Crispy Sesame Ginger Chicken Tacos with a little extra sauce and CRUNCH. The chicken is breaded and baked until crispy. Then tossed in a yummy, spicy-sweet, sesame ginger sauce with soy, fresh orange juice, garlic, ginger, and chili paste. It’s a little sweet and a little spicy with such great flavor. Inspired by the street food style tacos we love, but with my own twist. The crispy chicken and shells are the real secret, and the sauce is of course delish. These are the best tacos to really switch up your weekly taco night.
We love taco night in my family. I’m actually making tacos tonight for dinner, they’re a twice-weekly family meal for us and have been since before I can remember. Our go-to is one you’re probably familiar with since I talk about them all the time, my dad’s crispy, cheesy tacos.
They’re as simple as a taco can get, but we sure do love them.
Of course, by now you all know how much I love creating switch-ups for taco nights. Many times I’ll make a seafood taco. Or my brother, Red, loves when I make a crispy cauliflower taco.
And sometimes we’ll do something like these. Street-food-inspired with some spicy sweet sauce. The crispy shells are my newest addition and they’re so yummy!
Start with the chicken. Simply toss it with an egg white, a splash of soy sauce, plus some fresh orange zest. Then dredge the chicken through cornstarch. The cornstarch gives the chicken just the right amount of breading to crisp it up. It also helps the sauce thicken nicely around each piece of chicken.
When you’re dredging the chicken through the cornstarch don’t stress if it starts clumping a little on the chicken. Those clumps will get crispy and be delicious in the sweet-spicy sauce.
At this point, throw the chicken in the oven to bake. Be sure to use sesame oil to coat the chicken before baking. The oil helps the chicken to crisp up nicely.
While the chicken is baking, mix the sauce. This really is the heart of the recipe. Start with lots of fresh orange zest and juice. You can use already squeezed orange juice, but with citrus in season right now, I highly recommend fresh juice.
Next, add soy sauce, honey or maple syrup (to lightly sweeten), chili paste, a small amount of peanut butter, fresh ginger, and garlic.
When the chicken is ready, pour the sauce over the chicken, you may not need all of it. Broil until crispy. See, very hands-off and no fuss.
For the taco shells, you can use store-bought or do what I do and bake homemade shells.
They’re pretty easy. Just warm corn tortillas in the microwave, then place them on top of a sheet pan and rub them with olive oil. Use tin foil to make a “mold” for the shell to sit on. Simply mold the foil into a cylinder shape and drape the tortillas over the foil. Use my photos for reference, promise it’s not hard. Then can bake until crispy. I usually bake them at 425° for 12-15 minutes.
Lastly, put the tacos together. I love to layer nori sheets (use if you enjoy), then lettuce, kimchi, and hot chicken straight from the oven. Drizzle over any extra sauce left on the sheet pan, cilantro, green onions, and a crumble of cheese.
I also like to add yum yum sauce (shared my homemade recipe in the notes). Definitely not your average taco, but colorful, so flavorful, and delicious. These are the perfect tacos to switch things up any night of the week!
Looking for more simple recipes? Here are a few favorites:
Lastly, if you make Crispy Sesame Ginger Chicken Tacos, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Crispy Sesame Ginger Chicken Tacos
Calories Per Serving: 391 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- 1/2 cup tamari or soy sauce
- 1/3 cup orange juice + 2 tablespoons zest
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- 1-3 tablespoons chili paste (I love Gochujang paste)
- 2 teaspoons creamy peanut butter
- 2-4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- 12 hard shell tacos
- nori sheets, lettuce, kimchi, cilantro, green onion, and queso fresco or your favorite cheese, for serving
- yum yum style sauce, for serving
- 1. Preheat the oven to 475° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with oil.2. In a bowl, combine the chicken, egg white, tamari/soy sauce, and orange zest. Toss well to coat. In a separate bowl, add the cornstarch.3. Dredge the chicken through the cornstarch to coat. Place the chicken on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with oil. Bake for 8 minutes. Flip the chicken and bake another 3-5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Switch the oven to broil. 4. Meanwhile, whisk together the tamari/soy sauce, orange juice, honey/maple, chili paste, peanut butter, garlic, and ginger. Pour the sauce over the chicken, then toss to coat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Broil 1-3 minutes, until the sauce begins to stick to the chicken and thicken. 5. Stuff the nori into shells (if desired). Add the chicken, then top as desired. Serve with any extra sauce from the sheet pan and/or yum yum style sauce (homemade in notes).
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Yum Yum Sauce: Combine 1-2 tablespoons of chili paste, 1 tablespoon ketchup, and either 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, sour cream, or mayo. Season with 1 teaspoon of seasoned salt. The sauce will keep for 1 week in the fridge.