chicken street tacos

by jenna on August 10, 2011

Since moving to the great state of California, I have learned many things. Many, many things, my friends.

I have learned to not touch any brownies unless I make them myself.

I have learned how to dodge motorcyclists by an inch on the freeway.

I have learned that there’s an actual race where people run naked? <—weird.

It’s been an interesting transition to say the least. One of the best things I’ve learned though is how to make a real taco. Not the kind that we used to make growing up with large flour tortillas, tons of cheddar cheese, seasoned beef and iceberg lettuce, but tiny authentic street tacos that can literally be found on every single corner around here.

It must be the week for miniature food, because that’s what these tacos remind me of! I can hardly believe that up until moving out here, I had never tried a corn tortilla. I seriously thought the only kind of tortilla out there was flour! I can almost see you shaking your heads and rolling your eyes at me.

Stop that!

The other night, I ventured over to the other valley (napa!) to visit my friend, Korina. When she asked if I could stay for dinner, I debated, thinking of my grand plans to brush Dexter, sweep my floors and try on all the shoes in my closet. Then I said yes. Lucky for me, she made these tacos! Well, not THESE tacos…Korina actually made her own corn tortillas (here’s a great recipe if you’re interested in trying!) while I just sat, sipped on a mango margarita and watched in awe.

The tortilla press… the masa…the delicately sliced radishes…the satisfaction from someone else cooking me a homemade dinner…it was a beautiful thing. Thank you, Korina!

Well, I loved Korina’s tacos so much that the next night I made them again for myself. Obviously they weren’t as good as hers (why does food always taste better when someone else makes it?) but they hit the spot.

The only thing I have left to say right now is that even if you think you don’t like radishes, try them on these tacos! I hated them until I had a radish epiphany the other night. Now I can’t stop eating them. It’s a little odd.

Chicken Street Tacos

makes 9 small tacos (serves 3-4 depending on how many tacos each person eats. I can easily pack away three!)

Print this recipe!

Ingredients:

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped into small pieces

mix of chili powder, cumin, salt and/or taco seasoning

1 small bunch radishes, sliced thin

1 bunch cilantro, minced

4 oz queso fresco cheese (use feta if you can’t find it)

2 limes

9 small corn tortillas

1 T canola oil

salsa

Directions:

Heat the oil over medium high heat. When hot, add the chicken and cook for about eight minutes, or until chicken has cooked through. Remove and put chicken in a bowl and season with salt, chili powder, cumin and/or taco seasoning. There’s no real measurements here—just season to taste.

Wipe down your skillet then heat up again to medium. Add the corn tortillas, one by one, to warm up.

Once warm, fill tortillas with a little chicken, some chopped cilantro, sliced radishes, a little cheese and a big squeeze of lime. Serve with additional toppings and salsa if desired.

Time:

30 minutes

 

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{ 89 comments… read them below or add one }

Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance August 10, 2011 at 4:39 am

YES.

Never heard of fresco cheese (you can say “cooking newbie”) but i’m sure its great. I must try this!

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amy walters, aDESIGNdock August 10, 2011 at 4:42 am

Aaaahhh! Love this new “real taco” combo Jenna.

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Kathryn August 10, 2011 at 4:46 am

Wow, these look so good. I know what I want for dinner tonight!

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sofia August 10, 2011 at 4:49 am

one day, when i move to california, i will understand what good mexican food tastes like. until then, i’ll have to just make these tacos :)

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat August 10, 2011 at 4:51 am

LOL about the brownies!! Although I’m sure that Jenna-baked brownies are more magical than any of the “special” brownies you’d find in California. ;) Come to think of it, a brownie sounds like the perfect dessert to have after one of these tacos… :P

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Molly @ RDexposed August 10, 2011 at 4:51 am

I never thought that I’d love shredded red cabbage on a taco. Although, anything that you put on a pork belly taco is going to be good, right?

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jenna August 10, 2011 at 4:58 am

tacos are my all time favorite!! and I day dream of this taco truck you always talk about.

these look delicious.

