Korean flavors from spicy gochujang and fresh kimchi take these spicy Korean chicken tacos to a whole new level for your next taco party! The chicken is baked in a Dutch oven or casserole dish so it becomes super tender, and it's healthier than fried chicken. Let's get cooking!
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 including gochujang and kimchi, these Mexican-Korean fusion tacos are a home run!
What 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.
Gochujang is dynamic and the more you use, the more flavor you taste. But more gochujang also adds more spice, so if you're not a big spicy-fan, I'd stick with 2 to 3 tablespoons in your marinade.
- Gochujang - adds a wonderful spicy flavor; adjust the quantity depending on how spicy you prefer your chicken
- Soy sauce - substitute Bragg liquid aminos to make these tacos glute free
- Olive oil - you can use any cooking oil including coconut oil or vegetable oil
- Ginger - fresh minced ginger adds a bright, ginger flavor; you can substitute ginger powder if you don't have fresh ginger
- Garlic - fresh minced garlic adds a kick of garlic flavor; you can substitute garlic powder if you don't have fresh garlic
- Chicken - use boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs for the easiest preparation; and be sure to follow food safety best practices for chicken.
- White rice - jasmine rice works best for these tacos, since it's fluffy yet sticks together
- Salt - seasons the rice as it cooks
- Corn tortilla shells - use store-bought or homemade tortillas
- Kimchi - use spicy or mild kimchi, depending on your preference; cabbage or radish kimchi are my favorites for these tacos
How to Make Spicy Korean Chicken Tacos
- Make the marinade: In a large bowl, whisk together the gochujang, soy sauce, extra virgin olive oil, minced ginger and minced garlic.
- Marinate the chicken: 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 at least one hour, or overnight.
- Bake the chicken: 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.
- Cook the rice: 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.
- Shred the chicken: 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 the tacos: 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 toppings you prefer.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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!
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.
Yes! Just use less gochujang in the marinade to make the spicy shredded chicken less spicy.
What to Serve with Tacos
- Cilantro lime rice
- Roasted corn salsa
- Corn mango salsa
- Sour cream
- Cilantro or green onions
- Homemade corn tortillas
More Tasty Taco Recipes
- Zucchini Fritter Tacos
- Grandma's Korean Beef Bulgogi Lettuce Wraps
- Thai Chicken Tacos with Peanut Sauce
- Fajita Chicken Tray Bake
Spicy Korean Chicken Tacos
- 3 tablespoon gochujang (or more if you like spicy flavor)
- 3 tablespoon soy sauce (or use Bragg liquid aminos to make sure this recipe is gluten free)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 4 minced garlic cloves
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs
- 2 cups uncooked white rice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 12 corn tortillas
- 1 cup kimchi
- In a large bowl, whisk together the gochujang, soy sauce, 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. Top with black sesame seeds, lime juice, green onions, extra gochujang, or whatever you like.Enjoy!!