Simple French Apple Tart

Simple French Apple Tart

Simple? Check. French? Check. Apple? Check. Tart? Double check. You know, because the apples are tart and it’s a tart…

This is one of my favorite things to make because it tastes like butter. I also like apples. Also, it’s a classic. Also, it’s French. Also, it’s easy. Also…just kidding, that’s all. Or is it?

Quick, probably boring, story – The day I originally decided to make this tart, I checked the ol’ fridge to make sure I had my ingredients and then went to the store to buy apples, the one thing I didn’t have. When I got home I decided that I wanted to blog about it and it was getting too late to be able to take pictures with natural light.

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The next afternoon, I started to make the tart. When I got alllll the way to the part with the frangipane, I went to the fridge to add the egg AND THE EGGS WERE GONE. MY HUSBAND ATE THEM FOR BREAKFAST AND I DIDN’T KNOW.

“NOOOOOOOOO!” I wailed into the egg-less refrigerator. I had to lug my ass all the way back to the store to get more! So I willed myself to the store and bought more eggs. Then I made the frangipane and put it in the fridge while I assembled the rest of the tart. Once assembled, I put the tart in the oven (naturally) and called it a job well done. 10 minutes later I realized I FORGOT TO ADD THE FRANGIPANE. I know, great story!

In conclusion, this recipe is for a simple French apple tart sans frangipane. It was easy and it was still very delicious. Rave reviews, guys. The crust is very buttery, of course, but pairs very nicely with the tart apples. I did not blind bake my crust, but I might from now on as the base tends to be a bit soft.

Anyway, if you are into desserts that are simple, clean and not overly sweet, this is just the ticket. For a very nice complement of sweetness, I like to enjoy it with vanilla ice cream (Haagen-Dazs knows what’s up) or sweetened whipped cream.

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For the crust:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ~1 inch pieces
1/8 cup ice cold water

For the filling:

5 medium sized apples (I used granny smith)
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1-2 tablespoons butter to sprinkle on tart

Optional: 2 tablespoons apricot jam


1. Place flour, salt and 1 tbsp granulated sugar in a food processor. Process until well combined. Add the 1/2 cup of cold butter and process until mixture resembles coarse corn meal, about 10-15 seconds. Add the ice cold water a little at a time and pulse continuously until the dough just sticks together when you pinch it between your fingers. It will be slightly dry/powdery still, you don’t want it to be sticky.

2. Dump the dough out onto a work surface, press it together into a ball and then flatten slightly into a thick disc (it will chill faster and be easier to roll out). Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

3. Once dough is thoroughly chilled, preheat oven to 375 F.

4. Peel, core and slice the apples into ~1/2 inch thick pieces. Set aside.

5. Butter and lightly flour a 9-inch tart pan. Remove the dough from the fridge and the plastic and roll it out to 9-inch tart pan size on a lightly floured work surface*. Once rolled out, roll the dough loosely around your rolling pin and transfer to your tart pan. Press the dough gently into the bottom and sides of your pan and cut off any excess around the edges. Prick dough with a fork.

6. Arrange your apples slices in the tart however you like! You could make your own design! You could dump them in all in at once, or carefully arrange them in beautiful, perfect concentric circles. OR you can do both, like I did. I dumped about half the apples in and roughly arranged them so they’d be as flat as possible to act as the base layer. Then I arranged the remaining slices on top in concentric circles. Voila, apple tart hack.

7. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar and 1-2 tablespoons of butter

8. BAKE EM’ AWAY, TOYS! For approximately 1 hour. Apples should be tender and crust should have a decent tan. Once baked, let it cool for ~30 minutes, or devour it immediately and burn your mouth, but who cares? It’s, like, so good.

9. Optional: Microwave apricot jam for 20 seconds. Brush onto baked tart while it is still warm.

*I use a cheat sheet (no shame) pastry board that shows me how big I need to roll my dough out to fit an 8, 9, or 10-inch pie plate and it works like a charm! I freakin’ love that thing. Changed my pie life.

Want to see another recipe? Check out my Kogi Style Korean BBQ Tacos

Pan Fried Fish Tacos

I finally found the perfect fish taco recipe: simple, easy, quick and delicious. It also does not require a bbq…but it could benefit from one, I suppose.