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katie @KatieDid August 10, 2011 at 5:02 am

I had an incredible authentic chicken taco this past weekend… avocado, lime, pineapple salsa, warm corn tortillas… it was all too perfect. I’ve read about people seeking out these perfect fish or chicken street tacos but never knew what the hype was about. I mean sure tacos are good but… I guess I was also thinking of the typical flour tortilla stuffed with usual fare. Now I know what I’ve been missing and there’s no turning back.

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Blog is the New Black August 10, 2011 at 5:03 am

Can’t wait to try these! I’ve been craving mexican!

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Heather (Heather's Dish) August 10, 2011 at 5:03 am

i have yet to have a street taco with radishes (i’m a little skurred) but i’m always down for the mini corn tortilla tacos! heaven!

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Hayley @ Hayley Daily August 10, 2011 at 5:06 am

These look delicious. My friend from LA is always raving about street tacos from California, so I trust that yours are legit! :)

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Lauren @ What Lauren Likes August 10, 2011 at 5:07 am

Cool! I am glad I can use feta…I do not have fresco cheese in my house! haha. I love the colours of this dish. The radish is a great addition :)

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Ashley August 10, 2011 at 1:25 pm

I’m not so sure about using feta!!! I would probably just go for cojita cheese, goat cheese or shred a little jack cheese. Feta has a very strong taste… fresco does not.

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Tasha @ Voracious Eats August 10, 2011 at 5:12 am

YES! There is nothing like a ‘real’ taco. And corn tortillas are so incredible, I love the texture…and the taste…and everything about them! The flavor combo in these tacos are outta this world, I bet the lime is the perfect touch.

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga August 10, 2011 at 5:19 am

I’m even closer to the border down here in San Diego than you are, and yes, tacos aplenty here too!

I was in Mexico City two weeks ago on a photography tour and even thought I thought I had seen my share of Mexican food here in San Diego, it was EYE OPENING all that I saw in Mex City. Of course, you’d expect that in Mexico and all :) but it was far different than I ever, ever expected. In my wildest dreams. Some real eye opening sights.

Your little tacos are adorable. Glad you’ve embraced CA tacos. And motorcyclists. When I see one coming, I try to stay super straight in my lane, and then I pray. Pray they do not hit me!

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Notyet100 August 10, 2011 at 5:23 am

Mmmmm drooling

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Daisy August 10, 2011 at 5:23 am

I love radishes on tacos! However, I think I have only ever had them with steak tacos. I imagine they are just as delightful with chicken!!

so you ate a pot brownie?! ;)

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Baking N Books August 10, 2011 at 1:11 pm

lol – is that what the secret is?! I was just thinking that the brownies suck there ;)

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Erin August 15, 2011 at 9:17 am

haha no, i’m sure the brownies are tasty there.
all brownies have their time and place :)

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Baking N Books August 10, 2011 at 5:37 am

Thanks – nice to see something other than a salad! You deserve to be cooked for – does Adam cook much?

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JC August 11, 2011 at 7:38 am

Considering cooking is her job, I doubt she really minds.

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Erika @ The Teenage Taste August 10, 2011 at 5:42 am

You had me at tacos. I LOOOOOOVE tacos! :-)

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Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove August 10, 2011 at 5:50 am

Those look so yummy! I’m not a fan of radishes – but I think that’s because I’ve never had them before. Maybe I’ll give them a shot!

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Gina @ Running to the Kitchen August 10, 2011 at 5:53 am

I had a bag of radishes I used in a recipe weeks ago and literally just yesterday the rest away because I couldn’t think of anything to use them on!

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Hilliary@HappilyEverHealthy August 10, 2011 at 6:02 am

These sound so good! I don’t like ground beef at all so I am always looking for new ways to fill tacos!!

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Cait's Plate August 10, 2011 at 6:10 am

Oh man – I’m SO glad you discovered corn tortillas! They seriously rock my world.

