Korean Chicken Tacos

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This is an excellent example of genuine fusion cuisine.  Some years ago in Los Angeles, someone had the idea to use Korean-style grilled chicken as a filling in a taco.  Another Asian touch was a soy vinaigrette to dress the vegetables in the taco, while two American touches were the flour tortillas and grated cheese.  This particular version was derived from a NYT article about a Korean-style taqueria in Atlanta.  I have made this many times over the years, and it has always been popular.  There are some pepper flakes in the vinaigrette, but otherwise, this is more flavorful than spicy.

The chicken should be marinated for 2-4 hours.  Because of the vinegar in the marinade, too much time marinating will make the meat mushy.

These quantities will serve 4 people.

For the marinated chicken:

1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs

¼ cup Korean red pepper paste (gochujang)

¼ cup white vinegar

¼ cup sugar

2 Tbs. sesame oil

For the vinaigrette:

¼ cup soy sauce

¼ cup white vinegar

¼ cup sugar

1 Tbs. sesame oil

1-1/2 tsp. red-pepper flakes

For the tacos:

3 leaves lettuce, shredded

1 cup shredded Napa or other cabbage

½ cup diced sweet onion

¼ cup sliced scallions

2 Tbs. chopped cilantro

8 flour tortillas

1 cup grated Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese

4 lime wedges

Place the chicken in a ziplock baggie with the marinade ingredients 2-4 hours before grilling.  Marinade the chicken in the refrigerator.  Mix up the vinaigrette, and cut up the vegetables for the salad.

Grill the chicken and then slice it.

While the chicken is grilling, lightly dress the vegetables with the vinaigrette. You may not use it all.

Assemble the tacos with the grilled chicken, salad and grated cheese on the flour tortillas.  Garnish with the lime wedges.  Serve immediately.


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