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What are your favourite taco fillings?

I just spent the last 2 weeks making pizzas from the favorite pizza toppings thread:

-and want to move onto something smaller that fits more easily into my mouth..

Any favorite taco fillings?

Chris of Chow

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      1. re: magiesmom

        I'm with you on grilled fish, magiesmom. Any type really.
        I also love a well prepared guac between a warmed taco shell and just a bit of pico.

        1. re: HillJ

          Yes to the grilled fish. I made some fish tacos a few weeks ago, and made pickled onion slices to go on them, along with some shredded cabbage and cilantro. For fish tacos, I usually make a sauce of Greek yogurt, cilantro and a little jalepeno or chipotle, pureed.

          1. re: HillJ

            favorite guac recipe you're willing to share HillJ?
            Chris of Chow

            1. re: helmut fig newton

              For you Chris of Chow, my pleasure!

              4 ripe avocados
              1/2 red onion, small diced
              3 limes
              1/2 tsp salt
              ¼ tsp cumin powder
              1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
              Place avocados, onion and jalapeno pepper in a large bowl. Use a fork to mash avocado and mix everything together well. Fold in cumin powder, squeeze in lime juice and sprinkle with salt.

              1. re: HillJ

                Made it -it was great!, the cumin really pulls it all together! used 4 jalapenos though- because i have taste bud damage..

          2. Into the shell in this order:
            Ground beef browned till crispy
            Tabasco, generously sprinkled
            Grated cheddar
            On a crunchy corn shell

            That's it. No spices, no gimmicks.

            1. Wow, that's hard to say. There are so many things that I like equally well in a taco. Grilled fish, smoked and or grilled meats, braised beef cheeks, pull pork, carnitas... the list goes on.

              What I'm more particular with is the garnish. I like shredded cabbage and sliced or matchstick red radish along with some tomato and something hot like diced hot peppers and cilantro for an aromatic flavor.

              2 Replies
              1. re: scubadoo97

                No editing but forgot about pickled red onions as a topping on my taco

                1. re: scubadoo97

                  scubadoo97 -- thanks, i'm going to make something like this--pulled pork, pickled onions, matchstick radish, tomato, hot peppers, and cilantro...!

              2. Homemade Mexican Chorizo

                1 lb ground lean pork, ground turkey can be substituted
                1/4 cup cider vinegar
                2 tablespoons chili powder
                1 tablespoon sweet paprika
                1 teaspoon ground cumin
                1 teaspoon table salt
                1 teaspoon garlic powder
                1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
                1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
                1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
                1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
                1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

                Combine chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt, garlic powder, coriander,
                oregano, red pepper flakes, ground cloves and black pepper in mixing bowl and stir until well combined.

                Add cider vinegar and stir until dry ingredients are moistened.
                Add ground meat and knead until spice mixture is well incorporated into the meat.

                You can use the chorizo immediately, but for best flavor development,
                place chorizo mixture in an airtight container and store overnight in fridge.

                Form chrizo meat into small patties or just scramble and fry the meat in a skillet until done.

                Use within 2 or 3 days. May be frozen.

                Serving Suggestion: I combine this with scrambled eggs and serve it in a flour tortilla. Makes a good breakfast on weekends.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Antilope

                  Potato (fried or mashed/refried) burrito with chili powder and cheese.

                      1. re: helmut fig newton

                        I combined ingredients from several other recipes and a few of my own to create this.

                    1. Tongue with green sauce
                      Head ,Tacos de Cabeza
                      Roasted rib meat,Suadero
                      Pork Al Pastor

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: chefj

                        We are brothers. Those are my standards; altho I wanna do brain but have never had the guts. Mad cow and all.

                        1. re: Chinon00

                          You know I never see Sessos on taco menus here. Almost everything else but not Brains.

                          1. re: chefj

                            The local taco trucks used to have it on their menu but it disappeared about 10-12 years ago. I always assumed it was because of low demand but a coworker told me that it was due to new, ultra-tight regulations following the Mad Cow scare. That could be the story in much of the country.

                            1. re: d8200

                              I lived in Signal Hill (LA) around the turn of the century. Saw brain tacos and burritos back then.

                      2. sauteed Nopalitos
                        matchstick jicama
                        grilled corn
                        dark greens like kale
                        always a squeeze of lime

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: LaLa

                          lala, is the kale served raw?

                        2. The one people ask me to make the most: sautéed mexican chorizo with roasted cumin, roasted coriander, and cinnamon added. I serve it in a warmed double corn tortilla, topped with shredded cabbage, diced onion, a slice or two of avocado, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime

                          1. potatoes, roasted poblanos, queso fresco, cilantro

                            carnitas, white onion, cilantro

                            1. My family favorite: On corn tortillas
                              Grilled sirloin tips, sliced thin
                              refried beans or black beans
                              cheddar cheese shredded
                              Serve with favorite salsa and sour cream, chopped green or red onion
                              I also make them with BBQ sauce and everyone loves them.