Adapted from Foodess Spicy Fish Tacos

For the fish

  • 1 lb flaky white fish (I used tilapia)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (for the pan)

For cabbage slaw

  • 2 cups (loosely packed) shredded cabbage
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp white sugar

For lime crema

  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • juice and zest of 1/2 lime, or to taste
  • salt, to taste


  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1 avocado


Season the fish by absent-mindedly sprinkling on each listed seasoning. You don’t even have to measure it, just go one at a time until it’s got even coverage on both sides.

Heat up some oil in your pan and fry em up. Once it’s flakes with a fork in the middle, it’s done.

The real secret here is in the slaw. I used a very similar method for this as the slaw in my Kogi tacos. Lo’ and behold, it was everything that these tacos needed and more. Toss the cilantro, green onion, rice vinegar, sugar and lime juice together and let sit for about 5 minutes. Then add the cabbage and toss together again. BOOM.

Finally, for the lime crema, simply mix together all the ingredients. Season with salt, lime juice and zest to taste. Definitely don’t skip the lime zest.

Warm up your tortillas, and assemble – fish, slaw, crema, avocado. Don’t forget the avo! So good.

OMG so good.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potato

The first time I ordered this at Claim Jumper, I was LITERALLY (but not literally) in food heaven. I know! Food heaven at a chain restaurant! It was amazing. I have dreams about this dish. It’s got that sweet savory thing going. It’s a little spicy. There is butter involved. It’s an open-and-shut case. So why not try to make it at home? Also there is no longer a Claim Jumper anywhere near me.

Big shout out to Whisked Away Cooking for the basic recipe, excellent work. I made a couple tweaks to suit me and it is indeed very similar to the restaurant’s version, as well as very yummy yummy in my tummy.


  • 2 large yams (often referred to as sweet potatoes, but you’re looking for the ones that are orange inside – yams)
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1 papaya (~1 lb), diced (optional)
  • 1 green onion, chopped small
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1.5 lbs chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp McCormick Perfect Pinch Jamaican Jerk Seasoning (I know, I know, huge faux pas, but I was weak and it really ain’t bad. See the Whiskey Away recipe for a non pre-made seasoning, I will definitely try that next time I make this. But just know that this McCormick thing is pretty good, not to mention so easy. Also LOLZ at the name of it)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • butter (to butter your yams)
  • honey (fo’ drizzle)


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Poke the yams all around with a fork 5-6 times, then stick them on a baking sheet in the oven to roast until fork tender, about 45 mins to an hour.
  2. Mix together the Jamaican Jerk seasoning, cayenne and cinnamon. Season chicken on all sides with this spice mixture.
  3. Fry it up! Watch out when frying the chicken, the spices can make you cough as it cooks, so make sure your space is well ventilated. Once cooked, let the chicken rest for a few minutes, then chop into bite-size pieces.
  4. Mix together the bell pepper, jalapeno, papaya, green onion, cilantro and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. Cut the cooked yams down the middle and butter the insides! Mmmmm. Add the chicken, then top with the bell pepper-papaya mixture. Finally, drizzle on the honey and enjoy!

Weirdly, all of my favorite recipes as of late include some kind of cilantro-green onion-lime topping. Maybe it’s just good on everything. Tacos? Add a cilantro-green-onion-lime topping. Sweet potato/yam? Cilantro-green-onion-lime topping. Ice cream? Cilantro-green-onion-lime topping…? I’m down.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am a lover of all kinds of chocolate chip cookies. Except Chewy Chips Ahoy. No way, man. I ADORE Tate’s Chocolate Chip Cookies, they are insanely delicious. I also really like the Ghirardelli chocolate chip cookie recipe (which I waxed poetic about in another post). Uplifters Kitchen in Santa Monica has a MEAN salted pecan chocolate chip cookie. And my friend’s mom makes THE BEST oatmeal chocolate chip cookies ON EARTH. And don’t forget Double Tree’s chocolate chip cookies! How do they do it?! I could eat an entire warehouse full of those. Yummy, yummy, yummy, I’ve got love in my tummy.

