Tacos are still relatively new to Nairobi but that doesn’t mean you have to leave your house every time the craving hits you. Here is a recipe that combines a Malaysian delicacy that I fell in love with years ago with the compact and convenience of a taco. Ditch the traditional skewers for a bed of kachumbari and a crispy taco then drown it all in creamy peanut butter sauce. If you want a vegetarian option, switch out the chicken for tofu and the peanut butter for almond butter.
For the chicken satay:
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons Kikkoman soy sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 kg boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 stalks lemongrass, white parts only
- 6 shallots, peeled
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder/Sriracha/red chilli paste
For the peanut sauce:
- 3/4 cup natural peanut butter, smooth or 1 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts, unsalted
- 2 tsp Kikkoman soy sauce
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar (optional)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon tamarind pulp/juice
- 1/2 red onion (diced)
- 1 medium-sized tomato (diced)
- Dhania (Coriander)
- 1/2 imported lemon
- To make the marinade for the chicken, add the coconut milk, soy sauce, coriander powder, turmeric, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and chilli powder/Sriracha/red chilli paste in a blender. Blend until fully combined then transfer to a Ziploc bag/airtight container.
- To make the kachumbari: In a bowl, combine the diced onions and tomatoes with dhania. Squeeze lemon juice onto the mixture and mix well.
- Cut the chicken into cubes then add the cubes to the marinade. Seal and marinate for 2 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 18°C. Line a baking tray with foil and brush some oil on it.
- To make the peanut sauce, add all the ingredients in a blender and blend until fully combined. Set aside.
- Drain the chicken cubes from the marinade then spread them onto the lined baking tin.
- Set your oven to grill and grill the chicken for 20 minutes, basting it with more oil once as it cooks.
- Take your defrosted tortillas and toast them on a pan for 2 minutes on each side.
- To build the taco: on one toasted tortilla, add a spoonful of chicken and kachumbari. Drizzle peanut sauce on top and enjoy.