These look like heaven – and living in the land of food trucks (NYC) I can tell you that these look WAY better than anything I’ve seen out there!

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Jen August 10, 2011 at 6:49 am

I’ve lived in Los Angeles my entire life, and have never eaten a street taco from here. It that unheard of? Although, my family used to vacation in Mexico every Summer, and we always got street tacos there! I especially loved getting shrimp tacos from the street. There would always be a motherly Mexican woman making her own tortillas!

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Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather August 10, 2011 at 6:53 am

I used to never like corn tortillas until I started croaking them in a pan. Now I’m obsessed! These look so good and super cute too :)

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Bev Weidner August 10, 2011 at 7:00 am

I loved every single word of this.

Chicken. Street. Tacos.

They own my soul.

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Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) August 10, 2011 at 7:00 am

I am in shock that you hadn’t had a corn tortilla before CA. That cracks me up! These are my favorite kind of soft tacos – so simple and tasty!

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Estela @ Weekly Bite August 10, 2011 at 7:06 am

Street tacos are the best!! Looks delicious :)

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Kristie August 10, 2011 at 7:09 am

Is your friend Korina married to a Justin, by chance? If yes… he went to college w/ me and they are both the bomb! If no I’m sure she’s cool too though, making you homemade corn tortillas and all :).

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jenna August 10, 2011 at 7:33 am

yes!!! small world!

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Erin August 10, 2011 at 7:31 am

Food cooked by others really is better. Especially when it involves homemade corn tortillas! Drool.

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Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles August 10, 2011 at 7:53 am

I just spent some time in YOUR valley = LOVE! –a little part of me wishes that I never would have gone, simply because I can’t afford to make the trip three times a year like I would like, that is like a minimum……
As for the tacos, they look great! I can’t say I’ve ever had anything but a flour tortilla, SO I’m NOT shaking my head at you!

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Emily August 10, 2011 at 8:00 am

I’m not usually a huge fan of latin food but these look amazing! I love all the fresh ingredients that you used and, as usual, great photos!

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Ida August 10, 2011 at 8:10 am

Yum! I think the brownie lesson merits a post:)

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Mellie August 10, 2011 at 8:15 am

yum! I love mexican food… so much. Maybe too much.

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Angharad August 10, 2011 at 8:17 am

If you’re just discovering a love of tacos I have two recommendations for you love. Try them dipped in some really good sea salt and try them swiped through butter. Mind blowing.

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lisa August 10, 2011 at 8:29 am

yummmy! i’m obsessed with tacos!

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Lola August 10, 2011 at 8:44 am

Every time I came to the USA, I was so annoyed with their version of “tacos”. I only eat them now in mexican neighborhoods such as Pilsen!! Thanks God there are “real” tacos somewhere else in the world!! you made my day :)
xoxo
Lola

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Stephanie Rose August 10, 2011 at 9:09 am

I received a birthday card from family in San Fransico with people rollerblading on the Golden Gate Bridge. Haha sounds fun! And radishes in my tacos sound perfect- I used to eat bags of them as a child-weird, I know.

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kaila @ healthy helper! August 10, 2011 at 9:11 am

These remind me of the tacos I got at a farmers market last year when I was visiting my sister in san diego!! They were incredible!!

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Em August 10, 2011 at 9:11 am

Brilliant recipe! What a great use for all the radishes in our church garden!

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Heather @ girlyeverafter August 10, 2011 at 9:14 am

The best tacos I’ve ever had have all come out of a truck from a vendor(not a creepy guy selling food) haha. I love really simple tacos, perfect!

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Rebecca @ How the Cookies Crumble August 10, 2011 at 9:32 am

I love street tacos! Especially corn tortillas. I would have never thought to put radishes on tacos but I’m willing to give it a try!

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Khushboo August 10, 2011 at 9:45 am

Love tacos! Just made taco burgers for dinner with veggie mince so will def be trying this recipe with the remaining seasoning!

