Homemade Shredded Chicken Tacos
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m obsessed with tacos. They are like little packets of joy. What’s not to love? Taco recipes are incredibly versatile, so you can match your taste preferences to your perfect taco. Personally, I can’t resist homemade warm corn tortillas as the perfect taco shell. They’re classic and steeped in rich history. Paired with a few flavors from my Korean heritage, these spicy shredded chicken tacos are a home run!
What is the Best Way to Shred Chicken for Tacos?
There are many gadgets and gizmos online and in the stores to shred meat. But it’s so easy to shred chicken with someone you probably already have in your kitchen! Personally, I prefer two metal forks out of the silverware drawer. Just stab both forks into a big piece of chicken, then pull them apart to shred the cooked meat.
Is it Easier to Shred Chicken When Hot or Cold?
It’s easier to shred tender, warm chicken than it is to shred tough, cold chicken. I recommend to shred chicken right after it’s done cooking. This will also make sure it’s still warm when you serve it. Win-win!
How Long is Shredded Chicken Good for in the Fridge?
Now if you happen to have leftovers, it’s best to store the chicken separately from the other ingredients in an airtight container. My favorite leftover containers are made of glass with lids that lock and provide a tight seal. I feel like glass keeps food tasting fresh longer. And the locking lids prevent any juices from spilling out. If you store your shredded chicken properly in the fridge, it’ll last three to four days.
Korean Chicken Tacos
I put my own little twist on these spicy shredded chicken tacos by including Korean flavors that I learned from my Grandma. Now, I know what you might be thinking – what goes in a Korean chicken taco?? Well, let me tell you what I find best in my Korean-inspired tacos. Mild cabbage and cucumber kimchi provides a delightful crunch and fresh flavor in each bite. The shredded chicken is marinated in soy sauce and gochujang to provide a spicy and umami kick to this delicious meal.
What Flavor is Gochujang?
We’ve been eating gochujang at our house as long as I can remember. I grew up having long chats with my grandma while dipping freshly sliced cucumbers into gochujang. Gochujang is a spicy dark red paste made from red chili peppers, fermented soybeans, rice, and salt. It’s thick and the spiciness is balanced by the rich umami flavor. Unlike some hot sauces where the more you eat, the less you taste, gochujang is dynamic and more of it adds more flavor. But more also adds more spice, so if you’re not a big spicy-fan, I’d stick with 2 to 3 tablespoons in your marinade.
Finding the Best Chicken Tacos
Everyone is different and everyone has unique flavor and texture preferences. I love some crunchy mildly fermented vegetables in my taco. And spicy gochujang chicken that is tender and shredded into chunks reminds me of my Grandma. I find white rice is my usual go-to in tacos, because it is stickier and is less likely to fall out of the other end of your taco shell. And while I love a lettuce-wrap taco from time to time, the classic corn tortilla cannot be beat. Add a shake of black sesame seeds or black garlic on top for that perfect final touch.
But these are just my preferences. Tacos are a beautiful invention because they are limitless in potential for variations and customization!
Looking for More Taco Recipes? 🌮
- Zucchini Fritter Tacos
- Vegan Roasted Cauliflower Tacos
- Grandma’s Korean Bulgogi Tacos
- Thai-Style Tacos with Peanut Sauce
- Chicken and Lime Tacos with Rice Flour Tortillas
Spicy Shredded Chicken Tacos
- 3 Tbsp gochujang (or more if you like spicy flavor)
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce or Bragg liquid aminos
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp minced ginger
- 4 minced garlic cloves
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs
- 2 cups dry white rice
- ¼ tsp salt
- 12 corn tortilla shells (store-bought or see the link in the blog post for a homemade recipe)
- 1 cup kimchi, spicy or mild depending on your preference
- In a large bowl, whisk together the gochujang, soy sauce, extra virgin olive oil, minced ginger and minced garlic. Add the chicken and mix until the chicken is fully coated in the marinade.Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic cling wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
- Arrange the marinated chicken in an even layer in a large Dutch oven or casserole dish with a lid. Place in a cold oven and turn on the heat to 450°F. Bake covered with a lid or aluminum foil for 20 minutes.Remove the lid or foil then bake uncovered for another 15 minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking, rinse the rice then cook it with the ¼ teaspoon salt either on the stove or in a rice cooker.
- Once the internal temperature of the chicken reaches at least 165°F, remove it from the oven and shred it using two metal forks.
- Assemble each taco with a little white rice, spicy shredded chicken, and kimchi on a corn tortilla shell. Top with black sesame seeds, lime juice, green onions, extra gochujang, or whatever you like.Enjoy!