Anyway, I’m getting carried away on the gentle waves of chocolate chip cookie bliss…this post is supposed to be about my chewy chocolate chip cookies.

chewy chocolate chip cookies

These cookies have a mildly interesting story. I didn’t even set out to make chewy chocolate chip cookies. Au contraire, I set out to make thin and crispy chocolate chip cookies a la Tate’s. I made the official Tate’s recipe a while back and they were extraordinarily underwhelming and absolutely nothing like Tate’s cookies. One could chalk this up to faulty measuring (or whatever) on my part, but I also read many reviews that agreed with the fact that the recipe yielded cookies that were quite unlike the real thing. It’s just as well. If we could make them ourselves, we wouldn’t buy them.

So then I came upon Alexis Stewart’s thin and crispy chocolate chip cookie recipe, which had a picture that looked exactamundo like Tate’s. Not only are our names kind of similar, she is also the daughter of Martha Stewart, so it’s like impossible for those genes to do wrong, right? And pictures never lie! So of course I had to try it. FAIL. AGAIN. I could still chalk this up to mistakes on my part, but I still wanted to try a different recipe that got me the results I was looking for.

So I found a third recipe and as I was perusing the ingredients I saw something CRAZY. The recipe did not call for any eggs! Indignant, I made the recipe with an egg included. Well, the cookies were not crispy AGAIN. I can’t blame the recipe of course, because I essentially did not follow it, but the cookies were ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT. I couldn’t believe it. They had so much flavor, they were chewy, they were buttery and had the perfect amount of chocolate. They were scrumptious. Even the next day the texture was almost exactly the same and the taste was just perfect.


There are a couple unusual things about this recipe. 1) One of the ingredients is WATER. What! I think that was supposed to replace the egg but I added it anyway. 2) The cookies are baked at a mere 300 degrees F for around 18 minutes! So odd. But so so so good. And the final flavor secret here is that I refrigerated the dough for about 3 hours. MMMMM. Even when I was looking at the pictures while writing this post my mouth started watering.

SO. Here we are:


Alex’s Accidentally Amazing Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oh, also! For general chocolate chip cookie tips, check out my other post on How to Make Your Chocolate Chip Cookies Better!


1/2 cup butter, softened but not melted
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz.) – if you like chocolate, certainly don’t be shy!


1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

2. Cream the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar together using a stand mixer, or by hand. Add the egg, water and vanilla and mix to combine

3. Gradually add the flour mixture just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

4. Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour, but longer is better (I did 3 hours!). If you’re really dedicated, refrigerate overnight.

5. Once dough has chilled, preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Roll dough into balls and place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet (I use a silpat – it will change your cookie life)

6. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Once they start to brown remove them from the oven and let stand on the pan for 3-5 minutes. Remove from pan using a spatula and cool on a wire rack.


Heavily adapted from the Sunset recipe on

Want to see another impossibly yummy dessert recipe? Check out my Simple French Apple Tart

pan roasted chicken breast with white wine herbs sauce and rosemary potatoes

Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts with White Wine and Herbs Sauce & Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

Serious Eats’ The Food Lab column is seriously a gold mine of cooking information. J. Kenji López-Alt has taken food science and recipe experimentation to the next level. His post on the ultimate chocolate chip cookies is… umm…in-depth? He tried almost every single measurement, technique, ingredient combination you can think of and yes, it took 1,500 cookies and months of testing. Over 30 pounds of flour, people!!

Cookies are not the only thing J. Kenji Lopez-Alt has mastered, of course. To be brief – this is the last chicken breast recipe you will ever need.

To be long-winded, the pan-roasted technique makes for fail-proof moist chicken and the sauce tastes like it came directly from a gourmet restaurant’s kitchen and materialized itself on my plate. White wine and soy sauce! Unbelievable. Naturally, it is a staple chicken recipe for us, and is always a go-to when we can’t think of anything that sounds good for dinner. Which is often.

pan roasted chicken with white wine herbs sauce

pan roasted chicken breast with white wine herbs sauce and rosemary potatoes

The one major change I did make is that I used skinless, boneless chicken breasts. The original recipe recommends airline chicken breasts (chicken breast with the first joint of the wing still attached), or boneless, skin-on chicken breasts. The skin adds more flavor and the bone makes for even juicier meat, but skinless, boneless chicken breasts are just easier to find, so I always cruise on the Lazy Express and go with those.

Additionally, I find that the best (dare I say, easiest?) herbs combination for my taste is fresh thyme and rosemary. The original recipe calls for chives, tarragon and chervil. Chervil! What will they come up with next? Still, I am happy to report that the results of my version are BRILLIANT.