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Kathryn (Flopoodle) August 10, 2011 at 9:46 am

Mmmm I think I have to make these for dinner tonight.

As for bay to breakers…that race took place the day after I moved to SF a couple of years ago, and it was definitely an interested introduction to the city! Haha

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Stephanie August 10, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Haha I’ve never commented but I moved to SF the week before Bay to Breakers this year and for a twenty something Southern girl I was in shock! But now that I’ve lived here for a little while I’ll take the quirkiness for the amazing food in San Francisco and wine country (oh how I love The Girl and The Fig).

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Kelsey @aslolife August 10, 2011 at 9:50 am

Mexican is definitely my go-to food, and I guess since I grew up in California, that makes sense! I just made fish tacos last night but these look delicious, I love the addition of the radishes. I can have Mexican food two nights in a row, right?

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Meghan @ StruggleMuffins August 10, 2011 at 10:00 am

You had me at tortilla press…but even if you hadn’t mentioned that I would have been sold. With a capital OLD. Oh man, I love anything with radish in it, and these just look so fresh. MMMmm…

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Sam August 10, 2011 at 10:10 am

YES PLEASE! these sound crazy good.
Sam @ fitness food & faith (giveaway today!)

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Gina (Yogattude) August 10, 2011 at 10:11 am

Yum, I also recently discovered how amazing radish is in tacos. A friend of mine made us fish tacos with radish and I’m not looking back! I also had a different friend make us dinner and she added fresh cilantro to the salad. I don’t know why I never thought of doing that, it was fantastic and added such a nice punch of flavor!

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Jackie @ That Deep Breath August 10, 2011 at 10:44 am

We definitely have the best Mexican food! These look totally authentic, especially with the radishes. Yum!

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Margo @ peanut butter trees August 10, 2011 at 11:06 am

Making your own tortillas is ambitious! Probs not something I would tackle, but I bet they’re awesome.

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Megan August 10, 2011 at 11:11 am

Ah man, I miss REAL

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Megan August 10, 2011 at 11:14 am

Ah man, I miss REAL tacos. Real tacos are definitely a west coast thing. I love the simplicity of this recipe. I shall make this one soon. :)

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Mauimandy@The Grains of Paradise August 10, 2011 at 11:14 am

Great real Mexican food!! This is the biggest thing I miss about my home state!

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mary (sisters running the kitchen) August 10, 2011 at 11:28 am

wow, these look incredible! homemade corn tortillas…I must try!!

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Alycia August 10, 2011 at 11:33 am

Fresh made tortillas are the best! We purchased a tortilla press in Costa Rica (for about $1.00) a few years ago and it has been put good use! Thanks for the recipe and the radish suggestion – not a current fan, but these might convert me!

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Adrienne August 10, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Jenna, do you think you might be able to come up with a vegetarian/bean option? I trust your judgement here!

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Brenna August 10, 2011 at 12:14 pm

I think food and cooking tells a story about where you’ve been. I love this example!!

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Joyce @ Jranola Joyce August 10, 2011 at 12:28 pm

So delicious!

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Sarah @ Sarah's Modern Bites August 10, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Naked running?? That sounds SO incredibly uncomfortable. No, that sounds PAINFUL.

This post reminded me that Queso Fresco is the bomb and I should start using it on tacos instead of regular bagged shredded cheese.

mango margaritas, eh? How were those concocted??

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Jessica @ The Process of Healing August 10, 2011 at 3:23 pm

I love almost ANYTHING with cilantro! And the thing about brownies? Hilarious!

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Jennifer August 10, 2011 at 4:05 pm

laughed at the brownie reference.
Also those tacos look killer. Thanks for the craving!

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Kristen @ notsodomesticated August 10, 2011 at 4:33 pm

I’m sure I have absolutely no idea how to make an authentic taco. I do make a mean “taco lasagna,” but I guarantee theres’s nothing authentic about it. :P

But your tacos look amazing! :)

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin August 10, 2011 at 7:17 pm

I love tacos! I actually used to be obsessed with Taco Bell when I was a kid haha. But luckily my tastes have grown up a bit since then. :P These look delicious!

