal oelek chili paste
- 1 teaspoon sriracha hot chili sauce
- 1 clove of garlic crushed minced
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- Toss together the ingredients for the slaw, and set aside.
- Whisk together the sauce ingredients and set aside, as well.
- Cut the chicken breast into bite size pieces add cornstarch, and toss to coat the chunks.
- Put canola oil in large wok or skillet over med-high heat, once it is hot add the peppers & onions. Stir fry for a minute.
- Add the chicken, and stir fry until cooked through.
- Add the sauce, stir over heat until sauce is thickened and chicken is glazed. Remove from heat & toss in scallions.
- Place corn tortillas under broiler, when a light char starts, flip them and very lightly char other side. Remove and gently fold over while hot & fill with slaw and stir fried chicken.