We’ve all had taco bell or some other American adaptation of a street taco, some of us have lived in big cities and have been lucky enough to have sampled a street taco on the street as intended. Some possess the best experience of traveling to the source to have an authentic street taco, alas I have not had the opportunity YET.
However, just outside of my nighttime Biology lecture sophomore year at college there was a taco truck, well it was actually a cart. By the time the class finally let out at 9pm the dining hall was closed. The taco cart was wafting delicious smells through the courtyard and down the busy street mixing with the smells of formaldehyde and car exhaust. Like most college kids I hadn’t had the forethought to eat prior to attending my PM lectures so my last meal had been lunch and I was ravenous.
The street taco experience is a messy and delicious one. I can remember taking my first bite and experiencing an explosion of flavor and texture, the juice dripping down my arm onto the pavement below, students rushing about, cars whizzing by. I have wonderful memories of ordering a single taco and having such a hard time deciding on a meat for that evenings dinner. Eventually, I tried the carnitas taco and my love of juicy pork mixed with lime, cilantro and jalapeno was forever cemented as the favorite. Did I mention they made the shells fresh daily…there was no going back for me, it has been my go to order ever since.
Time flew by and I am a long way from the nighttime taco cart that I’m sure still sits outside of the lecture hall waiting for hungry students to fill their bellies. Now that I’m a mom I have learned to make my favorite taco, slightly adapted so that my children can enjoy them with me.
- 1/2 pound Pulled Pork, from my Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe
- 1/2 large white onion, chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, slice into thin rounds
- 8 corn tortillas, warmed
- Salsa Verde, from Trader Joe’s
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
Kid Friendly Alternatives:
- Flour tortillas, warmed
- Monterey Jack cheese, grated
- Sour Cream, optional
- Black Beans (canned), drained and heated
- Prepare meat in a skillet on medium high heat, you are going for crispy brown edges.
- Heat tortillas, they taste best if heated over an open flame to achieve a slight char around the edges. This can also be achieved by searing them in a skillet on medium high heat, preferably the same one used to sear the meat. Either way you choose keep a very close eye on them, it only takes a second to burn.
- Prep all remaining ingredients. I like to do this while the meat sears.
- Display all ingredients. I like to put everything out in piles on my cutting board or in small bowls, this way everyone can see what’s available when they build their own taco.
My taco–In this order:
- 1 corn tortilla
- 2 tablespoons pork
- 3 slices jalapeno
- 1 tablespoon white onion
- 1 tablespoon cilantro
- Squeeze of lime
- 1 tablespoon Salsa Verde
Kids taco–in this order:
- 1 flour tortilla
- 2 tablespoons black beans or pulled pork or both
- 1/2 tablespoon Salsa Verde
- 1 teaspoon sour cream
- Squeeze of lime
- 2 tablespoons Monterrey Jack cheese
- 1 teaspoon of cilantro