                              1. I'm a huge meat eater, but my favorite tacos are carmelized onion with sauteed mushrooms. Add some slices of avocado with shredded lettuce, salsa, cilantro and a squeeze of lime! Wrapped in a charred corn tortilla! Marvelous!

                                1. My faves depend on place and genre of tacos: typical taquería: Tripas, lengua, tender cabrito, brisket, and all time fave and owner of my heart is barbacoa. Lime juice, onion, cilantro and a fresh salsa. Eclectic tacos agringados: fried avocado from Torchy's in Austin, tacos filled with Anglo Texan style smoked brisket. Breakfast tacos: machacado with eggs, nopales with potato.

                                  1. al pastor
                                    barbacoa (and believe it or not, I've had really good vegetarian barbacoa)
                                    nopales and eggs
                                    baja style fried fish

                                    Hopefully, you're giving a lot of attention to the tortillas and condiments, too.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: scarmoza

                                      I would like to hear more about the vegetarian barbacoa!

                                    2. At home I do the basics - ground beef, shredded chicken or grilled steak.

                                      At the local taqueria I mainly order pork- Al Pastor, canitas or adobada.

                                      1. Lengua or fried tripe. I was afraid to try a tripe taco for the longest time. I don't mind the flavor of tripe, but I have a lot of texture phobias with food, and braised tripe (like in menudo) is one of them. My favorite taco truck minces it into lardon-sized pieces and cooks it in a ton of oil which gives it a texture and flavor not unlike bacon. That's my go-to order now and I get an approving "Orale!" from the staff.

                                        A grilled fish taco with pickled onions/cabbage and a tangy lime mayo with a cold beer really hits the spot on a hot day as well.

                                        For standard fillings, I'll go with pork adobada. That's usually what I recommend to my taco truck virgin friends. I refuse to allow them to get away with ordering carne asada or chicken.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: d8200

                                          I am not an innards person either, but beef tripe tacos are so delicious. I like menudo and pho with tripe but I cannot take it if it hasn't been well washed and has a barnyard taste. But tripitas are cleaned well, boiled to soften, and then deep fried or pan fried till crispy. The chewy texture comes from the low and slow boil and the crispness from frying just makes them have such an addictive texture. Wonderful stuff.

                                          1. re: luckyfatima

                                            Have you tried orejas? I don't know if they are pork or beef, but they are both chewy and crisp at they same time. I love them in tacos, particularly with pickled peppers. Otherwise my standard taco fillings pretty much fall in line: lengua, carne enchilada, chorizo, occasionally barbacoa. I usually add pickled radishes and cilantro and salty roasted chilies when they're available.

                                            1. re: JungMann

                                              The only orejas I usually eat are the pastry.

                                              In meat, I've only seen orejas de cerdo...I haven't noticed them on offer at my usual taquerías, but I've seen them available uncooked at the butcher in Mexican grocery stores.

                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                I concur with Luckyfatima...those have got to be pork ears. The "chewy and crisp" comment points in this direction. Plus I've never heard of beef ears in anything, but it very well could be possible (can't waste ANY part of the animal, you know).

                                          2. In no particular order...

                                            Chorizo y papas
                                            Scrambled eggs and nopales
                                            Mashed potatoes
                                            Gobernador (shrimp with peppers and lots of cheese, preferrably quesillo)
                                            Beans & scrambled eggs

                                            And none are topped with more than a sprinkling of chopped white onion,cilantro and whatever salsa is available from the taquero

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: DiningDiva

                                              Gobernador sounds mindblowing! what kind of peppers?

                                              1. re: helmut fig newton

                                                Believe it or not, usually bell peppers, red and green and some onion sauteed off with them

                                            2. Very Plain Jane here; all of the following appropriately seasoned: ground turkey, shredded poached chicken &/or turkey, baked & flaked fish.

                                              1. These are great! I want to start making these next week and do a post like the pizza toppings..

                                                Chris of Chow

                                                1. A very non-traditional combination: Sliced chicken (cooked fajita-style, with onions and peppers, or just marinated in a simple marinade and grilled), sauteed and mashed butternut squash, blue cheese. I'd also add avocado if I had it!

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: Dave MP

                                                    If you're into veggie options, I've found that roasted butternut squash and strips of roasted poblano peppers go great together. I seem to remember adding some sauteed cremini mushrooms in there to round it out (huitlacoche would have been perfect, but I've never had any luck finding that in a store). Can't say that I've tried blue cheese with them though, but it seems like that could work.

                                                    1. re: d8200

                                                      Good idea about the huitlacoche. I actually think that in some ways, huitlacoche and blue cheese would add a similar sort of umami factor/flavor!

