Sweet & Spicy Sesame Chicken & Basil Tacos

Taco Tuesday has arrived once again! This edition finds me munching on sweet and spicy chicken tacos filled with crunchy cabbage, cucumbers, and brown sugar laced seaweed. The flavors of this dish were Asian inspired; sesame oil, sesame seeds, basil, chili flakes, and a bit of vinegar. The sauce coating the chicken thighs had a ton of flavor so for the rest of the ingredients I wanted to keep it fresh and simple.

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When making a sauce like this I’ll often add a splash of rice vinegar to balance out all the flavors. This time I opted to try out some Sonomic Gold Almost Vinegar. This not quite vinegar is great for salads, sauces, drinks—and added the perfect sweetness and tartness—thanks to the Muscat grapes—to the dish. The flavor is very fruity, rich, but not too acidic; it complimented the spice and citrus elements of the dish nicely.

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But back to the recipe… Flour tortillas went much better with the flavor profile of the ingredients than I think corn would have and they held together well with all that delicious, sticky sauce. I love straying from traditional taco recipes and these are a nice departure from the fillings I usually choose when eating out. I’d serve these with some cold sake or a fruity Belgian ale and invite a bunch of friends over for a casual summer lunch or dinner.

My only regret is I didn’t make a double batch so that I had leftovers! This chicken would be wonderful on top of some steamed rice or in a Asian chicken salad!

What are some of your favorite ways to mix up taco Tuesday? Leave a comment below!

Chicken sesame basil tacos-6

Sweet & Spicy Sesame Chicken & Basil Tacos
Yields 8
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  1. For the Chicken
  2. 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  3. 1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into small pieces
  4. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  5. ½ cup diced green onions, plus more for serving
  6. Handful fresh chopped basil leaves
  7. For the Sauce
  8. Juice from ½ a lemon
  9. 1 tsp. sesame oil
  10. 2 Tbsp. sweet soy sauce
  11. 3 Tbsp. Sonomic Gold Almost Vinegar
  12. 1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
  13. ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  14. 1 tsp. sesame seeds
  15. 1 tsp. cornstarch + 2 Tbsp. water
  16. For Tacos
  17. Small flour tortillas
  18. Shredded Napa cabbage
  19. Diced green onions
  20. Thinly sliced cucumber
  21. Brown Sugar Nori, crumbled (I got mine from Wholefoods)
  22. Hot Sauce
  1. Make the Chicken
  2. In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium high heat.
  3. Add in chicken and season with a little salt and pepper.
  4. Cook for a few minutes before adding in garlic and green onions.
  5. While the chicken is cooking make the sauce.
  6. In a small bowl combine lemon juice, sesame oil, sweet soy sauce, Sonomic Gold, ginger, pepper flakes, and sesame seeds.
  7. In a separate bowl mix cornstarch and water then add to the sauce and whisk to combine.
  8. When the chicken is cooked through add the sauce and cook for another minute or so until sauce thickens and coats chicken.
  9. Turn off the heat and add the fresh basil and more green onions.
  10. Assemble
  11. Warm four tortillas in the oven, or use tongs to char over your stovetop.
  12. Top tortillas with shredded cabbage, cucumbers, chicken, and crumbled nori.
  13. Serve with your favorite hot sauce, like Sriracha, and enjoy!
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6 Comment

  1. Bea says: Reply

    Wow nice fusion ,pretty! <3 wanna try it soon

  2. […] From What Do You Crave? […]

  3. Anne says: Reply

    I love tacos and this flavor combination is GENIUS!

    1. Christine says: Reply

      Im obsessed with tacos too so I’m always trying to come up with different filling ideas! Thanks so much! The flavor was very Asian inspired and all that fresh basil was wonderful!

    2. Christine says: Reply

      Thank you so much Anne! I love fusion foods and these were a fun way to change things up!

  4. […] Sweet Spicy Sesame Basil Tacos What Do You Crave […]

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