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.
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!)
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)
9 small corn tortillas
1 T canola oil
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.
Brittany @ Itty Bits of BalanceAugust 10, 2011 at 4:39 am
Never heard of fresco cheese (you can say “cooking newbie”) but i’m sure its great. I must try this!
amy walters, aDESIGNdockAugust 10, 2011 at 4:42 am
Aaaahhh! Love this new “real taco” combo Jenna.
KathrynAugust 10, 2011 at 4:46 am
Wow, these look so good. I know what I want for dinner tonight!
sofiaAugust 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 🙂
Angela @ Eat Spin Run RepeatAugust 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… 😛
Molly @ RDexposedAugust 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?
jennaAugust 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.
katie @KatieDidAugust 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.
Blog is the New BlackAugust 10, 2011 at 5:03 am
Can’t wait to try these! I’ve been craving mexican!
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!
Hayley @ Hayley DailyAugust 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! 🙂
Lauren @ What Lauren LikesAugust 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 🙂
AshleyAugust 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.
Tasha @ Voracious EatsAugust 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.
Averie @ Love Veggies and YogaAugust 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!
Notyet100August 10, 2011 at 5:23 am
DaisyAugust 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?! 😉
Baking N BooksAugust 10, 2011 at 1:11 pm
lol – is that what the secret is?! I was just thinking that the brownies suck there 😉
ErinAugust 15, 2011 at 9:17 am
haha no, i’m sure the brownies are tasty there.
all brownies have their time and place 🙂
Baking N BooksAugust 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?
JCAugust 11, 2011 at 7:38 am
Considering cooking is her job, I doubt she really minds.
Erika @ The Teenage TasteAugust 10, 2011 at 5:42 am
You had me at tacos. I LOOOOOOVE tacos! 🙂
Kristen @ Popcorn on the StoveAugust 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!
Gina @ Running to the KitchenAugust 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!
Hilliary@HappilyEverHealthyAugust 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!!
Cait's PlateAugust 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!
JenAugust 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!
Heather @ Get Healthy with HeatherAugust 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 🙂
Bev WeidnerAugust 10, 2011 at 7:00 am
I loved every single word of this.
Chicken. Street. Tacos.
They own my soul.
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!
Estela @ Weekly BiteAugust 10, 2011 at 7:06 am
Street tacos are the best!! Looks delicious 🙂
KristieAugust 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 :).
jennaAugust 10, 2011 at 7:33 am
yes!!! small world!
ErinAugust 10, 2011 at 7:31 am
Food cooked by others really is better. Especially when it involves homemade corn tortillas! Drool.
Julie H. of Spinach and SprinklesAugust 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!
EmilyAugust 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!
IdaAugust 10, 2011 at 8:10 am
Yum! I think the brownie lesson merits a post:)
MellieAugust 10, 2011 at 8:15 am
yum! I love mexican food… so much. Maybe too much.
AngharadAugust 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.
lisaAugust 10, 2011 at 8:29 am
yummmy! i’m obsessed with tacos!
LolaAugust 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 🙂
Stephanie RoseAugust 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.
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!!
EmAugust 10, 2011 at 9:11 am
Brilliant recipe! What a great use for all the radishes in our church garden!
Heather @ girlyeverafterAugust 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!
Rebecca @ How the Cookies CrumbleAugust 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!
KhushbooAugust 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!
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
StephanieAugust 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).
Kelsey @aslolifeAugust 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?
Meghan @ StruggleMuffinsAugust 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…
SamAugust 10, 2011 at 10:10 am
YES PLEASE! these sound crazy good.
Sam @ fitness food & faith (giveaway today!)
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!
Jackie @ That Deep BreathAugust 10, 2011 at 10:44 am
We definitely have the best Mexican food! These look totally authentic, especially with the radishes. Yum!
Margo @ peanut butter treesAugust 10, 2011 at 11:06 am
Making your own tortillas is ambitious! Probs not something I would tackle, but I bet they’re awesome.
MeganAugust 10, 2011 at 11:11 am
Ah man, I miss REAL
MeganAugust 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. 🙂
Mauimandy@The Grains of ParadiseAugust 10, 2011 at 11:14 am
Great real Mexican food!! This is the biggest thing I miss about my home state!
mary (sisters running the kitchen)August 10, 2011 at 11:28 am
wow, these look incredible! homemade corn tortillas…I must try!!
AlyciaAugust 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!
AdrienneAugust 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!
BrennaAugust 10, 2011 at 12:14 pm
I think food and cooking tells a story about where you’ve been. I love this example!!
Joyce @ Jranola JoyceAugust 10, 2011 at 12:28 pm
Sarah @ Sarah's Modern BitesAugust 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??
Jessica @ The Process of HealingAugust 10, 2011 at 3:23 pm
I love almost ANYTHING with cilantro! And the thing about brownies? Hilarious!
JenniferAugust 10, 2011 at 4:05 pm
laughed at the brownie reference.
Also those tacos look killer. Thanks for the craving!
Kristen @ notsodomesticatedAugust 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. 😛
But your tacos look amazing! 🙂
Chelsea @ One Healthy MunchkinAugust 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. 😛 These look delicious!
MeridithAugust 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! 🙂
stephanieAugust 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!
AimeeAugust 10, 2011 at 8:07 pm
I cannot stand cilantro. Ideas for substitutes or can I just skip it?
jennaAugust 10, 2011 at 9:55 pm
you could just skip it!
SarahAugust 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!
Karen @ She Flies With Her Own WingsAugust 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!
danielleAugust 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.
KokoAugust 10, 2011 at 10:52 pm
I love your descriptions of California, being a Los Angeles native these made me CRACK up!
JenniferAugust 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.
JocelynAugust 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!
SharonAugust 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 :\
marlaAugust 15, 2011 at 9:23 pm
Love these colorful tacos – the crunchy radishes are a great touch 🙂
BriennaAugust 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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MarcieAugust 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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jamiMarch 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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AngelaAugust 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? 🙂
RandyOctober 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!
jennaOctober 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! 🙂
KristenDecember 4, 2012 at 7:25 pm
Just made these for the first time. Phenomenal. Corn tortillas are so filling!
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MiaMay 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 🙂