I have a major obsession with Mexican food and after travelling there in 2009 it sparked me to want to learn more. I brought a tortilla press and started experimenting with different masa flours making my own soft tacos.


Here is my recipe for my chicken tinga tacos:



500g masa flour (you can buy online at www.labocaloca.co.nz)

1 tspn salt

1 Tspn olive oil

approx 300ml warm water



Mix all of the ingredients together to form a a soft dough. Roll the dough into equal size balls and press each ball flat to about 4mm thickness (with a tortilla press or rolling pin - if using a tortilla press, press between two bits of plastic so that it doesnt stick. I use a sandwich size snap lock bag) Cook tortillas on a pre heated fry pan, i like using a cast iron skillet, for about 30 seconds on each side. Stack them on top of each other and wrap in a tea towel to keep warm. (NOTE: you can buy pre made tortillas if you want to skip this step. Look out for corn tortillas at specialty stores. they are much nicer than the flour ones sold in the supermarket)


For the chicken tinga mix

2 Tspn olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, diced

1 heaped tspn dried Mexican oregano (or regular if you dont have Mexican)

1 tspn cumin

1/2 tspn all spice

2 dried chilies, whole

1 bay leaf

2 tins chopped tomatoes

1 heaped tspn brown sugar

1 free range rotisserie chicken, meat shredded OR 700g chicken thighs cut into bite size pieces



Heat the olive oil in a skilled or large fry pan. Over a medium heat, cook the onion with a pinch of salt for about 2 minutes or until soft but not coloured. Add the garlic, oregano, cumin, all spice, chilies and bay leaf and cook for a further 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and the sugar. Season with a little salt and pepper. If using raw chicken add this now.


Reduce the tomato mix for around 20 minutes, uncovered or until it its thick. If using rotisserie chicken, it only needs to be warmed through at the end. Remove bay leaf and dried chillis and discard. Set aside (NOTE: if you want MORE chilli heat, add a diced fresh chilli with the dried chillis after you cook the onion, with or without seeds)


For the black beans

1 can black beans

3 spring onions, sliced OR 1 x small red onion, diced

1 medium garlic clove, minced

1 tspn cumin

Salt and pepper

juice of 1/2 -1 lime



Put the beans (liquid and all, don't rinse) into a small pot with the onions, garlic and cumin. Season with salt and pepper and reduce until all of the liquid has absorbed and the beans are a little mushy. Add enough lime juice to taste to freshen and lift the flavor of the beans. Test for seasoning. Add more if you need.


To serve

1-2 Avocado, sliced

Micro greens, sango sprouts, or a bag of coleslaw dressed with a little olive oil and lemon jiuce (i used Micro greens)

Limes, cut into wedges

Hot sauce (optional)

Sour cream (optional)


To plate

I usually put everything into bows and get people to build their own taco. I like to smear a spoon of black beans on a tortilla, followed by some of the chicken mix, a few slices of avocado, a little hot sauce, the micro greens and a good squeeze of lime juice!


One of my most favorite meals. Enjoy x




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