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Meridith August 10, 2011 at 7:23 pm

I’ve made pita bread before, but never tortillas – what a great idea.
And don’t worry, my boyfriend didn’t realize you could buy corn tortillas until very recently either! :)

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stephanie August 10, 2011 at 7:59 pm

yum! I love corn tortillas. I’ve never put radishes on taco, but out them in salads, that sounds good though!

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Aimee August 10, 2011 at 8:07 pm

I cannot stand cilantro. Ideas for substitutes or can I just skip it?

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jenna August 10, 2011 at 9:55 pm

you could just skip it!

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Sarah August 10, 2011 at 8:21 pm

That’s it. Marry me. I’ll have to get divorced from my husband and figure out child custody. And it’s not legal for two women to be married in my state. But I want these tacos.
Or I could just make them FOR my family. Phew. Ok. Thank you!

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Karen @ She Flies With Her Own Wings August 10, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Street tacos are amazing! I’m convinced that street food is almost always more fresh and delicious than food you buy in a restaurant.

I also looove that TJ’s green salsa!

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danielle August 10, 2011 at 10:26 pm

Ahhh I moved from the East Coast to NorCal for a few years, and I too became obsessed authentic tacos, and was introduced to the most amazing concept ever of taco trucks. Now that I’ve returned to the East Coast, those are some of the things I miss. Fortunately, I can find Tapatio and corn tortillas, but can’t seem to find cotija cheese.

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Koko August 10, 2011 at 10:52 pm

I love your descriptions of California, being a Los Angeles native these made me CRACK up!

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Jennifer August 11, 2011 at 8:17 am

These tacos look so fresh and pretty! I make a similar chicken taco by cooking the meat in a crockpot with salsa all day, then shredding it with a fork. I’ve never tried it with radishes and fresh cilantro, though! Looks amazing.

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Jocelyn August 11, 2011 at 1:19 pm

mmmm those tacos look divine! I too..have never tried a corn tortilla! I need to get on this!

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Sharon August 12, 2011 at 9:37 am

mmm these look great. will be making these stat.

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Sonia (the Mexigarian) August 15, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Homemade tortillas corn and flour are always the best. I always have trouble with the corn ones though. They stick to my tortilla press :\

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marla August 15, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Love these colorful tacos – the crunchy radishes are a great touch :)

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Brienna August 16, 2011 at 10:30 pm

I see you and your Trader Joe’s ingredients.
I actually made the same thing last night for a friend’s birthday. Should’ve used radishes though. Those are delicious.

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Marcie August 19, 2011 at 12:12 pm

made these last night. found them to better the next day as leftovers. gave me alot of ideas about using ingredients in other Latin recipes I make. Thank you.

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jami March 28, 2012 at 6:32 pm

I live in CA, about an hour out of Los Angeles….but unfortunately there are not many taco stands in my city :( but there are some pretty good family owned mexican restaurants. I absolutely love that you kept the original simple street taco!

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Angela August 19, 2012 at 8:41 pm

These sound so tasty. I found your blog via Pinterest. I really want to pin this one but there’s no “pin it” button. Can someone help me figure out how? :)

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Randy October 10, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Okay. these look incredible, and I’m probably blind, but where is the breakdown for: “mix of chili powder, cumin, salt and/or taco seasoning”? I want them to be good!

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jenna October 10, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Depending on how spicy you like ‘em! There’s no real “recipe” — I would just use chili powder and adjust accordingly to your taste buds! :)

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Kristen December 4, 2012 at 7:25 pm

Just made these for the first time. Phenomenal. Corn tortillas are so filling!

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Mia May 16, 2014 at 1:16 am

Yumness!! Just made a version of this with a twist – we pulsed the radish and coriander together until coarsely chopped then added lemon and salt – its was the tangiest radish salsa that brought all the yumness together :)

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