There are many great reasons to make your own tacos at home. Homemade tacos are tastier, you can vary the recipe and flavours to your liking and you can eat as many as you want from the judgment-free comfort of your home.
My home made street-style tacos use the earthy flavour of cilantro and tartness of lime as the foundation. From there, you can build out your taco however you wish.
For my Cilantro Lime Street Tacos recipe, I decided to keep things simple, since street tacos are also typically simple with just a few ingredients. I used chicken for the filling and complemented it with Mexican-style salsa fresca and avocado.
For the tortillas, I made them from scratch using masa harina flour. It’s easier than you think. But if you don’t have time, you can buy pre-made tortillas from the grocery store.
Tip: If you plan to make this recipe (or any other taco recipe) often, get a tortilla press instead of using a rolling pin to flatten the tortillas. It makes preparing tortillas at home so much easier, especially when you are making a big batch.
What You’ll Need
a. For the Tortillas
These ingredient amounts produce about 8 standard size tortillas. Double the ingredients to make more tortillas.
- 168g Masa Harina flour (available at most local grocers as well as Amazon)
- 250ml water (lukewarm)
- A pinch of salt
b. For the Filling
- Chicken spice rub: 2 teaspoons chilli powder, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon each of cumin, paprika, oregano and kosher salt (feel free to adjust this spice rub to your preferences)
- Salsa fresca: 3 tomatoes chopped, ¼ cup cilantro finely chopped, 3 teaspoons fresh lime juice ¼ red onion minced, 1 jalapeño chilli (or more if you want the salsa hotter) minced, 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and diced
- 680g boneless chicken thighs
a. Making the Tortillas
Making your own tortillas at home is incredibly easy and the results are tastier than the industrial-made tortillas sold at supermarkets. It’s also cheaper and you can be sure they don’t contain any potentially harmful preservatives.
- Add a pinch of salt to the lukewarm water and stir.
- Add masa harina flour to the salted water, bit by bit, blending every time you add more flour. Keep doing this until you have a soft dough.
- Roll small bits of dough in your hands to form balls. Use a tortilla press to flatten the balls into round tortillas. Place the balls between two pieces of parchment paper to keep the dough from sticking to the tortilla press.
- You can also use a rolling pin if you don’t have a tortilla press, but it’ll take longer to make the tortillas and achieving a perfectly round shape is tricky.
- Fry the tortillas on a hot skillet, letting each side cook for a couple of minutes. You can use a little oil, but if you have a non-stick pan, it’s not necessary.
- Put the tortillas on a plate and cover with a dishtowel to keep warm.
b. Making the Filling and Assembling the Taco
- Prepare and mix all ingredients for the salsa fresca in a bowl. Let them sit for at least 15 minutes for the flavours to blend.
- Mix all the ingredients for the spice rub in a bowl. Generously rub the mix onto the chicken.
- Fry the chicken in canola oil on a hot skillet, preferably cast iron. Dice the fried chicken into bite-size pieces.
- Assemble your taco. Take a warm tortilla and fill it with chicken, a generous serving of salsa fresca and topped with diced avocado.
- Serve the taco immediately while the tortilla is still warm.