For the side dish, I kept it very simple with some rosemary roasted potatoes. They had this red, golden, purple potato medley at the store…? I bought them and roasted them in the oven at the same time as the chicken. Serious question, is that a faux-pas? Well, it worked.

Without further ado, I present to you:

pan roasted chicken with rosemary roasted potatoes

Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts with White Wine and Herbs Sauce and Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

Wait, before we get there, the original recipe did have “easy” in its name, but I omitted that because “easy” is a relative term, isn’t it? The recipe is not particularly challenging, especially for someone who has cooked a decent amount, but it is surprisingly time consuming. Regardless, it is worth it. Worth it! A thousand times, worth it.

Chicken recipe adapted from The Food Lab’s Easy Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts with White Wine and Fine-Herbs Pan Sauce Recipe


For the chicken:

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
  • 1 small shallot, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced thyme
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves

For the potatoes:

  • 1 lb of small potatoes (I used a combo of red, gold and purple)
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary (fresh or dried)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat canola oil in an oven-safe, medium skillet on high. Carefully lay chicken breasts into skillet and cook without moving it until a lovely golden brown color has developed. As I have zero trust for my internal clock, I legit timed it for exactly 6 minutes as the original recipe suggested, and it was indeed the perfect amount of time). Carefully flip ’em over and transfer the skillet into the oven.
  3. In the meantime, combine the wine and stock in a liquid measuring cup and sprinkle gelatin over the top of it. Do not mix. Do not skip this. Set it aside.
  4. Quarter the potatoes and toss in a bowl with salt, pepper, rosemary and olive oil. Spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Add them to the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes, turning half way through, until fork tender and golden brown.
  5. Cook chicken until no longer pink (internal temp should be 150°F), about 10 to 12 minutes (my chicken breasts were on the thick side so it took a bit longer). Remove skillet from oven and transfer chicken out of the pan. Let it rest!!!
  6. Using the same skillet with all of the drippings, add shallots and garlic. Stir until softened and translucent. Add wine/stock/gelatin mixture and stir thoroughly. Scrape up any brown bits on the bottom, aka flavor bombs.
  7. Continue cooking on high heat until sauce is reduced by about two-thirds, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the butter and soy sauce and continue to stir until it comes together. Remove from heat and set aside. Sauce will thicken as it stands. If it gets too thick, add additional chicken stock.
  8. Cut chicken breasts into slices and transfer to plates. Stir chopped herbs into the pan sauce and season to taste. Spoon sauce over the chicken and serve immediately with the potatoes. And FINE – maybe, like, a salad.

Want to see another chicken recipe? Check out my Kogi Truck Style Korean BBQ Tacos

Want to see a BOMB dessert recipe that would go perfectly with this? Check out my Simple French Apple Tart

A Trip To Chicago in Photos

I went to Chicago very shortly after I started using Instagram with an iPhone. Maybe Chicago is just a great place for pictures, maybe it was the newness of Instagram or the newly improved iPhone camera that inspired me, but my pictures from that trip were…good. Like they were so good, I considered a career in photo journalism (I didn’t). So here they are. A trip to Chicago in photos.  Continue reading

DIY Succulent Garden Planter Box

DIY Succulent Garden Planter Box

I don’t think there is a non-DIY way to do this except to hire someone else to do it for you. Well, I guess you could buy a planter with succulents already in them. Ok fine.

So the whole reason I wanted to make this garden was because we gave away succulents as our wedding favors and we had about 30 left over. They were all sitting there in their 30 separate pails and I decided it would be much better if they were all in one planter. Genius, I know.


Here is what you will need:

  • A planter box – got an old crate or wooden box? Perfect! I did not a.k.a I didn’t look for one, although I realize now I probably could have found one. Dang. I took the easy route per usual and got this wood planter from good ol’ Amazon. It comes unassembled, but you just slide the pieces into place, very easy. A plastic planter with holes in the bottom for drainage would also be a great alternative -see more about that below re: plastic lining.
  • Soil – I got a large cubic foot bag of cactus soil for $6 from Lowe’s. There was way more than enough.
  • Succulents – you can get them from your local nursery, Amazon, Etsy, or a variety of other online suppliers. I got mine from Mountain Crest Gardens. Since I wanted small ones for wedding favors, I chose the Sempervivum. They were not cheap, but they offer a coupon code for signing up for their email list. And let me tell you, when they arrived they were perfect, beautiful little baby cacti angels! Then they got burned out in the sun, which I will lament about later in this post.
  • Plastic lining for the planter & tape  – I used a trash bag for this, but I did consider skipping it altogether. Succulents need to be in well draining soil and a liner-less container would allow the water to drain out of the planter. However, if you go this route, it would probably result in water damage to the wood. A plastic planter with holes in the bottom for drainage would solve this problem. Decisions, decisions. Pluses and minuses. Pros and cons.



