Ever since I fell in love with the spicy, sesame-studded Korean Fried Chicken chili sauce, I’ve been slapping it on everything. Hot dogs. Tostadas. Tacos. I’ve offered some to Crayton, but he just looks at me weird and continues eating his food.
The other day, I decided to roast some carrots with honey and olive oil. And because I stick everything in a tortilla, I thought: Why not carrot tacos? Out the sauce came from the refrigerator, in its little recycled peanut butter jar. I slathered it on a hot flour tortilla and added the carrots, blackened and sticky in parts, and some zucchini and shredded chicken.
One bite and — MAN. It was a flavor explosion. Something about the sweetness of the carrots mingling with the tangy sauce. It was just about perfect. At the time, I happened to be sitting with Crayton at the dinner table.
“You have to try this!” I begged him.
He politely declined, and continued eating his tacos. Living with a crazy food-obssessed person is probably not as fun as it sounds.
Roasted Carrot Tacos with Spicy, Tangy Korean Chile Sauce
Carrot recipe adapted from Ina Garten
Serves maybe 4
4-5 carrots, sliced in half if the carrots are thick, and then sliced crosswise in 1 1/2-inch pieces (The carrots will shrink when roasted)
2 zucchinis, sliced in half longways, and then cut into little half-moons
2 to 3 tablespoons red Korean chile sauce (Recipe at my Korean Fried Chicken blog post, or Viet World Kitchen)
About 1 cup shredded chicken, or more if you like ‘em meaty
To roast carrots, preheat oven to 400F. Placed your sliced carrots in a bowl and drizzle with honey — maybe 1 tablespoon, if you need a measurement; I didn’t really use one — and then drizzle with 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with kosher salt to taste, and mix well. Slap your newly honeyed carrots on a heavy-bottomed baking sheet (covered with tin foil, if you hate to clean up), and roast for about 40 minutes, depending on your altitude. The goal is for them to be browned and blackened in some parts, and softened but not mushy. I would start checking on them around 20 minutes. Turn them over occasionally so they brown evenly.
To prepare zucchini, place it in a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray or 1 tablespoon olive oil, and saute until cooked through.
Heat tortillas on a comal, gas flame, or microwave. (Gas flame is my fave.) Pick up one tortilla, slather on your red chile sauce — do not be shy here — and then add chicken, zucchini and carrots. Eat and swoon.
Who is Mija?
Mija is Lesley Téllez, a food writer and culinary guide in New York City. I spent four years in Mexico's Distrito Federal, which launched my deep love for Mexican food and culture. In 2010 I co-founded the tourism company Eat Mexico.
Be kind, ask permission!All photos on this site were taken by me, unless otherwise noted. If you'd like to use a photo, please email me.
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