                                                  2. Al pastor.

                                                    The first time I had it was at some taqueria on Chicago's west side. No-place special, I just picked it because it had a colorful yellow sign. Crispy chunks of pork shoulder sliced off the spit with that built-up mahogany crust you only get at 3 PM post-lunch rush. Garnished with a little diced onion, cilantro, and green chile sauce and wrapped in two griddled corn torillas. I sat on the hood of my car to take the first bite and it was like my perception of reality shifted. Until that point I had no idea anything could taste so good.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                      Yeah, thats pretty much it right there--just about as good as it gets!

                                                      1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                        And to think you haven't even had Al Pastor yet. ;) My month long trip to Mexico City begins friday, I'll have some for you! Living in Toronto here, I do envy your Mexican options in Chicago though, that's for sure.

                                                        1. re: SocksManly

                                                          Eh? Do you mean what I described is not the real al pastor?

                                                        2. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                          Pastor and lengua, chcharone too.

                                                          Rosita's Tacos Al Pastor in Austin:


                                                        3. try jerk chicken or pork spicy style with mango salsa and homemade corn tortillas

                                                          1. Just made diced Spam sauteed with onion and jalapeno, topped with pineapple salsa.

                                                            1. I've posted the tacos I made from ideas in this thread. it was alot of fun to make all of these in two days/dinners!

                                                              1. can't speak for rest of family, but I'm old school, sliced/chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, onions, shredded cheese, La Victoria taco sauce in the cute little tall glass bottle.

                                                                  1. re: Antilope

                                                                    I saw chef Rick Bayless make homemade flour tortillas the other day on TV. I copied down the recipe and it is really easy:

                                                                    Makes One Dozen, 7-inch, flour tortillas

                                                                    3/4 cup cold tap Water
                                                                    1 tsp Table Salt
                                                                    2 3/4 cups (3/4 lb) All Purpose Flour
                                                                    1/3 cup Shortening (vegetable or pork fat)

                                                                    Mix salt into cup of water.
                                                                    Place flour and shortening in food processor.
                                                                    Pulse until shortening is well mixed.
                                                                    With food processor running, pour in salty water slowly.
                                                                    Process until dough forms a ball. It should be slightly sticky.
                                                                    Remove from food processor and roll dough out into sausage shape on slightly floured counter.
                                                                    Cut into 6 even size pieces.
                                                                    Cut each of the 6 pieces in half to make 12 pieces of dough.
                                                                    Roll each piece of dough into a ball.
                                                                    Place 12 dough balls on plate and cover with plastic wrap.
                                                                    Let dough balls rest on plate, covered with plastic wrap on counter, for 1/2 hour.
                                                                    Roll out each dough ball into a 7-inch tortilla, one at a time as you cook them. Dust counter with a little flour whille rolling out tortilla.
                                                                    Cook in a dry or slightly oiled cast iron skillet over medium heat.
                                                                    Turn over after a minute or two.
                                                                    Cook until tops of bubbles that form are browned.
                                                                    As each tortilla is cooked, stack in a cloth lined (clean dish towel, etc) basket and cover with the cloth.
                                                                    They will steam and soften each other as they sit in the covered basked while you cook the remaining tortillas.

                                                                    Makes 12 flour tortillas.

                                                                    Source: One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless TV program.

                                                                    1. re: Antilope

                                                                      that sounds pretty good, I've always made a huge mess with the flour when i've made them--this seems to solve that problem!

                                                                  2. Wow, this is the perfect thread for me! I am planning on throwing a taco party in a few weeks and I'd like to get some input on my ideas so far. Making a lot of "fusion"-type tacos since I've really enjoyed korean and other asian tacos from local food trucks.

                                                                    Here's my menu so far:
                                                                    - Carne Asada - Can't go without this classic. I've made this before from already-marinated arrachera from our local Mexican market. Will just serve it with onions and cilantro just like our neighborhood taco truck
                                                                    - Korean Kalbi (or Bulgogi) Tacos - Inspired by the Kogi truck. I was just going to buy already marinated meats from the Korean market, grill them up, and might do some sort of slaw (bunch of recipes on the internets trying to replicate this)
                                                                    - Filipino breakfast taco - Inspired by the WoW truck, planning on cooking up some longanisa sausage, garlic rice, and top it with a quail egg. One of my favorite comfort foods...in a taco!
                                                                    - Char siu taco - This looks pretty easy since I can buy already cooked BBQ pork from my local asian supermarket. I saw a recipe for a garlic/ginger salsa that seems like it would go. Might throw in some bean sprouts just 'cause
                                                                    - Duck confit taco - I have a bunch of already-cooked duck confit legs from Sonoma foie gras, will just warm them up and shred the meat, and serve it with a port-cherry sauce. May throw in some foie if I feel like it :)
                                                                    - Fish taco - will grill up some tilapia and serve it with a mango salsa. I've had this combo with rice and it seems like it would do well in a taco also
                                                                    - Indian taco - I'm leaving this up to my friend who will make some sort of chickpea curry. This will be one of my vegetarian options