I cut the trash bag open along the seams and used it to line the inside (bottom and sides) of the planter. I used tape to keep it in place along the sides. I made sure that the liner didn’t go all the way to the top so that the plastic wouldn’t show (too much).

Fill ‘er up. Since the plants are small, I wanted them to be near the top, so they can get light and aren’t shadowed by the sides of the planter. I filled the planter almost the whole way up, leaving about a 1/2 inch of space.

Start planting. The sempervivum come in plug trays, with each plant in it’s own slot. You are supposed to gently loosen and remove all of the plug soil from around the roots of the plant and then re-plant it in its new home. However, I did not do this, so I’m not sure if it makes a big difference. I just planted them as is and they still continued to grow.

To plant, I dug a small hole in the planter soil, placed the root portion of the plant in the hole, then filled in with soil around it and gently packed it down to make sure the plant is secure. I spaced each succulent out as best as I could within the box. Once everyone was planted, I watered the soil very lightly and that really was it! Easy peasy.


Some tips on sempervivum care:

Watering – Although sempervivum don’t like or need much water, if you live in place with hot summer weather, they may need a little extra water than usual during the summer months. It gets really hot here in the summer (100 degrees on the reg) and I received my plants in August when it was hottest. For fear of watering them too much, I actually ended up watering them too little. They were too dry in the heat and they were really struggling until we started watering them more. As a rule of thumb, water to moisten the soil (you don’t want the plants sitting in water) and then wait for the soil to dry out before watering again.

Sunlight – If you order sempervivum from Mountain Crest Gardens during the summer when it’s 100+ degrees out, DO NOT PUT THEM OUTSIDE IN FULL SUN FOR AN ENTIRE DAY 2 DAYS AFTER RECEIVING THEM. They will shrivel up and die. Yes, we learned the hard way. You’ll need to keep them indoors in indirect sunlight (through a window) and acclimate them slowly to direct full sun (couple hours at a time maybe?). Miraculously, not all of our plants completely died and a good amount of them recovered, but it was realllll touch and go there for a while.

Once more mature, sempervivum like a lot of sun! They are desert plants after all. Now that it’s winter, I’ve been keeping the box indoors – don’t want them to freeze! But it looks like they are not getting enough sunlight so I’m going to start keeping the box outside instead. I read up again on it today, and since it’s not going to get below freezing here, they should be fine.

Offsets – Finally, sempervivum are also known as “hens and chicks” because the plants grow “chicks” (offsets) that you can then re-plant. Once a plant has chicks, it dies, but the chicks mature and eventually become hens with their own offsets. It’s like never-ending plants.



OBLIGATORY DISCLAIMER ALERT: I am not, repeat NOT, a plant expert by any means. My succulents have had their fair share of stress, so don’t take my advice here as gospel. It’s a learning experience for me. This is just a tutorial on how I created the little garden. That being said, I did do research beforehand, so I’m not totally blind on the subject. They say that succulents are hardy plants that don’t need too much maintenance. So I’ve got that going for me. I mean, hey, I’ve had my plants for a little while now and they’re still alive, right? Right? Plants? You there?


UPDATE: It’s been about six months and the plants have grown A LOT and they look very happy and healthy. They have been thriving outside and since summer is coming up again, I’m keeping my eye on them to make sure they aren’t getting too dried out or burnt. We love them and the box looks great!

Kogi Truck Style Korean BBQ Tacos

Kogi Truck Style Korean BBQ Tacos

A predominantly successful attempt, I must say! Let me preface by saying that I recently moved out of LA and I have eaten Kogi BBQ tacos a myriad of times. If there is a single reason to live in LA, Kogi tacos might be it. They are so delicious and I want one right meow. They are easily on my list of the best things I have ever eaten.

