Togarashi Chicken Tacos
In this new recipe corner, chefs with various backgrounds test out Japanese seasonings/ingredients and create original recipes from fresh perspectives. Each month one chef tries one featured seasoning or ingredient. This month,Executive Chef, Michael Armstrong of Bodega Negra explores “togarashi pepper”, Japanese style red chili pepper.
“Togarashi has bigger flakes and more flavors than regular red chili peppers that are more processed and has a finer grain. I picked two kinds of togarashi, “shichimi” and “yuzu shichimi”, to play with my Mexican tacos.”
—Chef Michael Armstrong
(Ingredients: Serving 4 tacos)
• 4 each 4-5 inch fresh corn tortillas
• 1 each 6 ounce chicken breast, lightly pounded thin
• 1 whole egg, scrambled
• ½ cup all purpose flour
• 1 cup panko bread crumbs
• 1 tbsp Shichimi Togarashi
• ½ cup green cabbage, shredded
• ½ cup jicama, julienne
• ½ cup chayote squash, julienne
• ¼ cup red onion, julienne
• 1 lime, juiced
• 4 tbsp guacamole
• 4 tsp kabayaki eel sauce
• Yuzu Togarashi for garnish
• Kosher salt to taste
• Canola oil for frying
1. Mix Shichimi Togarashi with panko bread crumbs and blend very lightly in a food processor to make a finer crumb.
2. Season chicken breast lightly with salt and dust in flour, dip in eggs, and coat in bread crumb togarashi mix.
3. Heat oil in a shallow cast iron skillet to approximately 350°F, add chicken breast and pan fry on both sides until crispy and fully cooked, remove to a tray lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil.
4. Season chicken breast with salt, and slice thinly in long strips.
5. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl combine cabbage, jicama, chayote, red onion, and lime juice, mix together and season with salt.
6. On a lightly oiled griddle or nonstick pan, heat tortillas until warm and soft, fill each tortilla evenly starting with the cabbage slaw, then add guacamole, two strips of chicken, then drizzle with kabayaki sauce and season with yuzu flavored togarashi.
7. Serve immediately!
Japanese people use red chili peppers in various forms in their cuisine, but the most common style for home cooking is a powdered type. “Ichimi togarashi” and “shichimi togarashi” are widely used and have bigger flakes than chili peppers in other countries. Ichimi, meaning one flavor, is made from red chili pepper only and has a strong kick, while shichimi, meaning seven flavors, is a blend of several other spices and herbs with red chili pepper, giving it more complex flavors and aromas. New blends are being introduced in the market, like yuzu shichimi that Chef Armstrong used for the tacos.
Born and raised in Seattle, Michael Armstrong majored in hotel and restaurant management at Washington State University and later at Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon, where he graduated with high honors. With professional training and years of hands-on experience in restaurants in Portland, Armstrong took his talents to New York City, working as both a line cook at Jean Georges’ Asian Restaurant, Spice Market, and as a sauté cook at Morimoto. Armstrong started his career with TAO Group at TAO Asian Bistro at The Venetian and TAO Beach in Las Vegas, where he was promoted to Chef de Cuisine then Executive Chef. Armstrong recently returned to NYC to helm the kitchen at Dream Downtown, where he oversees all food & beverage operations at the hotel, including Melvin’s Juice Box, The Beach, Lobby Lounge, and Bodega Negra.
355 W. 16th St., at Dream Downtown
New York, NY 10011