                                                                    Other ideas I'm somewhat conflicted about:
                                                                    - Spicy tofu taco - I figure I should provide more than one vegetarian option (I have at least a few coming), but not sure how this would work out. I'm worried that if I have to fry/saute the tofu that it won't keep. Any ideas?
                                                                    - Mediterranean taco - I don't have any chicken tacos, so thinking about making a mediterranean-inspired one with chicken, roasted red pepper, eggplant, cucumber, and olives. I figure it can double as a veggie taco if I just take out the chicken (maybe add some feta for protein)? Not sure if this will be too bland though.

                                                                    Some of the other ideas I'm considering from this thread (and the accompanying photo gallery would be the hawaiian, jerk chicken, and healthy veggie tacos).

                                                                    I was planning on having the meats on one end of the table, then other fillings (slaw/shredded lettuce, onions, cilantro), with a salsa/sauce bar last and letting people mix and match as they wish (but I'll provide suggestions for which ones go together). Also planning on getting a bunch of the little paper boats/trays for serving, figure it would go with my "street food" theme. :)

                                                                    Would appreciate any comments/ideas/recommendations from other Chowhounders!

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: arlenemae

                                                                      Some chopped Kim Chi would be great in the Korean
                                                                      For the Tofu ones you could buy the Fried Tofu Puffs at the Korean Grocery and put them in a Szechuan Sauce, they nice texture. Top with shredded Scallions and Peppers

                                                                      1. re: chefj

                                                                        Hmmm, pre-fried tofu puffs sound like a great idea! Do they normally have it in the refrigerated or freezer sections of the asian grocery store? Maybe near the dumplings and such?

                                                                        I sure feel lucky that I can go to a "general" asian supermarket, a korean supermarket, and a mexican supermarket all within a quick driving distance of my work/home!

                                                                    2. Lengua with cilantro, lime, and onions.
                                                                      Carnitas with tomatoes, lime, red onions, and avacado
                                                                      Barbacoa with pickled red onions, cilantro
                                                                      Eggs, cheddar, fried potatoes, sauteed peppers and onions, cholula

                                                                      All with corn tortilla. Really you can't go wrong with anything everyone suggestions as well.

                                                                      1. Tacos are a staple around our house.

                                                                        Favorite fillings are Carne Guisada, Carnitas, Picadillo, Fajitas, and Grilled Fish.

                                                                        A quick snack can be any old leftovers as we always have salads, various pickled peppers cheeses, hot sauces, etc to dress just about any anything. We also almost have store bought flour AND corn tortillas in the pantry.

                                                                        BTW, I had al pastor for lunch yesterday at my local taqueria.

                                                                        1. 62 answers and counting, and no one has yet mentioned tacos con mantequilla de cacahuates. Sheesh....

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                            Googling....googling...googling....PEANUT BUTTER!!!

                                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                                              Yes !!

                                                                              PB with hot white corn tortillas. Add Nutella or Fluff for even more added FLAVOR.

                                                                              1. re: Cheese Boy

                                                                                OMG...It is late and I am tired...which is why my quick-read of your post was..."added excrement..." OOPS!

                                                                            2. New sweet corn and onions. Boost the flavor by either carmelizing or roasting the onions and corn. Knorrs new concentrated broth can go the caramelized onions. Cojaita cheese. Chili powder or even a cajun seasoning on the corn. This has been a nice addition to taco night and pretty healthy to boot.

                                                                              1. When we return to Maine for the summer, I get free lobster and crabs; hence, lobster and/ or crab tacos. Haddock ones too.

                                                                                1. When I first came down to California, waay waaay back in the mid-1950's I didn't know what a taco was. They didn't even have tortillas in the Northwest then.

                                                                                  Someone took me to a dive called "Mama Garcia's" on a backwoods road on the Peninsula. Mama served crispy fried tacos filled with spicy mystery meat, along with lettuce and tomato and salsa. Maybe cheese and/or avocado were part of the deal -- I don't remember. There was also a pile of refried beans - another brand new taste experience.

                                                                                  Ever since then, Mama Garcia's tacos have been my standard. My meat mixture consists of chorizo -- the cheap stuff in the plastic casing, hamburger, onion, tomato, and chiles. On top of this I put lettuce and salsa and anything else that occurs to me. I try to get same-day freshly made corn tortillas if possible - they fry up much better than tired tortillas. Also, I try to use the red fat thrown off by the chorizo as part of the pan fat for frying the tacos.

                                                                                  I have gotten rave reviews on these tacos - maybe the nostalgia factor improves them?