Skip to recipe


Let me secondface by saying that I did some light Internet research on what kind of Kogi taco recipes were floating around out there and the vast majority of them were from people who had never had them. They were going off the Kogi blog description, pictures and recipes from other people who had also never had them. That was a bummer because I really wanted someone to say “I’ve had these tacos many times and this recipe is so close to the real thing I could cry!”

While I have eaten the real thing, I still can’t cry about my recipe. BUT the tacos I made definitely had the essence of Kogi and are definitely delicious. They are creeping up on Kogi, tapping it on the shoulder and saying hey…I’m on to you.


SO YEAH, I cobbled together a recipe based on the ones I found and a few other searches and whaddyaknow they weren’t too far off after all. The flavor ideas were there and they were quite good, but they were not as good as the real thing. However, I actually think that’s a good thing. Kogi tacos are special and if I could make them at home, they wouldn’t be special. BRB driving to LA.

For the marinade, I used Michael Symon’s Spicy Soy-and-Ginger Marinated Chicken, with a few changes. Even though the short rib taco is the real crème de la crème, I don’t have a bbq and wanted to simplify things for myself a bit, so I went with chicken. For the slaw vinaigrette, I actually based it on a Chinese Chicken Salad dressing recipe from the blog Once Upon A Chef. For the taco sauce, I used the Kogi bbq sauce recipe from Steamy Kitchen. While this is clearly not the same as the actual sesame-chili salsa roja mentioned on the Kogi Blog, it was created by the Kogi chef Roy Choi himself. FINALLY, and yeesh this recipe has a lot of elements, for the green onion cilantro relish, I used the same essential recipe from Tasty Eats at Home, but used green onions instead of red. Got it? Good.

OH one more thing. Limes! They froze! So none of the grocery stores I went to the day I made this had any limes. NOT ONE. Not one lime. 😦 I had to use that little plastic bottle thingy of lime juice. It tasted fine, but I’m 98.2% positive fresh lime and some lime zest would have been better.




  • 1/4 cup Sriracha
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper – a dash of each
  • 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs*


  • 1 cup romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 cup napa cabbage, chopped
  • 1.5 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/8 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp fresh black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp soy sauce


  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp gochujang
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sriracha, or to taste

Green Onion Cilantro Relish

  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp lime juice, or to taste

Also Needed

  • 8 corn tortillas


1. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl. Add chicken and let marinate for 1 hour. Or, for deeper flavor, let it marinate overnight.

2. Once marinated, remove the chicken and cook in a large non-stick skillet until cooked through and you’ve got some nice caramelization on the outside. But seriously – if you have a bbq, use that instead!! If pan frying, make sure to use a non-stick pan because the sugar in the marinade can burn and stick.

2. Remove the chicken from the pan and let it rest a bit. Scrub the crap out of your pan if you didn’t use a non-stick like me because the sugar has burned and is seemingly destined to remain there for years to come. Once cooled, chop the chicken into bite size pieces.

4. Whisk together all of the taco sauce ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.

5. Combine chopped green onion and rice wine vinegar in a bowl. Allow to sit for about 5-10 minutes.  Add the remaining relish ingredients and stir to mix.

6. While the relish is sitting, whisk together the slaw dressing ingredients (everything except the lettuce and cabbage).  Put the chopped romaine lettuce and napa cabbage in a large bowl and drizzle in the dressing a little bit at a time, tossing in between until you get the desired amount of dressing you like.

7. Add the chicken back into the frying pan, toss to combine and cook just enough for the chicken to deepen in color and crisp up a bit. This step is essential for maximum flavor.

8. Warm up your tortillas (I do mine one a couple at a time in a pan on medium-low heat) then assemble yo’ tacos! I did chicken first, then slaw, sauce and relish. Relish? Try DE-lish! …..anyone? No?

*The first time I made this, I used chicken breast tenders. It tasted good, but it was pretty dry so I definitely recommend chicken thighs for best results.

UPDATE: I am making this again today and decided to peruse through even more search results for Kogi taco recipes, just to see if there’s any other useful info out there. Turns out LA Magazine did an article on the Kogi chef Roy Choi and he shared his real and actual recipe for Kogi Korean short ribs. Here’s the link –


Want to see another recipe? Check out my Pan Roasted Chicken Breasts with White Wine and Herbs Sauce and Rosemary Potatoes