Teriyaki Chicken Tacos are a quick, flavorful taco recipe that can be easily customized to your tastes. This moist, tender chicken cooks up perfectly over the grill or a grill pan and makes a great weeknight meal and can be easily doubled if you’re feeding a crew!
It’s taco season! When I say that I picture myself standing on a stage like Oprah saying: “You get a taco! You get a taco! You get a taco!” because, honestly, if I had a my own talk show, tacos would be on my “favorite things” list every. single. time. I’d give my entire audience a taco. And my audience is all you fine people reading this blog.
And, since I can’t really give everyone a taco, I can do the next best thing, which is give you all a taco recipe (or two or three…). You’re welcome in advance. Or maybe, I’m sorry in advance because once you eat these Teriyaki Chicken Tacos, you will have to make them at least three more nights in a row and then every week thereafter. So, sorry not sorry really because you’ll be glad to get these Asian-inspired tacos into your life.
WHAT IS SLAW?
Slaw, other than being a really funny word if you say it enough times, is a salad of sorts that’s commonly served with barbecue, tacos, or other meat-based, saucy meals. Slaw typically contains finely-shredded cabbage and a dressing. The dressing can be either mayo-based or more vinaigrette-based, depending on what you’re using it for and your flavor preferences.
HOW DO YOU MAKE CABBAGE SLAW?
For these teriyaki tacos, I like to pair an Asian-influenced cabbage slaw that has a creamy base made not with mayo but with sour cream. I prefer sour cream because it gives the tangy zip of a vinegar with a creamy ingredient that you’d use to top a taco with anyway — kind of killing two birds if you will.
Putting the slaw together could not be easier. I shred green cabbage (you could use red as well or a combo of both) or if I’m short on time, I purchase pre-packaged cabbage slaw already shredded. To the cabbage, I add thinly sliced red onion, cucumber, and cilantro, and toss all of the veggies together. In another bowl I whisk together the honey, sour cream, salt, pepper, and the spicy stuff (hot sauce or red pepper flakes). Pour the dressing over the slaw and mix it all together. It’s perfectly okay if the slaw sets up for 30 minutes to an hour so all the flavors can come together (let this magic happen in the fridge).
But, if you need to chop, mix, and serve right away, that’s okay too! This slaw will last 1-2 days in the fridge before turning soggy and kinda gross. If you can get it to last that long — I know we always finish ours all up every time we make these tacos.
HOW TO CUT CHICKEN BREASTS INTO CUTLETS
I like to cut my chicken breasts lengthwise (or into cutlets) because chicken cooks up more evenly this way and you will have more servings of the yummy chicken too. Don’t let the word “cutlet” scare you — it’s really just cutting the chicken in half lengthwise, which means through the middle, but on the long end.
To do this, make sure you have a sharp knife and a larger cutting board so you have some room to work with. Place the boneless, skinless chicken breast down on the cutting board. Place your hand on top of the breast. Turn your knife’s blade toward the chicken and slowly slice it in half while pressing down with your opposite palm to keep it from slipping away from you.
Once you’ve sliced all the way through — ta da! You have two pieces of chicken breast meat or cutlets. It’s best to do this cutting process before marinating in the teriyaki sauce. If you have trouble cutting the breasts in two, try doing it while they are partially frozen — it’s much easier to cut frozen chicken than thawed chicken.
WHAT SIDE DISHES GO WITH TERIYAKI CHICKEN TACOS?
I tend to toss everything on my tacos — fruits, veggies, sauces, spices, condiments, you name it. But, I do also serve some sides sometimes because well, I realize not everyone likes to eat an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink taco like I do.
- Who isn’t in the mood for a crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad? I’d wager to say almost no one, never.
- This Chopped Asian Salad goes great with tacos!
- Corn on the cob goes with tacos like peanut butter goes with jelly. That’s how I know this Asian Grilled Corn on the Cob will pair just right with the teriyaki chicken tacos.
- For a hint of sweetness, try this Asian Strawberry Sesame Salad right alongside your tacos.
- Baked Garlic Sriracha Fries can roast right up in your oven while you’re grilling your tacos.
- I also like to serve tacos with a side of rice or plain ole’ corn on the cob. Add a dash of Sriracha or other hot sauce or chili sauce to give your rice and corn some Asian flavoring.
boneless skinless chicken breasts
cut in half lengthwise
6-inch flour tortillas
pineapple rings, cut in half lengthwise
or 1 cup diced pineapple
asian cabbage slaw
finely shredded cabbage
peeled and thinly sliced
each salt and cracked black pepper
sriracha sauce OR crushed red pepper flakes
Combine chicken and 1 cup of teriyaki sauce in a large Ziploc bag. Press excess air out, seal, and chill for 30 minutes or up to overnight.
Use tongs to transfer chicken to a preheated grill or grill pan over medium heat. Cook for 5-8 minutes on each side until cooked through.
While chicken is cooking, prepare the slaw by whisking together sour cream, honey, salt and pepper, and sriracha or red pepper flakes. Stir in cabbage, red onion, cucumber, and cilantro. Set aside.
Thinly slice chicken and serve in tortillas with pineapple and slaw. Top with remaining teriyaki sauce and serve.