Thursday, February 2, 2012

Asian Mini Tacos

Need something different for the big game this weekend?   Try these little tacos with an Asian twist.

Asian mini taco, kamado grill appetizer, big green egg appetizer, grill dome appetizer

McCormick recently released their annual Flavor Forecast.  The focus is on global flavor, emerging food trends, and flavor pairings.  I think the trend that caught my attention the most was "No Boundaries".  

No boundaries?  There's anarchy in the kitchen, woo hoo!  

Here's what Chef Mark Garcia has to say about anarchy in the kitchen....errr, No Boundaries.  

The No Boundaries flavor profile that I chose to check out was tamarind, sweet soy sauce, and black pepper.   And the boundaries that I chose to violate are Southern BBQ, Mexican cuisine, and Asian cuisine.  These mini tacos use leftover BBQ chicken and Asian influenced slaw.

Asian mini taco, kamado grill appetizer, big green egg appetizer, grill dome appetizer

Asian Mini Tacos
Serves:  4 appetizer portions (12 mini-tacos)
  • 2 cups bbq chicken shredded*
  • 12 wonton wrappers*
For the slaw
  • 1/4 head cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 ea red or orange sweet bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 ea jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce (regular)
  • 1.5 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp mirin
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp McCormick's Black Pepper
For the sauce
  • 1/2 cup sweet soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup barbecue sauce
  • 4 tsp tamarind paste
  • 1/4 tsp McCormick's Black Pepper
  • 1/8 tsp McCormick's Garlic Powder
  1. Mix the slaw ingredients together and toss.  Refrigerate for 1-4 hours prior to serving, tossing occasionally.  
  2. Whisk the sauce ingredients together thoroughly.
  3. Pour oil until it is 1/2" deep in a small sauce pan.  Heat the oil to 350f.  
  4. Fry the wonton skins until they are crispy and golden brown, about 20-30 seconds a side.  My technique to do this is to hold one corner with tongs and lower half of the wonton into the oil, holding the bottom half in the oil using a slotted spoon.  Then flip over and repeat.  Place on a raised rack to drain. 
  5. Warm the chicken and 1/4 cup of the sauce over low heat in a saute pan.
  6. Assemble each taco with some of the chicken, slaw, and then squirt just a bit more sauce on top*.
  • I used some chicken that I had smoked, making sure to get a mix of white meat and dark meat.  You could use leftover rotisserie chicken.  Just tear it by hand or shred with two forks. 
  • The slaw recipe makes a little more than you will need.  Fry another few wonton skins and have some veggie tacos.  They rocked too.
  • Sorry for the "precise" measurements here, but we're making tacos, not baking.  
  • This sauce would be phenomenal on grilled wings too.
Learned how to make tamarind paste with this one but you can just buy the paste.  I was a little intimidated by these odd looking pods, but it was very easy.  The shell breaks by hand and then you just peel off the "strings".

Asian mini taco, kamado grill appetizer, big green egg appetizer, grill dome appetizer
I made sure each one got a slice of each pepper, not just for taste but color too.

Asian mini taco, kamado grill appetizer, big green egg appetizer, grill dome appetizer
Tiny tacos but big flavor!
[Standard Disclaimer]  I received compensation to help promote McCormick's 2012 Flavor Forecast but all opinions stated are my own.


  1. You are indeed creative and they sound delicious, but calling an Asian dish a taco is indeed pushing the boundries.

  2. No boundaries! We love that idea. Isn't that how fusion was born? Using that sauce for wings is perfect.

  3. I am excited to see these...I have some sweet soy sauce and just love it but want more recipes to use it in. I also love tamarind and often make a tamarind drink from it...really liking the tang or sweet/tartness of it, sorta like pomegranate molasses. Anyway I am bookmarking this, maybe I'll try making it this weekend I always have wonton wrappers in the freezer.

  4. What compensation do I receive for telling you how good this looks?

  5. Yum, that looks SO tasty. Plus, they're adorable. I imagine I'd find them hard to resist. I love anything with tamarind in it, although it's hard to keep the pods around the house because my eats them like candy if she can get her hands on them. I have to limit her or live with the consequences.

  6. Very creative Chris. Welcome Asia to Tacoville. I bet I couldn't eat just one.

  7. Wow, talk about a little thing packed with a ton of flavor! My mouth is watering.. than again, it does that a lot when I'm on your blog!! Fantastic idea!

  8. I had a version of this at a restaurant and I absolutely loved it. Been meaning to try something like this at home for a long time. Pinned it!

  9. Elegant party appetizers. Big flavors, oh and crunch! GREG

  10. They're adorable! And such flavor in such a small package! Inspired!!!

  11. Just a note to say I pinned this recipe earlier today and people went nuts. I think I had about 40 repins. These are quite popular on pinterest right now:)

  12. These look AMAZING. Absolutely mouthwatering and I've already had dinner. Wow. Way to push all the boundaries right out of the kitchen. I'm loving all of these flavors mixed up like this. I'm off to pin my own copy of these now. Have a great weekend!

  13. YUM!! Do you think you could overnight me a big batch of these for the Super Bowl tomorrow?

  14. I remember eating something like this years ago in a Mexican-Chinese restaurant (Pancho and Wong's) in Redondo Beach, CA. They had a great happy hour with an appetizer bar that regularly violated the normal ethnic food flavor combinations. Thanks for reviving the memories and giving me some ideas for some upcoming "fusion" meals.

  15. You are so darn clever. I could gobble up way too many of these bad boys. They look AWESOME!

  16. These rock Chris! Using wonton wrappers is genius. You have no idea how badly I want one right now!


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